Sometimes I feel “forever alone” when I am around non-nursing people. As a nurse I get to be a part of something amazing. I’ll always be proud I am a nurse. I don’t feel like my profession makes me better than anyone else. I do feel like my profession changed me.
I have seen death first hand.
I have had to hold back tears while a family kisses their 16 year old goodbye. I have watched a person suffer in the ICU because the family guilted them into remainding a full code, and endure multiple surgeries that ultimately wouldn’t fix anything, until they finally passed away in that bed. I have watched families lose hope as the transplanted organ fails. I have had to comfort patients after a devastating diagnosis.
I have had my ass handed to me at work.
I have worked 12 straight hours without being able to eat or even stop to pee. I have dealt with physical and emotional abuse at the hands of patients and their loved ones. I have been talked down to by medical professionals that feel they are above me thanks to a difference in degrees.
I hold it all in when I’m with family and non nursing friends. When people say my job is “easy” since I work nights and everyone is asleep, I just laugh. When people are certain I’m “paid” because nurses make “so much money”, I just stare blankly. I listen to people complain about their jobs intently while they dismiss my complaints because I knew nursing was hard.
It can make you feel alone.
It’s not all family members and not all non-nursing friends but enough to make me not talk about my job unless I am talking to a select few. It’s why the nursing community is so INVALUABLE to me. We can swap stories about the worst of the worst. We can laugh about some seriously dark sh*t with no judgment! We understand each other. The nursing community keeps me from feeling “forever alone”. Sometimes we are all we’ve got 😁!
5 thoughts on “Forever alone”
Thank you for sharing realities of your vocation that people outside of it – like myself – don’t consider enough. I am curious, though, to know how nursing changed you, as you mentioned in the opening of this piece.
Both of my parents were ill and required hospital care – including stints in the ICU – before they passed on, within five years of each other. When my brother died as a result of injuries he sustained in a car wreck, I remember one nurse who saw that I was too distressed to even cry. She came over and embraced me; she squeezed, lifting me up, in an effort to help me bring the sounds of grief up out of my body.
I remember kind nurses, attentive and professional nurses, overworked nurses; and I am grateful for their work, even today.
I’m so glad your nurse experience was so positive. Nursing opened my eyes to the stress of being in a hospital from a different time perspective. I lost my mom to cancer, young. I only knew hospitals from that angle. Nursing has shown me that Healthcare providers go through a lot that tends to be held in. Nursing has made me stronger but I also know it has taught me some unhealthy coping mechanisms.
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Nurses need TLC and healing, too!
God bless our nurses. I have so much respect for what you do. I work nights as well but how dare I ever complain about my job when there are angels saving lives all night
Thank you for sharing! It’s so true! People that aren’t in the profession (I find) aren’t really interested in what you’re talking about. They don’t know the medical terms we use etc… they will never understand why we do what we do and how we enjoy it. My dad will though! He thinks because he watches all the hospital tv shows he knows everything there is to know now haha this makes me laugh too much.
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