A lot of registered nurses will tell you that just getting through the schooling required is the hardest part of being a professional nurse. But once you’re there, you still face challenges every day.
As with any profession, one of the hardest parts is dealing with inter-office politics. It can be extremely frustrating. Dealing with difficult co-workers, an apathetic and unhelpful administration, or the demanding families of patients can take its toll on a person emotionally.
Also, the responsibility of knowing that the very well-being of patients is in your hands can add to the tremendous weight already on your shoulders.
Depending on where you’re practicing as a nurse, you may also find it hard to deal with trauma patients. Serious injuries often leave even seasoned nurses slightly shaken. It can be hard to maintain the level of professionalism and compassion necessary to be helpful to patients when so much mental effort is put into dealing with these issues. Another difficult aspect of nursing is the physicality of the job. Being on your feet for entire 12 hour shifts, re-positioning/and even lifting patients, and getting used to night shift work can all put stress on your body. When you combine the mental and emotional stresses with those very real physical stresses, it can definitely weaken the resolve of even the most prepared nurses.
In fact, recent news from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that nursing tops the list of occupations with the most work-related injuries. All the stresses combined with an ever increasing obesity epidemic in the United States accounts for this unfortunate trend.
Some good news, however, is that many modern hospitals and health-care facilities are installing hydraulic patient lifts or hiring orderlies specifically tasked with helping nurses with the daily lifting of patients. But no matter how much help you get, the job will always be at least somewhat physical.
Still, like with any job, with time, you’ll learn to deal with these difficulties and maintain your composure. It’s then that you’ll be able to fully enjoy all the benefits of a career as a travel nurse.