Critical care nurse blogger Cassandra Leese on her generous benefits package
It is widely acknowledged that you don’t go into nursing for the money. Certainly not for the wildly unsociable hours, the tyranny of night shifts or the benefits package.
Free gym membership and private healthcare? Not a chance. A friend recently expressed horror on hearing about the length of the breaks, and almost fell off his chair when I mentioned we don’t get free tea and coffee.
Despite this, there are small and seemingly inconsequential perks to the job that I imagine people working in the more sedate professions rarely relish in quite the same way.
Yes, I’m talking about finally getting to go to the toilet after hours of putting it off to accomplish just one more task; lying down after a 13-hour shift and discovering a whole new appreciation of your bed; the taste of fresh air and the breeze on your face when you leave the hospital - particularly first thing on a frosty winter’s morning, and last thing at night when the stars are out and a glass of your favourite tipple is beckoning.
Driving to work in the wee hours when everyone is safely tucked up and the roads are clear can be especially pleasant. As can a drink of water when you’ve been frothing at the mouth for hours.
Coming home after every single working day knowing, without doubt, that the work you do is valuable can keep you going after a particularly bad day. As can the high after a crazy shift and the utter, utter, bliss of knowing you have a few days off in a row.