A nurse has spoken candidly about what it’s really like working at a hospital – and how she copes with the grief of losing patients.
The unnamed nurse revealed harrowing details of how no two days are ever the same at her job, from ‘removing the ventilator from a terminal patient’ to ‘cracking jokes’ with another who’s discharging home.
In a lengthy yet powerful post shared via Nurses Forum Facebook, she shared a bittersweet picture of herself in uniform shortly after treating a dying patient.
‘This is the face of defeat. The face after 26 minutes of CPR. The face after losing a patient in code,’ she said.
‘The face after hearing children sob for their dying mother. The face after telling a mother that she will never hold her daughter again. This. Is. Pain.’
The nurse (pictured) revealed harrowing details of how no two days are ever the same at her job, from ‘removing the ventilator from a terminal patient’ to ‘cracking jokes’ with another who’s discharging home
After experiencing a tragic day at work, the nurse said she would normally go home and ‘cry in the shower’.
‘We leave work and drive home in silence but we still hear all the noise. We hug our children and smile when we walk in the door. When we get asked how our day was, we reply with, “good!”,’ she said.
‘We toss and turn causing a sleepless night because we cannot get images and sounds out of our minds. We wake up, walk back in, and we do it again with a smile.’
The photograph shows the ‘exhausted’ nurse, looking blankly at the camera following a day of mixed emotions.
‘This is the face of under appreciated and over looked. We are tired and we are sore. We are physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted,’ she said.
‘We all wear this face. You may not see it because we hide it well. You don’t always see the sadness, but it’s there. The reactions we have could end a life and the split second decisions could save another.’
After experiencing a tragic day at work, the nurse said she would normally go home and ‘cry in the shower’ (stock image)
The nurse said their patients are their number on priority at work – as they treat everyone equally despite being spat on or threatened.
‘We sacrifice meals. We eat as we hover over you. Taking bites by our computers and running in your room to make sure you are still stable. To make sure you have the medications you need. We don’t put ourselves first. Never. You are our priority,’ she said.
‘We don’t pass judgement. We treat you all the same. We stand our guard as we provide top notch care to violent patients. We have to start IVs and complete assessments as we are cussed at, spit on, threatened, and belittled. We get hit and pinched. We don’t quit. Through verbal and physical abuse, we advocate for you. We break our backs to save you.
‘The reason you are my patient does not skew the care you are given. We have held the hand of murderers, rapists, thieves, drug users, drug dealers, drunk drivers, and racists. The care is unchanged. It’s all compassionate and it’s all real. We are genuine.’
Despite the traumatic experiences she’s endured at work, she said she wanted to remind everyone: ‘If you know a nurse, thank them.
‘This is the face of bravery and strength. This is the face of unconditional love and perseverance. This is the face of someone determined to save your life.
‘We aren’t as okay as we always seem. Our faces may be misleading and sometimes we need to know that what we do and the pain we endure while doing it, is worth it.’
The social media post, which was shared on September 29, has since amassed more than 17,000 ‘likes’ and 19,000 ‘shares’.