Whilst the actors, musicians, politicians and sports stars hog most of the world’s attention (and cash), the true heroes of our society work selflessly and quietly in the background, saving lives and performing medical miracles on a daily basis.

Medical staff are criminally overworked and underappreciated for what they do. Can you imagine being faced with human tragedy, day after day? Knowing that sometimes, despite your best efforts, you’re going to have to give the news to a patient’s loved one, the kind of news nobody ever wants to hear? It must take an enormous toll on the mental and emotional health of these incredibly brave and dedicated people, not to mention the physical strain of 14-hour shifts, chronic stress and lack of sleep.

People choose to become nurses not for money or prestige, but because they care about others. Sure, it’s tough, but it can also be immensely rewarding too, nurses make a true difference to the lives of countless human beings. One common reason why some decide that they just can’t go through with it is the ‘icky’ side of nursing; the needles, blood, poo and vomit that is encountered on a daily basis.

Andrea Pellerin, a registered nurse at Covenant HealthCare in Michigan, decided to set the record straight by penning a passionate and eye-opening post about the harsh realities of nursing life, putting the trivialities of bodily fluids into stark perspective.

Andrea’s words, subsequently quoted and shared by fellow nurse Kayla Marie Thomas, struck a chord with hundreds of thousands of people, and has since been shared almost 400k times on Facebook. In a world where fictional things like Avengers and Game of Thrones seem to capture so much of our attention, sometimes we all need a reality check and a reminder of who the true heroes are, don’t we?

“I remember writing the post when I got home from work after resuscitating my first newborn after a delivery,” Andrea told Bored Panda. “I cried all the way home and couldn’t stop thinking about it. I just thought to myself that these are the real moments that turn a nurse’s stomach. I thought back to all the times I was really truly scared for my patients – but nurses are so good at their poker face and trying to be the calm in the storm for their patients that it’s no wonder people think that dealing with vomit is the worst part of our job.”

Image credits: Andrea Pellerin

Andrea is a labor and delivery nurse, bringing new life into the world every single day. She believes that the best part of her job is being a part of the best moments of people’s lives. “You see people both at their strongest and at their most vulnerable and you get to be there to support them through moments they don’t think they can make it through,” she said.

“The most difficult part is that when it’s bad, it’s really bad. People going through a loss, when the outcomes aren’t what we wanted – you do everything you can as a nurse and it can be hard not to take some of that heartbreak home with you. I wouldn’t change it for anything else though – this is where I belong. My heart is with nursing and my passion is with women’s health.”

Here’s what people had to say about the powerful post