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Hardships of being registered nurse in 2021

Being a nurse is not easy, this is can’t be stated enough especially considering what has gone on in the world in the past 12 months. While I have made videos in the past talking about how you should become a nurse and how amazing it is, there are some things that you may want to know before you consider being a bedside registered nurse.


1) Easily disgusted.

Being a nurse, you see everything and anything with the human body. There are secretions from the eyes all the way from the legs. If purulent fluids, urine and any bodily fluids disgust you, you may consider other areas of nursing than a bedside nurse. Thank god my sense of smell is not that great because you will smell some these secretions that will you make you think twice about choosing to become a registered nurse. And no my lack of sense of smell is not from a certain virus going around this is a chronic thing for me.


2) You are afraid of death.

Dying is a natural process of life, often people die in the hospital and who is the one who notices an imminent death? That’s right a nurse. A nurse is most often the person that is providing care until the last breaths of a person that means you may have to be there for someone who actively dying and this can be mentally distressing for people.


3) Frustrated easily

The healthcare system is not perfect therefore there will be a lot of logistical issues that do not make sense but are in place and you have to follow them. A great example is in my hospital for the longest time there was a policy stating that we cannot enforce people of the public to wear a mask despite being in a pandemic. Therefore people could come into the hospital to visit their family and refuse to wear a mask. This took weeks to change and it was quite frustrating. There are many more situations like this and if you get easily bothered by these types of situations nursing may not be for you!


4) Patient violence and aggression

Patients are in their worse state of minds when they enter the hospital. They are sick and have conditions that can make them do things they do not usually do. As a nurse you are the person taking care of them for 12 hours in a day and they sometimes yell, swear and even hit you. As a result it so important for nurses to be able to have a high level of tolerance for this and to not take things personally and to understand that you need to approach people in a safe way.


5) Are not intrinsically motivated to help

As mentioned the hospital is not a place where people come when they are happy. This is not a time where they tend to care about people around them, they just want to feel better and leave. The hospital tries to provide this to them in the most time efficient way possible. The combination of this ultimately leaves you with the feeling that you are always rushed to provide care and the patient often does not care to know what you are doing and ultimately is not grateful. Now personally, I have internalized this and understand that people do not really think too much about saying thanks or being grateful for your care. Nor am I a person to want to have praise for my work. But the fact of the matter is, you will get people that do not care much about who you are and do not understand that you are providing excellent care. So essentially you are constantly dealing with people that may not care to be grateful or do not understand to be grateful and by the time they get better they are out the door as soon as possible to make room for the next person. And that can take a toll on people as you are constantly seeing people are angry, upset and tired which lead to burnout. However, like I said, if you understand this, you will be fine. Also, this is not to say that this is the case for ALL patients that I have had, but I would say that this is definitely a majority. I have had many patients come back to the hospital once they’ve been better and write cards for their appreciate for the care which is quite a nice feeling.



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