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Nursing is Not For Everyone

Nursing is Not For Everyone

Kathy Quan

Nursing is not for everyone. You must be prepared to work hard. Nursing is both physically and emotionally challenging and draining. With the exception of a few areas, nurses provide care around the clock 24/7. This is usually divided into shifts of 8 or 12 hours, but it includes nights, weekends, and yes, even holidays.

You will miss family events, and sometimes have to work late. You will have to work your share of holidays and weekends. And in some fields you may have to be on-call. As a new nurse, you will be expected to “pay your dues” meaning those with more seniority will get the best shifts, the best days off, and won’t have to work as many holidays. You will eventually earn this status too, but it will take time.

Nurses have to contend with cranky patients and demanding family members. But think back to the last time you didn’t feel well. Undoubtedly you weren’t your perky happy self either. And in a strange and frightening situation you too would probably become demanding if your own health or the health of a loved one was at stake.

Nurses also have to deal with blood, sputum, feces, urine, vomitus, and ugly smelly wounds. But nursing is about helping others in a time of need. It’s about taking care of people and this is just all part of a day’s work. Nursing is about combining the art of caring with the science and technology of health care.

Nurses are overworked and under paid, there is no doubt about it. Nurses have been grumbling for years that conditions have to improve. In many ways things have improved, but there is still a long way to go.

Perhaps it’s time for the administrators to think outside the box and consider options such as job sharing, or working half shifts of four or six hours. Or more flexibility such as working several weekends in a row and then having several off. There are many options to help ease and improve working conditions. Bring your new ideas to the table.

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