What Was A Moment When You Thought ‘I Don’t Get Paid Enough For This’?!

We’ve all had them. Those moments that only other nurses would truly understand when we literally think ‘I do NOT get paid enough for this.’ But there’s comfort (and sometimes humor) in community and shared experiences. So what’s your story? What’s a moment where your inner voice said ‘seriously, there’s no way I make enough for THIS’? Share your story below in the comments section and then check back to see what other nurses have shared. Get ready for a laugh, a ‘totally been there,’ or a ‘no freakin way’!


  1. Twenty plus years ago, as a newer nurse, I had an elderly man with dementia that had lost one eye in WWII. He was frequently admitted to our med-surg unit, so I was very familiar with him. He was bedbound and you never knew what mood he’d be in when you entered the room. He used to take his fake eye out and throw it at the staff as we walked in the room. One day he was particularly feisty and while bathing him, I let my guard down and he managed to get ahold of my scrub jacket pocket. I struggled to get away, he ripped the pocket off, took my stethoscope, and began throwing everything within reach at me…water pitcher (full), urinal (yes, also full), stethoscope and of course his eye. I dodged it all except the eye lol. What a total mess. Definitely an “I don’t get paid enough” day…

  2. Another senior nurse like me were called on the carpet and told NOT under any circumstances to answer the phone while we were at the desk checking doctor orders. OK we both said. About a week later we both were called to her office again and she said (angrily) _______ says they called and the phone just rang and rang. They called the director to say they wanted to transfer a patient and no one answered the report.
    J. and I just looked at each other and thought “I don’t get paid enough…….”

  3. I had an incident with an Geriatric Man who I had reached over to take his blood pressure. He then grabbed my stethoscope around my neck and tried to strangle me with it. I had to wrestle with him then suddenly he kicked me in the abdomen which sent me flying across the room. At that point laying on the floor, I realized they can’t pay you enough for this job!!

  4. My most recent “I don’t get paid enough for this” moment was when a drunk 25 year old man was in an MVC and he cornered me in the room, screaming and threatening me, because we wouldn’t let his parents back to see him because of Covid restrictions. We had to call the police, my charge nurse was involved, he almost got arrested. It was ugly.

    The worst was when an 80 year old (a good 6’5”, 300lbs) dementia patient, who was under a baker act for almost killing a nurse at the SNF he was living at, tried to punch me while screaming at me that “me and my boys are going to come here and rape you in your a$$ until you know in your place” while screaming obscenities that even I (an ER nurse married to a navy vet) found hard to handle.

    “Be a nurse” they said, “it’ll be fun” they said

  5. I’ve been a hemodialysis nurse for years and called in too many times to count for emergent treatments in the middle of the night. Patient usually has a K+ level not compatible with life. No matter how many times you tell the ED folks….give everything EXCEPT the Kayexalate, the patient gets it anyway. In they roll, on the ED cart, fully clothed, and sawing logs that could suck the drapes right off the wall. And then the Kayexalate cuts loose….and there’s nobody to help you, and the patient sleeps right through it as it drips off the cart! UGH!

Comments are closed.

Feeling Stressed?

Everyone feels stressed from time to time. Stress can give you a rush of energy when it’s needed most—for instance, competing in sports, working...

10 Tips From A Nurse On How Not To Get Sick

Nurses are always in the “sick” season. We spend more time indoors. We spend more time shoulder to shoulder with our fellow humans. We create...

TED Talk: “Not Whether, But How” Offers Insight Into End-Of-Life Care

Discussion about the value of human centered healthcare – through to the end-of-life experience – is gaining critical momentum across America. From peace of...