Nurses are vital figures in the healthcare industry, and while it is a well-compensated profession in Western countries, there are many problems that nurses face.

Doctors may think they are “superior,” but without nurses, hospitals cannot thrive. And gone are the days of generalist nursing. Nurses are now required to specialize. Standard specializations are in dialysis, heart surgeries, and neurosurgery, among others. You can also get help and focus on being a school nurse, if that’s your preference.

Nurses face many challenges work and relationship-wise, and listed below are some of these:

1. Nurses have to go through a lot of pressure and stress

nurses endure long hours and short staffed hospitalsNurses get a lot of pressure from doctors, fellow nurses, administrators, patients, and patients’ families. They have to endure this type of pressure every single day, and it can be difficult to be in a profession where you have to be extremely patient and understanding all the time.

Nurses are also expected to do overtime often, due to unexpected patient cases that they have to resolve before leaving. Doing overtime often can hurt nurses’ time for themselves and their families.

Nursing is one of the most stressful professions, and although the turnover is not that high due to excellent compensation, many nurses are ridden with many lifestyle-related illnesses such as diabetes, chronic insomnia, and heart disease.

2. Nurses have to take additional schooling

With now more nurses entering the profession, nursing now has many specializations of its own. Specializing requires further education, with expenses that have to be shouldered by the nurse. Nurses already have debts to pay from university, and now they have other debts to pay from graduate school. And the more you stay as a generalist nurse, the fewer opportunities you gain to advance in the profession.

3. Nurses have to do an immense amount of multi-tasking

nurses often do multi-taskingHospitals, especially public hospitals, are staggeringly understaffed. And because of this reality, nurses have to juggle several completely different tasks every day. It can be very stressful for nurses, and it can also hurt patients in the process. Giving the wrong medications and providing jumbled up instructions are common in hospitals because of the gravity of multitasking nurses must do.

Constant multitasking also increases nurses’ dissatisfaction with their work; thus, many public hospital nurses may choose to move to private institutions, or shift into teaching.

4. Nurses have to endure hospital risks

Nurses are exposed to different health hazards every day, and if they have weak immune systems, they may not endure. It is not only the risks of contaminants that they have to face. They must also be patient with verbal and physical abuses from stressed out patients and their families. Although nurses can report incidents like these, the fact that they have to endure these situations is both distressing and disturbing.

Nursing is a noble profession. But if these challenges are not adequately addressed by hospitals and the state, nurses may run into leaning towards other professions leaving behind a slew of patients needing assistance. Hospitals and the state should start looking into improving the state of nursing work and not just rely on doing financial compensations. Giving nurses the mental, physical and emotional support that they need is worth more than any other economic return that can be provided for them.