I’m an RN on a med/surg unit in a hospital, and I work 12 hour night shifts.
My first year working was very hard on me. I shed a lot of tears and wished I could quit. It was hard to focus on the lovely patients when some of them were so mean and difficult. I would get a serious feeling of dread in my gut whenever I had to leave home to go to work.
Fast forward another year, and I’m actually quite happy with my job! I’ve established great relationships with my coworkers and we support each other through thick and thin. I’m now comfortable with making serious decisions for the well being of my patients and I’m able to stay calm in emergency situations. My best nights are my “routine” nights when nothing crazy happens. There are also very sh*tty nights, like when you’re caring for 8 patients at a time, one is confused and combative, another is having trouble breathing, some old lady is on her call light every 30 minutes because she has to pee, and some jerk thinks you’re some kind of servant who will do everything for them, even if they are perfectly capable of doing things themselves. But those nights don’t happen all the time, and when they do, you know the next shift will likely be easier. I work at a wonderful facility where everyone jumps in to help the person with the crappy assignment. Of course, not all hospitals are as awesome as mine 😉
You get to help people get back on their feet when they’re at their worst.
You see something new every day and are constantly learning new things.
When you have a rough shift, you feel like a champion when it’s all over.
If you work 3 12-hour shifts in a row, you can get several days off afterward 😀
I make very good money!
Long hours on your feet, and some shifts you don’t even get a break.
Dealing with death and family members.
Risk of exposure to bodily fluids, risk of being hit by confused (or staight up crazy) patients, risk of hurting your back…lots of risks. But you will be trained on how to prevent all of these. And take it seriously, there is nasty stuff out there.
Patients who don’t appreciate anything you do for them, who feel entitled above everyone else, even if they’re not very sick. People who are repeatedly readmitted because of bad lifestyle choices and they just don’t learn from them.
Oh, and one more thing. I noticed you said you are a nice and gentle person. I think that is wonderful. But keep in mind that you can’t always be nice and gentle as a nurse. It’s a job that requires assertiveness, especially when dealing with difficult patients, cranky doctors, and emergency situations.