Nurses do an amazing job. Still, there are people who underestimate their profession. These people usually think that doctors are the only heroes in the health professions, and will not appreciate the hard work that nurses do.
But the hard work of the nurses do is far from meaningless.
Sometime not long ago, nurse Caitlin Bressington met an acquaintance at her local grocery store. She had just finished her shift and was still wearing her nurse’s clothes.
Her friend told her she was surprised to see that she was ‘just a nurse’. And the word ‘just’ struck Caitlin deeply.
When she got home and had time to think, Caitlin decided to write her friend a letter of response – through a Facebook post.
Caitlin’s post received tens of thousands of likes and was shared thousands of times – and after reading it I understood why.
‘Just a nurse’. I just got home after a busy shift, looking pretty normal in my nurse’s clothes. On my way home today I stopped at a store to buy milk and met an acquaintance. She never saw me in uniform and said she did not know I was ‘Just a nurse’. Wow! Over the 18 years of my career I have heard this phrase many
times, but today it has affected me. Am I just a nurse?
I have helped babies into the world, many of whom needed assistance to take their first breath, and yet I am just a nurse.
I have held patients’ hands and ensured their dignity while they take their last breath, and yet I am just a nurse.
I have counselled grieving parents after the loss of a child, and yet I am just a nurse.
I have performed CPR on patients and brought them back to life, and yet I am just a nurse.
I am the medical officer’s eyes, ears and hands with the ability to assess, treat and manage your illness, and yet I am just a nurse.
I can auscultate every lung field on a newborn and assess which field may have a decreased air entry, and yet I am just a nurse.
I can educate patients, carers, junior nurses and junior doctors on disease states, prognoses and treatment plans, and yet I am just a nurse.
I have been a lecturer in a school of medicine, teaching medical students how to perform a systematic physical examination of a patient, and yet I am just a nurse.
I am my patients’ advocate in a health system that does not always put my patients’ best interest first, and yet I am just a nurse.
I will miss Christmas Days, my children’s birthdays and school musicals to come to work to care for your loved one, and yet I am just a nurse.
I can take blood, cannulate and suture a wound, and yet I am just a nurse.
I understand the anatomical, physiological, and psychological differences in every age group of children, and the relevance this has on how we care for them and treat them, and yet I am just a nurse.
I can manage a cardiac arrest in a newborn, a child or an adult, and yet I am just a nurse.
I can tell you the dosage of adrenaline or amiodarone based on weight that your child may need to bring them back to life, and yet I am just a nurse.
I provide comfort, compassion, emotional and social support to patients and their families in their darkest times, and yet I am just a nurse.
I have worked 12-hour shifts without a toilet break or a cup of coffee, to ensure that the best possible care is given to my patient, and yet I am just a nurse.
I have been screamed at, vomited on and urinated on, but I will still come to work and do my job, and yet I am just a nurse.
I have the experience, knowledge and competence that has saved and will continue to save people’s lives, and yet I am just a nurse.
So yes, lovely acquaintance in the corner store, if I am “just a nurse”, then I am ridiculously proud to be one!
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