Wo kommen wir denn da hin?
When you’re done with watching “Germany’s Next Topmodel”, take a second to think about what we are doing at 11pm. We look at 30% of burnt skin surface in our emergency room – without any lipgloss. And we save a patient’s life. It smells, and it is disgusting. And we cannot do anything more than to wish our patients to be unconscious, because we do not want to watch patients having pain. Because we’re faced with that day by day.
Our cocktail evening means alcohol detoxination of a 14 year old girl. Is this your daughter? And twenty seconds on we’re in the next room, wiping vomitus from the floor. This is no fun to us, but as you may expect professionality, we examinate it on traces of blood and scent. Our daily I’m-a-star-get-me-out-of-here.
There’s days when we cry on our way to work, and there’s days when we cry on our ways back home. Because we refuse to not take care of our patients. Because we just do not know where to start and where to end with tasks we did not choose – although we chose our profession wisely. Because we held the hand of a dying patient, whose smile encouraged us, just a few days ago, to go on, because it is worth it to face the undersupply we call “nursing”.
On Saturday afternoon, our primary question is not “Gummibears or crisps?”, it is not “Hamburger SV or Bayern Munich?” either. It is “Why are we only two on late shift again?” And we wonder every second Saturday. And on Sundays, too. Yet our mileage succeeds Borussia Dortmund every day. Whereas, and this still is a slight difference though, they are eleven on eleven.
I know that it is easy to say “I never could do this.” And, of course, “sooner or later, everyone is faced with it.” Please allow me to relinquish every subtile compassion. Not everyone can be a nurse. Instead of compassion, respect would be the appropriate reaction. And not “sooner or later”.
In Germany, the nurses have been cheated of the “year of nursing 2011”. The only official statement of the federal government has been a video clip stating that “you should be doing it with your heart”. A nursing company in Berlin received coffee and brezels by our health minister. This is condescending in a severe and injuring way: We’re life preservers, not coffee consumers. Are we worth the work of craftsmen? Oh, we aren’t? Well, maybe we’re allowed to pay by embraces in our local supermarket. Because you should be doing it with your heart…