I was watching the news on TV last night and I couldn't help but notice how many times they praised veterans, first responders, police officers teachers and even correctional officers for the magnificent jobs they do.
Don't get me wrong, I'm aware of how precious people with these occupations are in our society and I do appreciate all they do. But I'm getting a little bit frustrated with the fact that nurses and other medical professionals, (including physicians), are never mentioned or praised like people in other professions. They are not compensated enough for the job they do.
I was married to a correctional officer for 20 years and he was also a veteran. He did have a very stressful job and this article is not undermining what other professionals do. But government workers receive many more benefits than nurses and are often praised when it's not even warranted; when they're really just doing their job, not going "beyond the call of duty," as the media loves to put it when a firefighter rescues a cat out of a tree.
I know nurses that are still working in hospitals well into their 70's because they don't get the same retirement benefits as other professionals. Retirement is often not even a word in a nurse's vocabulary and if it is, it frequently has a negative connotation.
Police officers usually receive what is considered "hazardous duty" retirement which means that because their jobs are so stressful and hazardous they're able to retire with full health benefits and a great income, paid for by taxpayers for the rest of their lives.
If they've served in the military then they can "buy those years back," frequently referred to as ghost years. Let's say they were enlisted in the military for five years, even if it's not combat duty, they're permitted to purchased their time spent in the military and apply that time towards the twenty-years hazardous duty, so they can retire even earlier.
They frequently retire in their early forties and pick up another government job, work another 20 years, then retire again. Often called "double dipping," all on the taxpayer's dime. The same is true for teachers and other government workers.
Since when did the nursing profession become non-hazardous?
Nurses are constantly dealing with aggressive, violent patients that threaten our lives, spit, kick, hit and verbally berate us. There's been a sharp increase recently in the amount of physical and verbal abuse nurses are subjected to, yet we're never offered so much as a pat-on-the-back for a job well done.
Teachers also retire early and they're off for weeks at a time during the summer while still being paid, all courtesy of other hard working individuals who are not afforded the same luxury.
Nurses deserve better benefits. They are just as important as police officers and other government officials. My ex-husband didn't have a college degree, yet he's now making more money than I do and well on his way to making his second retirement while I'm still hoping to retire when I'm 80.
If we don't get the monetary compensation for being nurses then it would be nice to be included in the appreciation for "first responders" and other government workers that receive awards and recognition for a job well done, by the media and employers.
Nurses are on the frontline, going without breaks and often taking time away from our own families to care for others. The people who deal with life and death situations every day deserve more recognition for the heroic nature of our everyday work.
Yet, I never hear the news reporting about how dedicated nurses are and how they go above and beyond call of duty every single day, staying for hours after our shifts, saving your mom from her heart attack and your father his stroke. Instead, I hear about how wonderful Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, and other celebrities are; people who have done nothing to enrich the lives of others and are only concerned with their own fame and fortune.
Something is very wrong with a society that glorifies people like Justin Beiber and turns a blind eye to the people who save our lives. Nurses don't get the respect they deserve from patients or doctors and I would love to see a change in the way nurses are viewed by society.
We are highly trained professionals who dedicate our lives to the care of others. The job we do is stressful and we are overworked and underappreciated by the facilities we work for and by the general population. Why does the media never acknowledge the hard work we do and why are nurses not monetarily compensated like other professionals?
No person should be retiring in their 40's, especially when it's on taxpayer funds. I take issue with paying for others to retire when my job is equally challenging and I will be working into my 80's to pay for your retirement at 40. Just my 3 cents!