Friday, December 12, 2008

A Rant

Just as I was almost finished carrying 150 pounds of dialysis solution (not all at once), one of the nurses said to me, "I wish I didn't have to work hard, unlike you." Huh? While, I freely admit I have not worked in the physically demanding position of a floor nurse in almost nine years, research certainly has its own demands. These demands I do not need to explore because I am very well aware of what they are and the detailed responsibilities that accompany a job that requires one to be a sales person, pharmacist, regulatory specialist, vendor liaison, patient and staff educator, and a nurse. What I would like to view more in depth is how others denigrate white collar jobs that are not as physical as others. How many have heard or even whined themselves about how someone's boss does nothing while the subordinates slave away doing all of the work in the company? For example: construction workers may realize the building won't get built without them, but they would be short-sighted in believing it was only being built by their hard work. It also takes vision, architects, blue prints, and someone in an office coordinating scheduling, materials, investors, etc.

I don't want to dismiss the service and labor industries. The people that work in the fields are vital resources and should be appreciated, but those same people need to understand that we all work, and a less physical job may have untold responsibilities and pressures those who have never been in that position will never understand.

While moving dialysate is the most physical my job ever gets; it's also the easiest. It's true that while the dialysis nurses and technicians are on their feet performing direct patient care, I'm sitting in my office, but how much understanding or willingness to care about the work that goes into every single person I screen for a study is there? Do they know the frustration of spending hours on obtaining all the information required for the pharmaceutical companies on each patient only for at least half of the patients to fail screening? Do they even want to know an hour was wasted convincing a drug company that a two week supply of medication only lasts two weeks? Yes; that really happened.

I wonder how that same nurse would react if she was told by one of the patient techs how much harder they work than the nurses?


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