Nursing students, and even some medical staff, have been sharing stories of their nurses being “crazy” at work.
The nurse-led group, Nurse Jackies, has grown to more than 1,500 members across the country, and they are all passionate about helping people with mental health problems.
They often share stories of a nurse getting stuck in a dark room with a patient who was in pain.
In one particularly humorous post, one patient in particular got a very strange look on her face.
“I just sat on the bed and stared at her,” said one post on the group.
“I was thinking: ‘This is insane.'”
The group has grown over the past couple of years, and the story of the nurse-doctor relationship is one of its biggest hits, but it is also a reminder of how challenging it can be for nurses to work in an environment where many people are more likely to view them as an outsider.
“People have this notion that nurses are weird,” said Marie Cunha, an RN who has worked in a clinical setting for over 20 years.
“And there are some who are.
But they are just normal nurses who really work in the clinical setting.”
Cunha said the idea that nurses should be considered “crazy”, that they should be treated differently, and that they shouldn’t be able to work as a “normal” nurse is a misconception.
The problem is exacerbated when a nurse feels that their work is too stressful or too dangerous.
While many people may see nurses as being a “crazy person”, Cunhas says, the truth is that nurses can be the best care givers in the world.
“In some cases, people may feel that they have to work more than a normal nurse does,” she said.
But she also thinks it’s important to remember that the nursing profession is a “relatively safe profession” where the vast majority of people can relate to the role.
“It’s a highly demanding profession that requires a lot of hard work and commitment,” she explained.
“You need a lot to get where you want to be.”
But for some, nurses’ work is just that.
In a survey conducted by the National Nurses Association, the vast majorities of respondents agreed that nurse-based healthcare is more challenging than other professions.
In fact, the survey found that 76 per cent of respondents said they felt stressed about the job.
And in the same survey, 77 per cent said they feel that their patients feel the same.
Cunhas believes that the reality is that it is the nurses who are suffering.
“If you have a lot more stress in a nurse-managed setting than in any other setting, you have more problems.
It’s because of the stress of the work that they’re doing,” she explains.
“They’re constantly monitoring the patient.”
Cunas worries that a lot nurses have internalized the message that they are “crazy”.
“We have this image that nurses have to be crazy, and you have to have a very strict work schedule, that you have been working in this for a very long time,” she added.
“That’s just not the reality.
I’ve seen nurses who have been there for more than 25 years and they’ve done a really good job.
I have seen them in their 50s.
They’ve worked their way through their careers.”
But despite the challenges, nurses are often able to help other people in need.
In a recent report from the National Alliance for Mental Health and Addiction (NAMI), 91 per cent reported having had at least one patient with a mental health issue in their practice in the past year.
Cunnas says that her group has helped countless people, both in her field and elsewhere, and has even been approached by healthcare professionals in the future.
She also says that nursing is a profession that is very different to the medical profession.
“When we were in medical school, we were trained as a nurse, but we were also trained as medical nurses,” she recalled.
“We were also taught to be able talk to the patient and we were taught to use our hands, which is what we do now.”
“It’s so hard to be a nurse.
We’re not doctors or nurses.
We are people.
We want to help people.”
Cunna said she has had positive experiences working with patients.
But she also believes that nurses need to be more aware of the fact that not everyone has the same skills.
“Nurses are not just nurses, they’re people,” she pointed out.
“There are some nurses who can do a lot better than other people.
And there are others who are more experienced and skilled than the average person.
But we need to think about that.”
NAMI is a not-for-profit organisation that works to promote health, safety and wellbeing through education, research and advocacy.
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