Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Another Day, Another Dollar

I really get pissed off when I hear nurses complaining about the money they make. "I don't make nearly enough money to put up with this crap." "I didn't go to school to make this shitty wage."

You cannot place a dollar amount on nursing. It is part of your soul, not part of your bank account. If I placed a dollar amount on everything I do as a woman, I'd be a hell of a lot richer than I am right now. My farts would even be worth money. I'm just not saying how much.

The other day, Negative Nelly was standing around the nursing station spewing her poison. "This is bullshit! I need more money to do this job. I should just quit. Do you know how much doctors make? And we spend more time with the patients. And the patients are assholes." I continued to stack charts in the back corner and just rolled my eyes.

"I'm serious! We don't have to put up with this. I could find another job like that," she said as she snapped her finger.

Sigh............... I slowly turned around, physically holding my tongue between my teeth.

"What? You don't agree?" She popped her gum and gestured her index finger at me.

"Nope," I replied as I set the charts in my hands back on the counter. I walked toward her as I wrapped my stethoscope around my neck. "Nope, I don't."

"Hmph" she said.

"I think I make plenty of money," I replied. "I think you make plenty of money. Our job is not all that hard. Yes, there are times when we are crazy busy and we think the world is falling apart. Yes, there are times when someone's life hangs in our hands. But you know what? There are plenty of people out there who work a hell of a lot harder than us. There are people that come home utterly exhausted, full of dirt and grime and bitterness - people who performed hard physical labor for hours straight without so much as a break. There are people who have gone to college for double the amount of time we have, yet make 1/2 our wages. How about the people that spend months away from their loved ones doing some horribly dangerous job and come home to piles of bills and wondering why they ever even work in the first place. There are people who.....................You know what? If you don't like your job and the money you make, then why don't you find another one?"

Where the hell did that come from?

They were all staring at me like I had 2 heads - one of which was spewing pus from it's mouth.

"I'm sorry," I said. "I just think it's so sad that nurses complain about the money we make when there are tons of people who wish they had our job and made the money we do."

Holy Soapbox Batman! I'm climbing down now!

Seriously though, I do get perturbed (that word looks so strange)about that. How many other careers in this world can you have a STARTING wage close to or at $30.00/hr? Not very many. And we're complaining? Sure we have to deal with combative patients, patients covered in feces, or even those that are dying in front of us. How can you put a price tag on that? You can't. Do we need to? If you are in nursing only to make a buck, you are in the wrong field.

3 comments:

This is Jonathan & Tammy Reynolds' blog spot said...

Bravo!!

Tabitha said...

As a social worker in an ER who makes HALF the pay of an RN in the ER - I especially know that I do what I do for the sake of doing it and not the money. I get ALL the psych patients and arrange all the psych transfers, all the rapes, traumas, codes, assaults, domestics, and other varied fun things like child abuse cases. If I held out for the money it would take to pay an ER worker what they deserve- I wouldn't ever be able to find a job.

Melissa said...

Wow, all I can say is that was really well said!

I wanted to become a doctor before I decided nurse could be more me and although I could make more as a doctor I don't feel like it would be me. The thing I like about nursing is that they're the ones that (I feel..) do the work that helps keep the patients alive and that's what I want to do.

Plus, we have soldiers out there risking their lives making a lot less than the nurses make.
I think the feeling of saving someones life, keeping a family together makes it worthwhile. (Not that I would know.)