Nurses do so much more than what the general population understands and that's okay. Hopefully you didn't join the nursing profession to get a pat on the back. If you did then you're in for a rude awakening. Most nurses don't do this job because they want praise and thanks. They do it for the sheer love of being a nurse.
Here are some things that only a nurse can do:
1. Only a nurse can hold their bladder for 12 hours or more. Even when nurses have a few minutes to use the restroom, they may choose to sacrifice their own time to do something to help their patient instead. Nurses tend to be very unselfish people.
2. Only a nurse is blessed with helping patients come into this world and leave it, as well as everything in between. Nurses are there to help patients through their most difficult times and often see people when they're at their worst.
3. Only a nurse puts other lives before her own and cares about all patients equally. We go without eating, drinking and potty breaks to help people get well and ease their pain.
4. Only a nurse cries on her way home 'because of the patient she couldn't save. While everyone has a bad day at work sometimes, nurses often have a lot of weight on their shoulders because they deal with life and death situations every day. Yes, others have stressful jobs, but getting someone's order wrong at a fast-food restaurant just doesn't compare to losing a patient to cancer or a heart attack, when you know you've done everything you could to save them.
5. Only a nurse is a patient's advocate. Our patients come first with no exceptions. Nurses are in charge of every aspect of a patient healthcare including administering medications, monitoring vital signs, keeping an eye on their input and output, watching lab values, and the list goes on.
6. Only a nurse answers family and friend's medical questions on a regular basis, and we do this for free.
7. Only a nurse can care for 7 or 8 patients at a time and make them feel as if they are the only one.
8. Only a nurse can stomach some of the worst smells that come from a human body and still treat every patient like they are number one priority.
9. Only a nurse can eat 3 Graham crackers with peanut butter and drink a coke in 1 minute flat. If we can't, then we starve, and it's survival of the fittest! We can also do this while discussing poop, vomit and pus with other nurses. Now that's what I call skill.
10. Only a nurse has the privilege to work with patients, treat them, help them get well and follow up with them.
There is no other job like nursing and as nurses we need to remember, every day, how lucky we are to be given the opportunity to work in our chosen profession and love what we do. So many people hate their jobs. But if you're like most nurses you can't wait to get to work, and you leave with the satisfaction of knowing you made a difference in someone's life today. Always remain humble and grateful and let your patients be the constant reminder that you are needed, wanted and appreciated.
Yes, there are times when we all want to throw in the towel, and in times like this we must focus on how important it is for us to help others get well, or manage their disease process in the best way possible. Only nurses can do this, and your patients are relying on you to make this difference in their life. So whatever you do, don't let them down. Give them your best nursing care and smile, knowing that you are making a difference, even though you're "only a nurse."
What other things can "only a nurse" do? Comment below.
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