Back in the day when I was choosing a course to continue my education, I wanted to take up nursing (mostly for selfish reasons) but I wasn’t allowed to by my father. To him nurses are always cleaning patients’ waste and blood, so he thought it was not a clean job. He had to change his perception since my sister is now a trainee nurse.
Actually, my dad is not only one with such thinking. To almost everyone I know, all they know about nursing is that it involves poop and blood. Very uninformed of them, I tell you. Even though my sister talks about what she does, the whole thing seemed very abstract to me. That is, until my grandmother ended up in hospital.
Throughout the whole week my grandma was hospitalised, I saw first hand how hard it is to be a nurse. Sure, they deal with the patients’ wastes and the caring of them but that’s not the be-all-end-all of their duties. They have to make sure that the patients take their medication, that the patients are comfortable and relatively pain-free and most importantly of all, that the patients are alive.
Nursing is back breaking work since they have to, sometimes, physically carry the patient from the bed to the wheelchair and back. For stroke patients who lost their ability to move, like my grandma, they had to move her and carry her, just to change the sheets, her clothes and her diaper. It looked easy to me but boy, was I wrong. When I help out to care for my grandma at home, it took three to four of us just to move her around, to change her and to clean her. It was not easy since my grandma is not a small person. Even feeding her was a chore since she really, really didn’t want to take her medication or even her milk.
Not only is it back breaking, you have to deal with difficult patients (eg, pulling out the IV that they actually need, and bleeding over everything, scratching the nurse who is trying to feed them) and sometimes, even more difficult family members. It’s definitely no walk in the park.
So I think that nurses are the least appreciated profession (with firemen coming a very close second). It’s not an easy job and I think that we should appreciate their hard work.