UPDATE: Three words to a Toowoomba nurse sparked a global conversation about how her profession is vastly unappreciated.

The word "just" is defined in the Macquarie Dictionary as "only or merely."

So when an acquaintance told Caitlin Brassington she was "just a nurse" - something she had heard many times in the past - she'd finally had enough.

The paediatric nurse wrote an eye-opening account on social media about what her working day could entail and if that made her "just a nurse" then she was proud to be one.

Part of the post read: I have helped babies into the world, many of whom needed assistance to take their first breath, and yet I am just a nurse.

I have performed CPR on patients and brought them back to life, and yet I am just a nurse.

The Facebook post went viral and sits at more than 7500 likes and 1376 shares.

TIME TO APPRECIATE: TOOWOOMBA nurse Caitlin Brassington has sparked a worldwide conversation about undervaluing jobs in the workforce. Thursday Oct 13, 2016.
TIME TO APPRECIATE: TOOWOOMBA nurse Caitlin Brassington has sparked a worldwide conversation about undervaluing jobs in the workforce. Thursday Oct 13, 2016. Nev Madsen

The mother-of-three has started a worldwide conversation about society undervaluing professions.

"I think the conversation has got to be had about how we speak to each other and why we do devalue certain professions," she said.

"Certainly I didn't put the post up with the thought of where I wanted this to take me or take the conversation but I think it's fantastic it has generated a phenomenal response."

Ms Brassington's post has been picked up nationally and internationally with media outlets Daily Mail, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Washington Post and even Croatian newsrooms wanting to talk to the woman who is dumping the tagline "just".

"There has been an enormous amount of emotion and heartfelt responses from nurses but also from patients and families of patients and mums who are sick of being called 'just a mum'.

"(There have also been responses) from teachers, police and paramedics who are all sick of having the 'just' put in front of their profession."

"I don't know why there is a 'just' and I think one of the points may be that society possibly puts a higher value or worth on jobs with a bigger title.

"I think it's fantastic that the conversation has started and it obviously has struck a nerve with so many people in so many professions.

"I love nursing and that's why I am still in it; it is amazing to be able to reach out to patients and their families and be able to provide a level of comfort and care they need in some of their darkest times."

EARLIER: Toowoomba nurse Caitlin Brassington has sparked a worldwide conversation about undervaluing jobs in the workforce.

She wrote an eye-opening account on social media about what her working day entails after an acquaintance told her she was "just a nurse".

Ms Brassington was picking up some milk last Friday after a challenging day at St Vincent's Private Hospital, where she was working with "some very sick babies".

She ran into the familiar face who told Ms Brassington that she was surprised to see her in uniform because she didn't realise she was "just a nurse".

That afternoon Ms Brassington took to her Facebook and Instagram accounts to question what it meant to "just be a nurse".

The posts went viral. Her Facebook post alone received more than 7000 likes and currently sits at 1264 shares. 

Ms Brassington wrote about assisting newborns in taking their first breath and holding someone's hand during their final stages of life. 

She also wrote about bringing people back to life with CPR, being the medical world's "eyes, noses and ears" and said if that made her "just a nurse" than she was proud to be one.

Ms Brassington's story has been picked up nationally and internationally.

She has started a worldwide conversation about society undervaluing professions by using the tagline "just" like "just a teacher".

Ms Brassington told ABC News she felt it was something that had been happening historically. 

"I think history has undervalued these roles and I think we now need to take a really big look at how we use the word 'just'," she said.

"I don't think any profession should have the world 'just' in front of it and I think we need to think about how we speak to each other but also how we respect ourselves." 

St Vincent's Private Hospital Toowoomba took to Facebook yesterday to share their pride: "When our nurse Caitlin Brassington posted her thoughts and feelings to her Facebook page about a remark made to her, she had no idea of the worldwide response she would receive."

"We are so proud of Caitlin and her stance about encouraging everyone to have respect for all people no matter what career or job they have chosen.

"St Vincent's Hospital's values are compassion, justice, integrity and excellence - Caitlin and all of our staff members demonstrate these every day towards their colleagues, patients and families.

"Thank you Caitlin for raising the issue and giving momentum to a very important topic."

The post:

'Just a Nurse'. I am just home from a busy shift, looking very ordinary in my scrubs.

On the way home today I stopped at the shop for milk and saw an acquaintance. She has never seen me in uniform and said that she didn't realise I was 'just a nurse'. Wow! Over my 18 year career I have heard this phrase many, many time, but today it got to me. Am I just a nurse?

I have helped babies into the world, many of whom needed assistance to take their first breath, and yet I am just a nurse.

I have held patients hands and ensured their dignity while they take their last breath, and yet I am just a nurse.
I have counselled grieving parents after the loss of a child, and yet I am just a nurse.

I have performed CPR on patients and brought them back to life, and yet I am just a nurse.

I am the medical officers eyes, ears and hands with the ability to assess, treat and manage your illness, and yet I am just a nurse.

I can ascultate every lung field on a newborn and assess which field may have a decreased air entry, and yet I am just a nurse.

I can educate patients, carers, and junior nurses, and yet I am just a nurse.

I am my patients advocate in a health system that does not always put my patients best interest first, and yet I am just a nurse.

I will miss Christmas Days, my children's birthdays, and school musicals to come to work to care for your loved one, and yet I am just a nurse.

I can take blood, cannulate and suture a wound, and yet I am just a nurse.

I can manage a cardiac arrest in a newborn, a child or an adult, and yet I am just a nurse.

I can tell you the dosage of adrenaline or amiodarone based on weight that your child may need to bring them back to life, and yet I am just a nurse.

I have the experience and knowledge that has saved people's lives.

So, if I am just a nurse, then I am ridiculously proud to be one! 



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