Year after year nurses are voted the most trusted professionals, so it's no surprise that nurses have a higher standard than others. It's not that we think we're better than anyone else, but we're on the forefront of life and death situations on a daily basis, so there are certain things that you'd never catch a nurse doing.
1. We never pee!
Well, that's not exactly true, but nurses never have time to use the restroom. It's Murphy's law that as soon as a nurse thinks they may have the opportunity to pee we are quickly sidetracked with two new admits, patients falling, yelling, ringing call bells, coding and...yeah, you get the picture, body function needs go right down on the list of priorities. Before we know it, we have not peed for 12 hours straight. Our bladders are the size of a small lake.
2. We don't lie
Hmm, well anyone that tells you they never lie is a liar. But nurses must be completely honest when it comes to nursing and our patients. We are taught that if we don't know the answer to something, we shouldn't act like we do. This is one trait that most nurses have. So, if a nurse tells you they're gonna do something, you can take it to the bank. You can also trust that they won't act like a know-it-all when they're clueless.
3. Nurses don't forget
Sometimes I wish this wasn't true. I long for a brain that automatically shuts off as soon as I get in my car to drive home. During my drive home, I often think about my day and wonder if there was anything I could've done differently.
We can be deep in the family life thing and suddenly think of something we should have done at work. We leap into action calling work to let them know that we didn't chart something on a patient.
I've awoken in the middle of a great snoring session only to remember that I forgot to do some silly thing at work, and it's kept me awake all night.
4. No Doctors
A nurse has to be dying before she'll go to a doctor and everyone in your family has to be on their death bed before a physician visit is even considered. We usually know exactly what's wrong with the kinfolk and we will treat them accordingly.
It's true that nurses are not allowed to diagnose, but heck, when it comes to family and friends, a diagnosis is what you're gonna get, followed by a swift kick in the behind and a "you're fine, go on to school."
5. Stupid Actions
A nurse won't be caught saying, "hold my beer and watch this." Now, I'm not saying that nurses don't do silly stuff that can endanger life, but we have seen the results of a lot of dumb tricks, so we avoid them when possible. We are usually not in the habit of bungee jumping into the lake backwards after drinking a 12 pack of beer, because our quadriplegic patient advised us against it. There's no shortage of stupid people in the world, and it's just job security for us.
Most of us won't eat buffet food. Those of us who do are extremely paranoid about it. We watch what others are doing while they're getting their tenth plate of grub. We are fearful of the germy spoons that have served 50 other people before we pick them up. We're phobic about people coughing, breathing and reaching over our food. The salt shakers on the tables have us wondering how many strains of bacteria are multiplying on them. Should I go on? Nah, pretty gross! Ew, Yuck!
8. Nurses Don't Talk About Patients
It's not that your story isn't fascinating, it's this thing called HIPAA. It stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Passed in 1996 HIPAA is a federal law that sets a national standard to protect medical records and other personal health information.
So when Aunt Bertha calls asking about your health, we aren't trying to be nasty when we tell them we can't give them any information. We're just doing our job so don't shoot the messenger.
9. Never Refuse Food
Nurses love food, and I have never seen any other profession that eats more than nurses. From the doughnuts in the breakroom to the pizza, cake and potluck suppers, we love to eat. If you want to bribe a nurse, bring along an chocolate covered doughnut and you'll probably get your wish.
10. We love what we do!
We'll never stop loving what we do. Most nurses chose the profession because they want to help others. Those that choose nursing for the money are quickly disillusioned and move on to be an accountant or whatever profession they choose next.
Those of us who choose nursing for the right reasons love what we do and will never stop loving it because it's our calling. It's not really what we do; it's who we are!
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