Being a student nurse is bloody hard, but I’m aware there are a lot of hard jobs out there.
There are probably countless jobs that are more challenging than my own, but since I’m a student nurse, that’s what I know (kind of). And I just know that it’s hard to be one and in my position, to be a trainee one.
It’s not the skills I have to somehow cram into my brain, and while there are many of them and extremely challenging, it’s not that. It’s not even the mountain of knowledge that I must cram into my brain while my mentor watches or the fact that if they aren’t watching then someone who obviously knows better is. It’s not merely the twelve-hour shifts, missed lunch breaks, my tiny bladder being put through its paces, or even the repeated weekends and holidays spent away from my family and friends. And while it’s also incredibly scary to hold a position where your actions can inflict life changing consequences on another person if a mistake happens, it’s not even any of this that is the crowning jewel.
For me it’s hard when as a student, all of this is expected of us, while also learning to deal with the emotional and psychological challenges handed to us. The fact is that no one really, truly understands what it’s like to be a nurse except for other nurses so what we hear a lot is “Yeah but that’s what you’re trained for.” or “Ah well, you’ll need to just get used to it.” And nothing is more unpopular to the general public than for a nurse to complain.
I speak on behalf of myself and for everyone else who knows this frustration – No we bloody well don’t. We do not have to learn to get used to life, death and everything shitty in between.
Many people reading this now probably think I need to get over it. We hold a very critical but undervalued position, and people just assume that we love it. Well, the truth is, we do. Well, I do, but that fact doesn’t negate the hard truth that it’s a challenging job. Sometimes the hardest fucking part about being a nurse is that I can’t talk about how difficult, stressful, and exhausting my profession can be at times because some of it would send you to a bloody therapist. Not all the time, but yes sometimes.
The majority of society (I think), see nurses as the angels in blue, but it’s also a hard role. But because we are supposed to just love our job without consequence, it means that we are not allowed to express any negativity in any way. I mean, we love being nurses, right? So we can’t cry in the toilet for 15 minutes when a patient screams at you, spits on you or in my case tries to strangle you.
Too many people out there think I’m not supposed to complain I should just be grateful to be in such a position. I’m not allowed to get upset with the difficulties of caring for sick kids, and though the rest of the world can complain, as a nurse, I’m not allowed. It’s considered disrespectful to these patients and their families to have human emotion about all these experiences.
Many people say I should have known it would be like this, but I don’t think you can ever really get used to looking after people at their most vulnerable.
Truthfully, I love my job. I mean I bloody love my job, and if I do say so myself, I am good at it. If I did not care as much as I do, I should not be on the job. The minute I stop going home and thinking about the people I meet and the children I’ve cuddled while trying to explain how they NEED that Calpol, I will find another profession.
Being a student nurse is fucking hard, and no one can pretend to know what it is like, so with all due respect, stop trying. The best you can do is just say “I know this is hard for you, and I can’t pretend I know how hard, but know I am here to listen.”.