Nursing the reputation of hardworking men and women

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For over 30 years, my mother has been a nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital and is now working in the education department.

From the moment I understood what her job entailed, I had the utmost respect for what she has dedicated such a great portion of her heart and soul to.

I have seen and met many people in the field of nursing. This has allowed me to become intimately aware of the dedication and compassion it takes to perform their jobs effectively.

When people hear the title “nurse,” they often associate it to the medical equivalent of a secretary.

They think of assisting hands who do basic medical work and nothing more.

What is not taken into account is just how valuable and crucial their role truly is.

I have seen my mother come home from incomprehensibly long work shifts that ran over 12 hours at a time, day and night.

There was a period where she would work seven days in a row and then only be off for two.

She would come home from night shifts especially exhausted, both mentally and physically.

She would have been on her feet for almost the entirety of her time at the hospital. Sometimes she would forgo all of her breaks, depending on how well her shift was going.

Nurses suffer an immense amount of abuse, whether it be verbal or physical. This can be  from the patients themselves or from their stressed visitors.

They are a network of dedicated people who hold an endless amount of love in their hearts for what they are entrusted to do and are responsible for the well-being of each person that falls into their care.

Typically, nurses will tell you that they never know what to expect going into work.

They care for all demographics of people, they are exposed to the devastating realities of illness, disease and the process of dying.

They experience heartbreak after a particularly challenging situation comes into their spectrum, collecting moments that will stay with them forever.

They perform CPR, know the feeling and sound of ribs breaking, as they tirelessly try to bring someone back to life.

They shoulder all variants of the emotions around them, delivering horrible news and counselling the grief-stricken on a daily basis.

If you, a family member, or someone you care about is ever in the hospital, all of you will be primarily in contact with nurses.

You’ll see doctors for small fragments of time, flashes of white lab coats bustling from one ill patient to the next — the demand for their skills is always high.

Nurses are your lifeline the rest of the time. They treat your symptoms and address your needs.

So why would anyone enter this profession?

Every nurse that I have ever talked to has told me that they entered this profession because they genuinely care about people and want to do everything in their power to help them.

Although their positions are difficult and they sacrifice a great portion of their personal lives to do what they do, the benefits lie in the fact that they provide a service that is doubtlessly invaluable.

Being a nurse does not equate a write-off profession.

They are real-life heroes with tired faces and scrubs stained with literal blood, sweat and tears.

They don’t go through hell and back for their patients to be demoralized by people who can’t possibly understand the lengths that they go to for their profession every single day.

It’s hard, it’s gruelling and it’s important.

These people aren’t “just” anything; they are nurses, they are valid and they are essential.

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