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“I Couldn’t Be a Nurse!”

July 2nd, 2010 by – Marijke Durning

“I could never be a nurse!” How many times have we nurses heard that come from someone when they find out we’re in nursing? The comments include some like:

- Oh! You are so special to be a nurse; I could never do it!

- I faint at the sight of blood, could never be a nurse.

- How do you handle that work? I could never do what you do?

And if you work in a particular specialty, like ICU, ER or palliative care/hospice, the comments can be even more pointed. But, are nurses really that different from anyone else? I don’t think so.

There are lots of careers and jobs that I couldn’t do and I think it takes a special person to do it, just as people may think of nurses. I could never work with teens who are homeless because of the abuse they suffered at the hands of people who were supposed to care for them. I could never work at the SPCA, because I’d struggle with dealing with the abuse and neglect that many animals experience.

I could never be a farmer, the work is too long and too hard for me – and the stress and anxiety of wondering if nature would cooperate year after year would be too much for me to bear.

I couldn’t be a daycare provider – too many small kids would drive me loopy, and I think truck drivers are amazing because of the concentration and skill it can take to haul a heavy load safely around a bunch of bozo drivers. I could never run a corner store – the work involved in that is more than I’d be willing to put in, and I doubt that I’d make a good server. Annoying patrons would end up wearing their food instead of having it served to them.

The point I’m trying to make is I don’t think our choices make us any more special than anyone else. We all have our strengths and weaknesses – and that’s what makes this world so interesting.

What do you say when someone tells you that they could never do your job?

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Posted in Work-Life Balance

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