Caitlin Brassington, 38, has been a nurse for 18 years, and a pediatric nurse for 9 of them, and over the course of her career has unfortunately heard the phrase, “just a nurse” one too many times. She was out buying milk after a long shift when she ran into an old friend. The woman, seeing Brassington’s scrubs for the first time, didn’t realize that she was “just a nurse!”
In a society that praises and rewards doctors over others in the medical field, Brassington is used to this sort of treatment, but she has decided that enough is enough. Her post on Facebook has sparked a global conversation, and she hopes that everyone might learn from it.
‘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!”
Respecting trained medical professionals shouldn’t only be extended to doctors, and Brassington’s explanation has a lot of people talking.
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