- Business Insider asked nurses to share the hardest parts of their job.
- Many said seeing patients die after doing everything to care for them is the hardest part.
- Other challenges include long shifts, having to use time-consuming technology, and a lack of respect from other people in the healthcare industry.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Working as a nurse isn’t easy.
Nurses have some of the most stressful jobs in the country. Nursing will be among the fastest growing professions by 2026, but the American Association of Colleges of Nursing still expects there to be a shortage in the coming years.
The shortage may result from decreased nursing-school enrollment, aging baby boomers, and insufficient staffing, AACN said.
Business Insider spoke to dozens of nurses on the most challenging parts about their job — and many agreed losing patients hurts the most.
Other problems with the job include dealing with hospital politics, getting insulted by others in the healthcare industry, and working shifts so long there’s no time to use the bathroom.
Here are eight of the hardest parts about being a nurse.
If you’re a nurse with a story to share, email email@example.com.
Seeing the death of their patients.
Most nurses said seeing the death of patients was the hardest part of their job, including Heather, a nurse from North Carolina, and Chelsey Rodgers, a former nurse who now runs an education company called Tribe RN.
"Seeing those patients you took care of die and how devastating it is to the family" is the hardest part of being a nurse, said Melissa, a nurse from Oklahoma city.
Megan, a nurse who works in Ohio, said she struggles to keep from crying during difficult situations: "We do not have the luxury of crying, we have to keep moving. Death… Death is so hard until it’s a blessing. Then explaining that … That is the worst."
Dealing with judgmental opinions about their occupation.
"It is often hard to explain to people what we do," said a nurse from Pennsylvania who wished to stay anonymous. "There is a notion that I’m ‘just a nurse’ and I struggle to explain to people that this is what I want. No, this is not a step to medical school. No, I never thought about being a [physician assistant]. I am a nurse, and I am proud of that."
Long, arduous shifts.
The hardest part about being a nurse for Beth, a nurse from Wisconsin, is the "total mental, emotional and physical exhaustion by the end of a shift."
"Then getting up to do it all over again 6 hours later," she adds.
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