We Are Not Superheroes, And That's A Good Thing
I gotta tell y'all, it feels pretty cool to be a part of a profession that has an entire WEEK dedicated to celebrating it.
I am genuinely grateful that there is such thing as Nurses week so that people do become aware of and remember to be grateful for the hard work that nurses put in day in and day out.
But I am also genuinely aware that this week reveals a very dark part of my heart.
For me, I love a lot of things about nursing, but the one thing I have to always be mindful of is, not letting me being a nurse be the main source of my identity.
Many people elevate nursing to be this sort of "super profession" that only certain people are cut out to do.
And while I agree that certain people are cut out for different professions, callings, and careers, I'm just not so sure I'm any more gifted at being a nurse than you are at being an accountant.
And when I get caught up in all the hype about how awesome you have to be to be a nurse, it does bad things for my pride and makes my despair, when mistakes happen or poor outcomes occur, that much worse.
So I am writing today to clear the air. To lift a weight off of your shoulders as nurses, and to better relate to my other friends, patients, and family members as readers.
I am writing to clarify one thing: Nurses are not superheroes.
And here's why...
We Break Too
Sometimes nurses are seen as these humans who can handle anything. Any scenario, any diagnosis, any sickness, we can take it.
And while many of us do have an incredible ability to compartmentalize (which I'm convinced is one of God's many provisions for us), we are still human. And we can break too.
We do hurt with you. We do feel your frustrations. We do genuinely want to see you get better.
But what many of us, as nurses, so often forget is that we can break too.
And if we aren't careful, if we continue to carry this title of superhero and try to bear the burdens of every patient and every family and every diagnosis by our own efforts, we will break too.
We Are Not In Control
This is one I seriously struggle with. I so desperately want to be in control. I want to know why this is happening to my patient, what I'm supposed to do about it, and then I want to fix them.
And if those things don't happen, I become very frustrated.
I hate sitting and waiting and speculating and NOT KNOWING.
But the hard truth is, we as nurses are not in control.
(We aren't even in control of when the doctors come by!! So I'm really not sure why this one is so difficult for me to grasp...)
But when we elevate ourselves to superhuman, or superheroes, or super nurses, we often times expect the treatments we provide to be able to cure our patients.
But sometimes our patients won't be cured.
Sometimes, the problems we face won't be fixed.
And either way, in all circumstances, we do not determine those things.
We Are Not The Heroes
There has been and always will be a need for nurses in this world.
But we are not the heroes that this world so desperately needs.
You want to know why I think people respect people like Nurses, Firefighters, Police Officers, Doctors, EMTs, and teachers so much?
The people in these professions do the work that Christ did when He walked on this earth.
The people who work in these professions care for, rescue, teach, and protect their neighbors, just as Jesus did - whether it be because they are believers or just because they are paid to perform this work, they are doing His work.
Jesus is the real hero, the real savior, the real physician, and the ultimate teacher that people need!
We may be called to do His work, but we are not called to take His place.
And this isn't only true for nurses and firefighters and police officers, this is true for every single one of us.
Every single one of us has been given a job to do while we are here on this earth.
Maybe you're a mom, a dad, an accountant, a mechanic, a contractor, or a friend, whatever your occupation is, you are called to continue to carry out the work of Christ.
Because Jesus was a friend, and is our friend. He was a son. He is our teacher. He was a builder. And He calls us to continue to let Him use us to build His kingdom.
I hope nurses are well celebrated this week. But I also hope that we do not attempt to carry the weight that comes with being seen as a hero.
I pray we instead would point others to the only one who can truly save your life.
"For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it."-Matthew 16:25