1. I didn't know that nurses had so much to do with a patient's treatment and care. I thought the doctor was the only one who really knew what was going on. But in reality, nurses spend a much more time with patients and they're the eyes and ears for physicians.
2. I didn't know that medical TV shows are so incredibly inaccurate and I had no idea that these shows would have me screaming at the TV for the rest of my freaking life! I can't even count the number of times I've seen people shocked out of asystole in Hollywood. Maybe it's only successful there because everyone's rich and famous. Or maybe Hollywood writers are just not medical folks, so they may up ludicrous dramatic scenes while under the influence of high-grade cocaine.
3. I didn't know how stressful nursing would be. Before I was a nurse I thought nurses took vital signs, administered medications, stopped old peeps from escaping the hospital and wandering around aimlessly at Mc'Donalds, fluffed a few pillows and liked marrying doctors. Now I know that nurses do a lot more than just sitting around looking pretty.
4. I didn't know I would lose so much darn sleep at times processing the day repeatedly through my mind and wondering what I could have done better, so my patients could have more favorable outcomes.
5. I didn't know how arrogant and demanding family members could be. Some, (not all) family members want you to treat them like royalty even though they're acting like complete jerks. "Could you get my friend a popsicle too?" and the ole, "my sisters has a headache, can you bring her some Tylenol?" Geeze, this is not the Hilton Garden Inn!
6. I didn't know how annoying a call-lights could be. Somedays those lights grate on your nerves like a screaming two-year-old at Wal-mart with a dirty diaper. And why do patients have to hit their call light right after I leave their room?. Or they call you to the room to find the remote for the TV when it's in their hand??
7. I didn't know how horrible some people can smell. I thought everyone took showers and had the same personal hygiene as me. Um, Nah! I've learned that's beyond wrong. I was giving a bed bath to a patient once and when I lifted up her breast to clean underneath there was a whole biscuit there. I kid you not! She actually told me she was saving it for later...Yum!
8. I didn't know how dangerous medications can be. People trust drug companies and have so much trust in their physicians that they don't even question their prescribed medication. It amazes me how little patients know about the meds they're on. Sometimes all they can tell you is that it's "round and white." C'mon now people, take some responsibility for your health. If you don't know the names of the drugs, bring the dang bottles with ya!
9. I didn't know how hard nursing school would be. Gosh, I've been out of nursing school for years now, but I still have nightmares about failing nursing tests, skills check-off and showing up late to take the boards. Even the thought of nursing school makes me shudder. But if you are a nursing student reading this, be patient, you'll get there and there's a light at the end of that tunnel even though it's a blind journey all the way through and you may hit a few roadblocks along the way.
10. I didn't know how to deal with medical problems or emergencies. Before I became a nurse I barely knew how to use a thermometer. Now I know how to deal with anything you can throw at me. I can handle splinting bones, running codes and everything in-between. I'm not saying I'm perfect, but It's scary to think that I wouldn't have had a clue what to do before I became a nurse in the case of an emergency. People would be choking to death, dying of heart attacks, bleeding out right in front of my eyes and I'd be asking them if I could get them some water.
11. I didn't know how much I would love nursing. I view it as my calling and although it's grueling at times, It's my passion and I'm proud to be a nurse. My Mom's pretty proud too. She tells's everyone her daughter's a nurse as she smiles with pride because I followed in the same footsteps as her.
Do you have anything to add to this list? Comment below!