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Nurses! Backache isn’t necessarily just a symptom of being a nurse!

I recently discovered some shocking news that a RN I used to work with died of Cancer. She complained about back and body pain for ages but dismissed it as part of the package when you’re a nurse. Every nurse experiences backache…nothing to panic about right? She was oblivious to that fact that she had cancer until 2 months prior to her death. She continued serving others until the day she died.

Yes nursing is the noble profession and you do have a tendency to put others first when you’re a nurse…but there are times when you’ve got to use your skills and intuition to take care of yourself and that’s probably the most important thing you could do for the world and yes, for your patients too. We need more nurses…not less…so do everyone a favour and go get yourself regular check ups. You know better than to ignore persistent pain! Think about what you would tell your patient to do…

Afterthought: I find it really aggravating to know that in South Africa, the hospitals don’t provide regular mandatory checkups for health care workers. We’re surrounded by doctors and medical equipment everyday. It wouldn’t take much to have free health checks for staff at least 6 monthly, if not every month. Does your hospital provide you with regular check ups? Are there gyms freely available? Do they provide counselling if you’ve been through emotionally taxing experiences? Nurses are human beings not machines…with the kind of work we do, our employers owe us a lot more than a pay check.

  • M. Joannah

    I find it sad that as nurses, the wear and tear from the physical demands of your jobs  seems to be the expectation. Almost all nurses I know who have been practicing for a while have had some work-related injury or a history of “bad backs”. In other health professions this is unheard of.

    • Arkadia

       Hi Joannah!

      How are things going with you? Are you still in nursing? In the last few months, I’ve lost more nurse friends to work-related injuries/illnesses with no compensation or support from employers. It’s a crazy job!

      Do feel free to share some of your experiences. I’d love to hear from you again.