1. They do the jobs that no one else wants to do.

When nurses and CNAs go to work they have no idea what that day has in store for them. What they can expect, though, is that they will have to do something that the rest of us would never in a million years think about doing. Outsiders cannot imagine the personal things that a nurse or CNA must do to ensure the health of their patient. This part of their job often gets overlooked by us outsiders, but we owe the utmost respect to those who are willing to do the necessary jobs that we cannot picture ourselves doing.

2. They are there for you when you are scared.

I know from experience that being in a hospital can be nerve-racking, especially if you do not completely understand what is going on. Whenever I have found myself in one of these situations, it has always been my nurses that have made me feel comfortable. These nurses might not have all the answers, but they will tell you what you need to know to feel a little more at ease. Even a little peace of mind can go a long way in these situations.

3. They are there for family members.

Many of us also know what it is like to sit at the bedside of a loved one. We know how it feels to have no control over the situation at hand, and this can be an extremely helpless feeling. Nurses are the ones who help us move forward through these feelings. When family members see the bright and smiling face of the nurse walk through the door it makes them feel as though things are and will continue to be okay. Even if this is unfortunately not the case, the comforting care of the nurse gives strength to the family members who in turn can continue to support their loved one.

4. They are the type of people who truly care about your needs.

It takes a special kind of person to be a nurse or a CNA. Not everyone wakes up and decides they want to pursue a career path that will put themselves through torture just so they can make others feel better. When you have this kind of person caring for you, you know that they will be ready and willing to tend to your needs. Just by their job title you know that they are not selfish and that they will be willing to help you every step of the way.

5. They worked hard to get where they are.

Becoming a nurse, or even a CNA for that matter, is in no way an easy task. The work is abundant and arduous, and those who make it through all the classes and clinicals might even acknowledge that they probably couldn’t do it twice. These people know it is worth it in the end, though, and they are right. Looking after living beings is a vital task; we need the best of the best for this, and so we must respect the rigorous process that preparing for such a career path entails, but we should especially respect those who actually make it through it.

6. Their work is emotionally taxing.

When most people go to work the job entails communicating with and getting to know other people. When nurses and CNAs go to work, they share in this experience, but often get to know their patients on a very personal level. It is human nature to bond with those that you work with day after day, and so it is easy for a nurse to become connected to a patient and their situation. What happens when that patient does not get better? This is not an uncommon occurrence in the medical profession, and it needs to be noted; watching anyone suffer or fade away is never easy, but it is especially hard on those who have formed a bond or connection with this person. This can be a daily struggle for nurses who have to carry on as if everything is always just fine.

7. They take time away from their own families to help yours.

If you know anybody who is a nurse, you know that the hours that they work can be borderline ridiculous (many even cross that border). These hours that they spend working sedulously to care for other peoples’ loved ones are hours that they are missing with their own. As has been noted, it takes a special kind of person to be a nurse and they will not often complain to anyone about their situation, but that does not mean that it isn’t hard. We need to remember that they have families too, and yet they have chosen to be there to care for ours.

8. They have power over you.

No, your nurse is probably not going to drug you in your sleep if you are rude to them; however, you are under their care, and it might be in your best interest to be respectful to them. Nurses are smart; they put a lot of hard work in to get to where they are, and you can bet your bottom dollar that they know how to do little things that will be just irritating enough to get you back. This will not always be the case, but you never know...so just be respectful.

9. They get overlooked.

We have heard it a million times; nurses are not doctors and CNAs are not nurses. We are always hearing things that point us towards thinking less of a profession that should be regarded as one of the most respectable professions out there. When we think about hospitals we think about doctors, surgeries, chaos, but we rarely think about the nurses, and if we do, it is usually an afterthought. Nurses are a major part of the hospital experience, and they deserve much more recognition than they get.

10. We need them.

For all the reasons that have been stated, and many, many more, we need nurses and CNAs. They truly are the unsung heroes, and we owe a lot to their kind care. Without them, the medical system would not work. They look after our loved ones; they care for and look after those who don’t have any loved ones to be there for them. They sacrifice a lot of themselves for the care of others and their work is often unnoticed. These people are courageous and resilient. They will never ask for the acknowledgement that they deserve, but I will. So, next time you experience a nurse or CNA, please don’t forget to say thank you. They probably will not be expecting it, but it can make a world of difference.