On a theoretical level, we all know how difficult it is to be a nurse, doctor, or any other healthcare professional. However, thinking we know something and actually knowing something from firsthand experience is vastly different. Do most of us know what it’s like being a nurse? No. But those of us who have nurses as family members or friends are closer to the truth. And the truth ain’t pretty, I can tell you that much.

“She’s gonna kill me for this picture, but can we just give it up for nurses for a minute?” That’s how Laura McIntyre started her story about her twin sister Caty who is a nurse. She posted a photo of her sibling looking absolutely exhausted and in tears after her 4th (fourth!) shift in a row. And you know what? The picture explains everything about the high pressure and stress that nurses face every single day at work. Scroll down for Bored Panda’s interview with Laura about her sister.

This is what Laura McIntyre’s twin sister looked like after her 4th shift in a row

Image credits: Laura McIntyre

Laura told the world what her sister’s job as a nurse is really like

Laura told Bored Panda that what drew her sister to nursing was “a gradual realization that nursing would be the perfect career for her.”

“She didn’t really follow in anyone’s footsteps or have a lifelong dream of becoming a nurse. One day, she just decided to go for it! Once nursing school started, she definitely knew right away that Labor & Delivery was her passion.”

According to Laura, she and her twin sister are “like two peas in a pod,” that’s how close they are. “We are identical twins, so we have a very close, unique relationship. We do almost everything together, and we talk all day long. Our husbands didn’t know what they were in for! Oh, and we live only 1 mile apart!”

Laura also revealed what we can all do to help nurses and other healthcare professionals: “We can all pray for them! We can reach out to them with encouraging words after their shift. We can check in on them throughout the day with encouragement. We can send them food at work. We can treat them to Starbucks. Anything!”

“Caty has always kept a level head in stressful situations. Of course, she has her occasional break down (like you see in this picture); but she handles herself so well, which is part of the reason she makes an incredible nurse.”

Laura’s sister Caty puts her patients first

Image credits: Laura McIntyre

Most of us work around 40 hours each week, which is nothing to laugh at, but also nothing too intense. But imagine having to work more than 53 hours in just 4 days at a job that saps you emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. A job that makes you sacrifice everything you have inside of you for the sake of your patients. A job that very few of us would have the inner strength and conviction to do well.

It’s no secret that nurses usually don’t have enough time to eat decent meals, to stay hydrated, or take long breaks because the job is everything and your patients can’t wait. “Caty, and all other nurses, you are SPECIAL,” Laura thanked nurses everywhere for their hard work. “You bless your patients and their families more than you will ever know. Thank you for all that you do.”

The twins love and support each other as much as they can

Image credits: Laura McIntyre

Top Nursing writes that dealing with stress and burnout as a nurse is possible, but requires very serious strategies to manage your life. That means being extremely organized in your life, leaving little to no space for chaos and randomness.

But it also means taking care of yourself first and foremost: you can’t take care of your patients if you’re fainting from a lack of food and sleep.

What’s more, meditation, a positive and optimistic outlook on life, as well as sharing your thoughts and feelings with others are other things that make up the bedrock of a healthy and capable nurse’s daily life. Do you have any experience of what nurses deal with every day, dear Readers? Share your stories with us in the comments section.

The post made a lot of people want to share their own experiences and opinions