A few days ago I had a strange shift at work. A strange and emotional day. I mean, you would think as a nurse you would have an emotional day every day, but that is definitely not the case. What made this day so emotional was at the beginning of the shift, a coworker of mine was upset because her day was super hectic because of staffing issues. And apparently, a patient’s family member overheard this coworker talking to a patient and went to complain to administration about this nurse. Keep in mind, my coworker (the nurse) wasn’t even taking care of anyone related to the person who made the complaint. My coworker was so upset that she was in tears and crying because she works so hard and tries her best to take care of her patients and to have someone who doesn’t even know how she works to complain all the way up to administration was ridiculous. This really hit me because both of us are new nurses and to hear her say that she doesn’t even know if she wants to be a nurse anymore is really saddening! I know she’s an excellent nurse and amazing with her patients and to see her already at the brink of not wanting to be a nurse is so unfortunate. I too know what it’s like to work so hard and give so much of yourself for this profession and realize how much of it is unappreciated and overlooked. Nobody will ever understand how much a nurse does unless you are a nurse yourself. The conditions in Florida for nurses are horrible. Understaffed, ridiculous nurse-to-patient ratios, no representation, etc. Also one of the lowest paying states (although cost of living is low). But even with all this, even with the frustration my job brings, I still love what nursing is. There is no other job like it. To add to this emotional day, later that night as I was transporting my patient down to X-ray, we went by the surgery area and I saw a woman crying her heart out and I knew she just got the news that no one wants to hear when their loved one goes into surgery. It was heartbreaking to see her and hear her cry. Wondering how much pain she was going through. And finally to end the shift, as I was having breakfast (dinner for night shifters) with my coworkers, we saw outside a man and a woman sitting in the grass holding each other crying. Oh, the emotions! But this shift reconfirmed how lucky I am to have a career that allows me to witness events that make me appreciate life every single day, to be able to connect and be there for people at some of the worst times of their lives, to be able to make a patient happy by even the simplest thing as getting them some coffee after not being able to eat or drink for over 24 hours, and to be able to save lives! These are the things I will hold onto whenever I get discouraged and frustrated with nursing and I hope you will too if you are new nurse or even an experienced nurse feeling the same way. I’m a big believer in being happy with who you are at your core, instead of with what you do. But I do have to admit that I am damn proud to be a nurse and do not regret my decision to become one.
Have a great weekend everyone!
P.S. Still waiting for my flight to South America! 🙂