Australian nurse Caitlin Brassington has gone viral with an impassioned Facebook post about the subtle disrespect RNs face all too often. It all started when an acquaintance made a reference to her being "just a nurse," a phrase she's heard many times in her life. This time, she decided to speak up about it.
The post reads:
'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 realise I was 'just a nurse'. Wow! Over my 18 year career I have heard this phrase many, many time, but today it got to me. Am I just a nurse?
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 counselled 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 ascultate 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! #justanurse #love #nurse #mum#happy #taganurse
Brassington's post has received more than 11,000 likes on Facebook, and more than 2,000 shares. People are standing behind her, and all nurses, who fulfill a crucial role in health care but rarely get the respect they deserve.
Kudos to nurses! Anyone who can work a 12-hour shift, save a few lives, and come home covered in blood isn't "just a nurse," they're "just a hero."