Why does society view nurses so negatively

Nurse Magdalena Eder on the nursing crisis, Corona and responsibility at work

The gratitude that patients show you cannot be compared with anything. It is incredibly fulfilling to be able to do something good for others, to make their everyday life in the hospital or nursing home easier and to alleviate their pain.

What do you think the future of care looks like?

The job is physically and mentally demanding. We are still chronically understaffed and we would of course appreciate a more reasonable payment. If nothing changes in the current situation, there will soon be no one or only a few who would like to pursue this profession.

How do you see your future?

I have found my calling in health and nursing. Nothing fills me as much as helping people and seeing how my work makes them better.

Magdalena Eder on Corona and fear

What has changed as a result of the pandemic?

We worked through, had no short-time work, as was necessary in other industries. We were finally perceived for what we are: systemically important. That made us incredibly happy and motivated. Unfortunately, for the most part, awareness of what we are doing is much less again. In politics, too, this appreciation has decreased again, I have the feeling.

And what is different in your work?

Corona has changed little on my ward. Because a corona and a suspicion ward were set up, urology patients came to us. That was exhausting because you have to be even more vigilant than usual. But there was also something good about it: I learned how to deal with new clinical pictures.

Are you afraid of getting infected?

Of course you are always afraid of infection. The danger can not only come from the patient, but also from the staff.

In general, Corona has made working in the hospital more psychologically exhausting. Simply because you went to work with a completely different feeling. Because you knew that there are more people fighting for their lives here than usual. That accompanies you every day. It is all the more annoying to see when some people do not take the disease seriously, underestimate the danger and are careless.

Have you already had yourself tested?

No. I was and still am fully fit. When I have contact with sick people, it is incidental findings. Otherwise I do not come into contact with infected people. But, to the best of my knowledge, I could have myself tested at any time if I wanted to.

Magdalena Eder on responsibility and recognition

If you make mistakes, the consequences are more serious than in other professions. How do you deal with this responsibility?

That's true. I always have to be there. For our own protection, we document everything we do with the patient. To avoid mistakes, I don't do anything that I am not 100 percent sure about. That's where teamwork comes in. We're helping each other. The doctors are always at our side. It is important to be able to set priorities as to who needs my help more at the moment.

What if a patient is not doing better?

What is very important: You have to be aware that you cannot heal everyone. Of course you do your best. But if nothing helps, I can still accompany the patient on his way with dignity and perhaps painlessly. To be there for him, also as a person, not just as a caregiver. But unfortunately I can't work miracles.

How does your private environment feel about your job?

My family, relatives and friends are fully behind me. They are proud that I work as a nurse. I've even got two friends excited about my work. You are now also involved in health and nursing care. That pleases me.

In the spring there was applause for you and a bonus of 500 euros.

That's right, and we were really happy about that. But as already mentioned, the attention has decreased again. I also got the bonus and of course I'm grateful for it, but it doesn't solve the general problem. Trying to calm us down with it doesn't work.

Magdalena Eder on patients and colleagues

How many patients are you responsible for?

That depends on your shift. We are four sisters on early duty. Each is then responsible for around ten patients.

How much time do you have for her

That depends a lot on the patient and their needs. If there are many elderly and highly dependent people in your area, it is scarce. Of course, we take enough time for the treatment and for dignified basic care, such as washing and going to the toilet. Often, however, patients have an extreme need to speak. Unfortunately, we often don't have the time for a long conversation.

Do patients understand your time pressure?

Most of them do. They also appreciate us very much. If this is not the case, of course it is a burden. Especially if, like me, you enjoy doing your job. But if I can be sure that I did my best, it has to bounce off you.

Do you develop a relationship with your patients?

If you are on the ward for a long time, definitely. Especially when I witness her ordeal. If a patient then dies or can no longer recover, that is of course stressful. Then it is important to be able to talk to someone about it. Be it with the family or with colleagues. It is also important to have a balance, for example sport.

How is your relationship with your colleagues?

With us there is only one togetherness. We help each other out when things get tight for the other. We don't just look at our patients and tasks. If one of them notices that something is affecting the other, the conversation is sought.


New: the free hour show

In the late night format, we talk to extraordinary young people. Episode three with the nurse Magdalena Eder is now online. Look inside! The free hour show is supported by the federal program “Live Democracy - We Are Straubing”. Check them out right here: