Unfortunately, we've all been there. The phrase has been seared into our minds -we've heard it from friends, family, patients, the hosts of The View. Just a nurse...you're 'just a nurse.'
After working a long shift caring for sick babies, one Australian nurse ran into an acquaintance while she picked up milk at the grocery store. The acquaintance said she had never seen her in scrubs before and didn't realize she was "just a nurse." In an epic and thoughtful response, the nurse wrote a post on Facebook in the name of nurses everywhere to show the world how easily the word "just" can diminish and strip away one's significance.
Here's what she wrote:
'Just a Nurse'. I am just home from a busy shift, looking very ordinary in my scrubs. On the way home today I stopped at the shop for milk and saw an acquaintance. She has never seen me in uniform and said that she didn't realise I was 'just a nurse'. Wow! Over my 18 year career I have heard this phrase many, many time, but today it got to me. Am I just a nurse?
I have helped babies into the world, many of whom needed assistance to take their first breath, and yet I am just a nurse.
I have held patients hands and ensured their dignity while they take their last breath, and yet I am just a nurse.
I have counselled grieving parents after the loss of a child, and yet I am just a nurse.
I have performed CPR on patients and brought them back to life, and yet I am just a nurse.
I am the medical officers eyes, ears and hands with the ability to assess, treat and manage your illness, and yet I am just a nurse.
I can ascultate every lung field on a newborn and assess which field may have a decreased air entry, and yet I am just a nurse.
I can educate patients, carers, and junior nurses, and yet I am just a nurse.
I am my patients advocate in a health system that does not always put my patients best interest first, and yet I am just a nurse.
I will miss Christmas Days, my children's birthdays, and school musicals to come to work to care for your loved one, and yet I am just a nurse.
I can take blood, cannulate and suture a wound, and yet I am just a nurse.
I can manage a cardiac arrest in a newborn, a child or an adult, and yet I am just a nurse.
I can tell you the dosage of adrenaline or amiodarone based on weight that your child may need to bring them back to life, and yet I am just a nurse.
I have the experience and knowledge that has saved people's lives.
So, if I am just a nurse, then I am ridiculously proud to be one! #justanurse #love#nurse #mum #happy #taganurse
Bottomline -the word 'just' should never, ever, under any circumstance be used to describe people in the nursing profession, one that can often go overlooked. Nurses save lives, every day, in more ways than we can count and there's nothing 'just' about that.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.