Today, Nursing Was Hard

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Sometimes, like today, nursing is hard. Some days, nursing is not rewarding. Some days, it is the 4th dimension of hell.

It is a calling, and some days it is incredibly challenging and you wonder why you still do it every day.

Nursing can be hard.

Today, a culmination of things beyond my control pulled every feeling of worthlessness out of me and displayed them.

It wasn’t one thing.  We didn’t lose a patient and we didn’t save a life. 

It was a culmination of many things over many months/years that finally came to a head. 

Directives were sent down from members of administration that don’t have feet on the floor. There were questions about how I did my job.  I wasn’t able to help my coworkers like I should have been able to. My best wasn’t good enough.  And it sucked.

Today, I called my mom on the way home from work. We talked for 12 minutes and 33 seconds.  I complained about everything and thought she had made me feel better.

I got home, unloaded my lunchbox and fixed my dinner.  My husband and I ate. We went to the kitchen to clean dishes.

He asked if I was ok.  And I lost it.  I cried.  It wasn’t a river of tears.  It was a heart-wrenching 5-6 tears.  If it had been anyone else, I’d have lied and said I got something in my eye. 

Today, nursing was hard.

I couldn’t do what needed to be done. My coworkers didn’t get help. I was belittled for what I thought was right. My nursing skill was questioned.

Today I felt like an absolute failure as an Emergency Department nurse.

Today Nursing Was Hard

Nursing is a calling.  You have to want it. 

Emergency department nursing is a very specific calling.  You have to have a thick skin. Multitasking is an ability you have to have.  Chest compressions will trump lunch. Triaging ambulances will take precedence over bathroom breaks. Admissions of “I don’t know” will happen, and you have to be able to admit mistakes.

Everyone will have a day that breaks them.  A day where they can’t do it all.  There will be days where everything is wrong and nothing goes right and nothing gets achieved and everything is wrong.  

Today was that day for me.

I am not defeated.  I had my moment of weakness.  It didn’t cause anyone at work to suffer.  I carried it home.  The tears flowed and he talked me off the ledge. He bounced me back.

Tomorrow I will be a bomb ass nurse.

  I will treat the sick, tend the wounded and educate the benighted.   I will be the best I can be. My powers will be used for good. I won’t let it get to me.  If it does, no one will know.

I will treat you and your family members as I would want someone to treat me and mine. I was called to be a nurse and I’ll be a damn good one.

If you want to read what makes a bad nurse, check this one out. If you feel guilty after reading, maybe you need to change things.

4 thoughts on “Today, Nursing Was Hard”

  1. Rachael, you are an awesome nurse. What makes you special is you truly care about your pt’s. When the days are hard, and the nights are long remember this calling, this passion, this wonderful, crazy life known as emergency medicine is truly a blessing.

    • Thank you Michael! It is a blessing.


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