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100 Days in Hell: Deadly Reality of Nursing Jobs Revealed

An intense job that throws a celebration party 100 days after joining is making headlines in South Korea. The job is none other than nursing, which is highly sought-after due to its high employment rate. Despite its popularity due to its high salary, nursing is notorious for its workload. 

Consequently, many nurses quit not long after starting work. Nurses work long hours with alternating shifts under a lot of stress. Many nurses claim that the job puts a significant strain on their physical and mental health. 

However, the most challenging part for most nurses is workplace bullying. This stems from hierarchical harassment within an organization, especially in the South Korean nursing industry. 

There have been unfortunate cases where nurses have taken their own lives due to bullying, revealing chronic problems in the nursing industry. In 2021, a newly appointed nurse at a hospital ended her life due to bullying. The senior nurse accused of bullying was charged with assault and harassment. 

According to police investigations, it was confirmed that the senior nurse who worked with the victim had severely insulted her in front of several people, and there were instances of physical abuse. The authorities confirmed the allegations after analyzing three months of security footage and interviewing the victim’s colleagues. They also conducted digital forensic work on the perpetrator’s phone.

Some argue that the bullying culture is inevitable. According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, a single nurse takes care of 16.3 patients in general hospitals as of last year. This is three times higher than the countries like the U.S. (5.3) and Japan (7.0).

Many hospitals are experiencing nurse shortages, meaning a single nurse can experience extreme workloads. Due to these circumstances, senior nurses are often strict towards their junior nurses to increase efficiency.

However, there is a clear distinction between education and harassment. It is outrageous to take people’s lives in the name of education. Many new nurses quit due to the intense workload and strict management.

In response, hospitals started holding 100-day celebration parties to thank new nurses for their hard work. One hospital stated, “We organized this to celebrate the new nurses’ journey and their bright future.” 

A head nurse who attended the event said, “I am proud and grateful for how our new nurses have adapted to the hospital and given their best in their roles over the past 100 days.” 

Online users reacted with comments like, “Nursing is notoriously hard,” “My cousin is a nurse, and she was crying non-stop when she started working,” and “Bullying culture needs to be eradicated. You cannot expect newcomers to be perfect.” 

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