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Caitlin Brassington Shares Why You Shouldn't Say Someone Is 'Just a Nurse'

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Nurses are used to being healthcare’s unsung heroes – but being under appreciated is different than people thinking your job is easy or without value.

Just ask Caitlin Brassington, an Australian nurse who is tired of being told she is “just a nurse.” On Friday, Brassington shared on Facebook a conversation she had with an acquaintance that left her thinking about how important nurses truly are.

“I am just home from a busy shift, looking very ordinary in my scrubs,” Brassington began. “On the way home today I stopped at the shop for milk and saw an acquaintance. She has never seen me in uniform and said that she didn’t realise I was ‘just a nurse’. Wow! Over my 18 year career I have heard this phrase many, many time, but today it got to me. Am I just a nurse?”

Brassington went on to describe all of the valuable, life-saving jobs nurses do. “I have helped babies into the world, many of whom needed assistance to take their first breath, and yet I am just a nurse,” she wrote. “I have performed CPR on patients and brought them back to life, and yet I am just a nurse.”

A nurse’s care goes beyond taking care of you — they also look after your family, she said, even if that means missing time with their own families. “I will miss Christmas Days, my children’s birthdays, and school musicals to come to work to care for your loved one, and yet I am just a nurse.”

So far Brassington’s post has been liked over 7,000 times and has almost 2,000 shares. “I think it is a reasonably common, throwaway comment, which I think is the point of my Facebook post,” Brassington told BuzzFeed News. “Obviously, it is about being a nurse, but I think it is also about all of those people, be they teachers, mums, or shop keepers, who feel diminished or undervalued in their jobs and roles. It is about showing each other some respect and not placing a worth or value on someone’s job title.”

Since Brassington’s post went viral, more nurses have chimed in, commenting that they feel similarly. “I am a ‘retired’ nurse of over 40 years experience. We do so much more than most people realise. Thank you for putting some of it into words, and keep on doing the amazing work you do at work and at home,” one commenter wrote.

Others added words of praise and gratitude. “Nurses are wonderful wonderful caring beautiful people. You should be proud my dear for all that you do for people and for all that you make them feel. Some patients have no one but their nurse to care for them and make them feel human and you do that everyday. Keep up the great work,” another wrote.

You can read Brassington’s full post below.

Originally published: October 13, 2016
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