What Do You Mean, ‘Just a Nurse’? *

nurse with clipboard

Caitlyn Brassington an Australian Nurse, shared an emotional testimonial on social media where she revealed that “many, many, times over” in the course of her 18-year career, she’s been referred to as “just a nurse”—and she finally decided to speak up!

“I have helped babies into the world, many of whom needed assistance to take their first breath, and yet I am just a nurse, “she posted on Facebook, which got over 3,600 likes. “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.”

Caitlyn mentions that she is the ears, eyes, and hands of medical officers and that she misses out on Christmases and birthdays of her own children whilst she cares for patients. “I have the experience and knowledge that has saved peoples’ lives. So, if I’m just a nurse, then I am ridiculously proud to be one!” she wrote.

Other nurses reacted to her post and one said, “As nurses, we don’t do what we do for thanks or praise, but when you get it, it’s lovely to be appreciated.”

“They’re a very, very important part of the care,” said Homayoon Sanati, Medical Director of the Memorial Care Breast Centre and Oncologist in California at the Orange Coast Memorial Medical Centre. “They do a lot of the work that often is unrecognised. A medical team is very large and they are part of the puzzle.” He talked about how nurses are the ones who start the IV treatments, record vital signs, and stabilise patients when they are first admitted into the hospital. Nurses may get their orders from doctors, but they are the ones who carry out the treatments. Nurses advocate, collaborate and coordinate care.

Nurses are capable of serving in several settings such as the ICU, inpatient, outpatient, end-of-life care, home care, act as Nurse Practitioners, and they can and often do manage whole medical floors in hospitals, Dr. Sanati says, “Really, they are the front line of our medical care.”

Nurses are with you all the time – there’s a real intimacy. They may wash your body, sit and talk to you when you’re upset about something, and make sure you’re OK,” They’re usually the first ones to notice when a patient needs special or extra care.

Hawkins says, “It is not that I am ‘just’ a nurse, I am a NURSE – and there is a big difference.”

To make a difference in people’s lives, and care for patients, register as a nurse with HCA today!