I am a nurse!
What does it feel like to be a nurse? In the second in our series of articles looking at life from particular people’s point of view, a local nurse relates what it feels like to work in a caring profession
I am a nurse,
This means that wherever life knocks you down, and you can’t get up, I will help you.
I am here to save your ass, not to kiss it.
I am not a doctor.
I cannot “go on to be” a doctor anymore than your kitchen table can “go on to be” a fish!
I will care for you,
I will cry with you,
I will not let you treat me like the hired help,
I am not a sex object… that only happens in movies.
No, not those movies.
I am human;
I have a family too.
On Christmas night, and every other night of the year, I will leave that family so I can go and care for your family.
No, I don’t want a medal;
I am a professional,
My job is not a vocation; am I wearing a collar?
I am committed to those people who need my care.
If I wasn’t then perhaps I would get to go home on time each day.
I don’t want to see you suffer;
I will do everything in my power to comfort you.
When you face death, and especially if you are alone, I promise I will hold your hand.
If I walk past you and don’t make eye contact, it’s not because I don’t care, it’s because I’ve been holding this pee for three hours and I’m afraid if our eyes meet, you’ll call me and three hours will become four.
I am not a banker,
I am not a property developer,
I did not destroy the country!
I will never leave you waiting on purpose;
I became a nurse to do good.
While we might bicker a lot, I respect doctors.
That doesn’t mean I won’t stand up to them for you.
If I’ve made a positive difference to you, please tell me;
Knowing I’ve helped will get me through the days I feel like giving up.
You’ll find that those who say I’m paid too much just haven’t needed me yet!
When you hurt, I hurt too.
You will never know heartache until you have laid out a child.
If you are that child’s parent, your heartache is infinitely worse.
I remember your child;
I will never forget your child.
If I appear cross or impatient, please bear with me; your sore finger might be trivial to me right now if I’ve just been with a dying patient.
Give me a few minutes to gather myself; I know your sore finger is not trivial to you.
God, my feet hurt!
I have seen things no human should ever have to see.
Hospital TV shows annoy me.
I still watch them.
I keep all the cards and letters you send me.
Respect older people. Their pains are more often the consequence of hard work.
Don’t talk at or over people with disability; it makes you look like a moron.
Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. It’s good for your health!
I don’t care if you have health insurance.
I don’t care if you’re rich.
I don’t care what colour you are. That blood is red and I’ve got to stop it coming out!
I will be with you when your life begins and when it ends.
When life gets on top of you, I will be there.
I do care.
I have the same worries as you - mortgage, kids, taxes, bills...
I will try to leave these worries at home when I come to work.
Sometimes I will fail; I am sorry.
Nothing makes me happier than when you get better.
Try to understand that I have a lot of people to care for, so, if I don’t answer that bell straight away, it isn’t because I can’t be bothered.
I am not perfect.
I am not an angel.
I am competent.
I am knowledgeable.
I am your mother, sister, brother, father.
I am human.
I am a nurse!