Jul 31, 2017
Nursing is incredibly stressful and hectic. The hours are terrible and you’ll be severely under-appreciated. It’s also the best job in the world. Here's why:
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of all the negativity going on in the world right now. It seems like every time I get on social media or watch the news, it’s a never-ending supply of nastiness and hate. It’s people constantly criticizing others, critiquing their every move to magnify the bad and belittle the good. It’s disparaging comparisons and defamation, smearing the reputation of others in an attempt to improve one’s own. It’s a relentless, dysfunctional race for supremacy, and it’s not helping anyone.
With all this negativity mounting outside the workplace, it’s become very difficult for many nurses to maintain a level of happiness inside the workplace. Working in a hospital setting where every action or decision you make faces dire consequences is stressful enough. Add the recent turmoil within the healthcare industry to the equation, and it’s easy to understand why Registered Nursing ranked 4th in Forbes rankings of the unhappiest jobs.
With the way technology has transformed how we create and absorb content, the voices of those individuals expressing hostility are now louder than ever before. This has undoubtedly distorted our ability to hear the positive and progressive voices out there, but it hasn’t disposed of them entirely. There is still plenty of good out there – especially in nursing.
So, I’m not ready to give in. I refuse to live in a world full of animosity and sorrow. I won’t sink to that level. Maybe it’s the eternal optimist in me, but there is simply too much good going around – especially in nursing – to be anything but happy.
Few other occupations provide such meaningful responsibilities that promote positive change quite like nursing. The single most important question any person can ask himself or herself is, “am I making the world a better place?” As a nurse, you inherit an unbelievable opportunity to answer ‘yes’ to that question every single day. That’s a very powerful thing.
You have an opportunity to treat those who unfortunately have succumbed to the negativity surrounding them. It’s a choice. You can join in on the negative banter, or you can be the rare moment of positivity they desperately need. You can be an integral part of the solution, rather than a part of the problem. That’s what nursing is all about – being able to help those who cannot help themselves. In it’s truest form, being a nurse means loving and caring for people who are coming to you in their weakest moment. They are as scared and vulnerable as they’ve ever been, and it’s you, the nurse, they are trusting in. That cannot be taken lightly.
When you consider everything at hand, you could make the argument that not only should all nurses be happy, but it’s also their responsibility to be happy. Your patients need you to be. They need you be the strength to help them get through their own problems. That can be a lot to handle, but that’s why you became a nurse in the first place – you wanted that responsibility. You knew you were strong enough to shoulder that load. You knew you were empathetic enough to understand where your patients and their families are coming from. And most importantly, you knew you were compassionate enough to do everything physically possible to help those who couldn’t help themselves.
You knew all these things from a young age. Many people these days “accidentally” find themselves working in an industry they never intended on working in. They fell into a career path out of necessity or availability, rather than chasing their passion. That’s not the case with nurses. You became a nurse because from a young age you had a sense of calling towards the service of healing. You wanted to be the light amidst unfathomable darkness. You wanted that responsibility. Don’t forget that. Nursing is what you do, but never lose sight of why you do it.
Obviously, this is easier said than done. Working as a nurse can be incredibly stressful and hectic. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day chaos and merely go through the motions in life while falling victim to the negativity surrounding you. But anytime you get down or feel like quitting, think about why you started.
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