A nurse's post about how her profession entails so much more than meets the eye has resonated with people across the Internet.
Caitlin Brassington, a registered nurse from Australia, took to social media last week after a grocery store encounter she had with an acquaintance left her feeling upset.
“She has never seen me in uniform and said that she didn't realize I was 'just a nurse',” Brassington wrote. “Wow! Over my 18 year career I have heard this phrase many, many time, but today it got to me.”
The nurse decided it was time to break down why the role is so much more than “just” anything.
“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 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,” she wrote in a social media post. Later adding: “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!”
While her words went viral after striking a chord with people across the internet, Brassington hopes the post will spur people to give themselves and others more credit for what they do.
“I would also like for us as a society to stop using the word “just” when we talk about others and ourselves in reference to our occupation or vocation,” the nurse wrote in a blog post for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). “We are saving lives, shaping the minds of the future, and creating change. Stand tall, stand proud and support each other with unapologetic positivity.”
In the viral post, Brassington continued to describe the vast responsibilities her job entails. She's performed CPR, counseled grieving parents, and treated and managed illnesses, the nurse noted. She also has the ability to suture a wound, and manage a cardiac arrest among so many other skills.
“Am I just a nurse?” she wrote. “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.”
Since the post gained traction across social media, people have been commenting with sweet messages of gratitude and appreciation towards nurses.
But we should all try a little harder to be more respectful in our everyday lives, Brassington says. Ultimately we should be “giving more value to all of those roles that have been undervalued and diminished ... and learning how to speak to each other again,” she told ABC.
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