This story originally appeared at LittleThings.
When it comes to saving lives, doctors usually get most of the credit. They are the ones with the most training, the most years spent in school, and — let’s face it — the highest paychecks.
But this doesn’t mean that other medical professionals, like nurses and EMTs, shouldn’t get their fair share of credit when it comes to saving, comforting, and mending people, both physically and emotionally. However, many people still regard nursing as an insignificant job.
Nurse Caitlin Brassington came across this type of thinking when she ran into an acquaintance at the grocery store. She was wearing her nurse’s scrubs, and the woman was surprised to hear about her profession.
But it wasn’t her ignorance of the fact that shocked Caitlin. It was how she used the word “just” in her sentence, as if her job had little to no importance in society.
That’s when she decided to fire back on social media, listing all the ways nurses all over the world have helped — and continue to help — those in need.
‘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 [realize] I was ‘just a nurse’.
Wow! Over my 18 year career I have heard this phrase many, many time[s], but today it got to me. Am I just a nurse?
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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 [counseled] 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 [auscultate] 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!
Thank you, Caitlin, for reminding us to be grateful to all the caring, dedicated nurses out there!