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> for extremely low pay

Not sure where you are from, but here in Canada nurses lead very cushy lives. Salaries of 80 to 120K are not uncommon, and that's with 4 weeks of vacation, 1 day in / 3 days out schedule, etc.

As the spouse of a former Canadian nurse, and friend of others, I think you might be stretching the definition of cushy. Average salary for an RN in Canada a couple of years ago was about $32/hour. You probably would clear $80K if you were a full time nurse, because of all the mandatory overtime.

If being an RN was cushy, I think there'd be less of a shortage of working nurses in Canada.

Here's a link to information about base pay for nurses in the US (2006). It actually mentions the nursing "shortage" at the top: http://www.allied-physicians.com/salary-surveys/nursing/

Thanks for the link! Good to see supporting evidence.

2006 and 2010 are a world apart economically

Not like that in the U.K. I think

Do you actually know any nurses, because I doubt it from your description.

My gf is an EMT, and two of my sisters are nurses. Here's the actuality:

Nurses are paid OK. They work long stressful jobs with severe penalties, both moral and civil, for screwing anything up. There is a high chance of serious injury, particularly while trying to move or assist fat or obese patients, of which there are more and more due to the obesity epidemic and diabetes. Working as a nurse or EMT means physical labor involving long periods of standing on your feet; little control over when your shift ends, no matter what the schedule says; having to work very early morning or very late evening shifts to get 100% coverage; and very little flexibility during the day. You know how you can run small errands and do little errands with your computer? They, for the most part, can't.

They also have ongoing education and certification requirements that they most often pay for out of pocket.

Finally, being an EMT, paramedic, or nurse means not only developing an intimate relationship with bodily fluids of all sorts but seeing on a daily basis the worst things that can happen to a human being. From mangled bodies from car accidents to cancer, to diseases (including those that require hazmat suits and offer severe risks if anything goes wrong), to infected wounds, to septic shock or heart failure or stroke, they see all the things that can go wrong with a human.

So yes, they're fairly well paid, but I wouldn't describe their actual jobs as anything like "cushy".

> Do you actually know any nurses

I do. My best friend is an ER nurse.

> I wouldn't describe their actual jobs as anything like "cushy".

Cushy in terms of compensation and benefits. Not in terms of work being easy. Please read the post that I was replying to.

"particularly while trying to move or assist fat or obese patients"

There is a mechanical solution for this. A crane like apparatus for moving a patient. It was used in a revalidation center when i saw it last. Instead of a couple of nurses who move one patient, one nurse uses the device. This one nurse moves the 'cloth' which holds the patients under the patient etc.

A couple of Nurses are faster though.

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