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Living and being a nurse has never been easy task. Even until going to bed you are still wondering and bothered, ‘how are my patients in the hospital?’, or ‘did I sign all my forms needed in the chart?’, or ‘did I miss a certain medication for my patient?’ Truly, there is a 24-hour responsibility when you are a nurse. You have to endure sleepless nights, burning midnight oil like Florence Nightingale, just to take care of the sick. You have to skip a meal or two just to make yourself available to all patients’ demands. Sometimes, you have to miss important holidays and even celebrating your own birthday just to attend to the needs of people you just encountered. But despite all these desperate efforts and unimaginable role, nurses are waged with monetary compensation that doesn’t serve justice at the table, at all.

nurse-perks

If you will just jot down all the downsides of being a nurse, it may take you forever. But have you tried brainstorming what are the perks of being a nurse? What are the things that make nurses happy or satisfied with their job?

Well, let’s see if you agree to some of the perks listed below:

15. Wide-range of career opportunities to choose from. Nursing is not limited to hospitals alone. Flight nurse, military nurse, private duty nurse, community nurse, entrepreneur nurse, nurse anesthesiologist, nurse practitioner, nurse writer, nurse working in the health-related offices, clinical instructor… well, I think I made my point. Nurses can be everywhere.

14. Nurses are good in bed… bed making, bed bath, bed side care, name them all! Admit it. Nursing skills come in handy even at home, and that’s one perk of a nurse to be proud of. So when you see someone mitering their own bed linen, or conscious about proper body mechanics, and very particular in hand hygiene, most probably she/he is a nurse.

13. Having medical background can be really useful especially if someone in your family or your loved ones get sick. Most nurses how to perform first aid, give first-line of treatment, and able to detect early signs of diseases (though sometimes we overreact just like hypochondriacs). These are only but a few things every nurse’s family should be proud of.

12. Nurses are very resourceful and innovative.Unavailable medical supplies can’t stop the nurses to get the job done. Nurses know how to explore all avenues. They do not allow the grass grow under their feet because for nurses: adversity begets creativity.

11. Master of prescription. We, nurses love to self-prescribe. Most of us are guilty on this! We are quite privilege to know the common medications, so we tend to try them for ourselves when we get sick.

10. Free consultation. Nurses collaborate with doctors. So when a nurse needs some health advice, ‘Hi doc, I think I’m not feeling well; what is the best medication you prescribe for a headache?’ No need for clinic consultation at all.

9. Nurses know how to hit a lot of birds with one stone. They run the hospital like supernatural creatures: answering the phone, while making NCP, while signing the medication sheet, while observing the cardiac rhythm at the monitor.

8. You’ve got to chance to meet different people from all walks of life. You’ll not only know the history of their disease, sometimes you’ll get the chance to know their life stories.

7. When the patient calls you by your first name. A nurse takes care of different strangers every day, and sometimes they may not be able to recall the people they have taken care of. But for patients? They will always remember their favorite nurses, for a lifetime.

6. Gaining patient’s trust. Wearing your nurse’s uniform entitles you to become patient’s advocate. The moment a patient walks into hospital doors, they rely their lives to nurse’s care.

5. To witness the journey of individuals across the lifespan. Nurses are witnesses of a baby’s first cry and the patient’s last breath. They are the ones who hold a patient’s hand during delivery or during their dying moments. They are there while patients fight against death and disease. As they vowed to serve, nurses will always be there for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, even in your deathbed.

4. A chance to save lives. As nurses serve patients, they develop characteristics that would otherwise be difficult to cultivate in the fast-paced, competitive world of professionals such as empathy, sympathy, care, gentleness, patience, compassion, humility, a sense of dignity and honor, honesty, integrity and responsibility in a sense that what you hold is not money, nor is it a business, but it is lives.

3. Nurses receive endless thanks from the patient, folks, and other health care members. Sometimes, when nurses get lucky, we are given free food out of mere gratitude! When people recognize a nurse’s effort, it makes a nurse’s heart melt. So, whether it comes through words, through food, or any token of heartfelt gratitude, appreciation makes a nurse’s day.

2. When you see your patient finally waving good bye. It’s sad but fulfilling at the same time to see your patient passing through the hospital corridors, while thanking you, for what you’ve done during their hospital stay.

1. Last but certainly not the least, and this I believe is the greatest perk of being a nurse: at the end of your shift, when it’s time to unroll your sleeves, you get this sense of satisfaction and a sense of purpose in life. And as the day closes, you can say to yourself— I became a blessing for someone today.

Our words may seem insignificant but it can spark someone’s hope, our smiles may seem unnoticed but it can lighten someone’s affliction, and our touch may seem not of worth but it makes a difference. Nurses will always be a hero, in some way, for someone, every duty day. And that is priceless!

Nursing may be our occupation, and RN is our title, but caring will always be the sole purpose of this profession.

So what do you think are the other perks of being a nurse? Share it with us. Write your comments below and let your ideas be heard.

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Rina Malones is currently working as a critical care/acute stroke nurse. Besides from blogging, she's also studying International Health at University of the Philippines Open University.