10 things Nursing has taught me

Happy Nurses Week! And Teachers Week! And any other profession out there who serves those in our community. I applaud you. 

Hard to believe I have been a nurse for 13 years. Some days I feel like I am just getting started and other days I feel like I have been doing this a million years. 

In honor of Nurses week I would like to share some maybe funny and not so funny things nursing has taught me.

Here we go: 

  1. You never stop assessing people. Even though I have not done bedside nursing in 7 years, often times while standing in the checkout line, I can look at a person and pretty much guess what top 3 issues they have medically. Or if they have good veins to start an IV.
  2. I have always thought a good title of a book to write about my reflections on nursing would be “While you were sleeping.” The conversations that go on while patients are sedated can be quite entertaining and varied. Just as you would carry on a conversation with your coworker from your desk about issues in your life, not all discussions that happen while you are getting your colon checked out are about your colon. And yes we sometimes do talk about the family in the waiting room (which can be important to discharge planning) … Did her husband really show up drunk? Was that her son or her husband? 
  3. Never underestimate the transformative power of water and soap. People can be dirty and stanky y’all. Sometimes you don’t need medicine, just a good bath. Water and soap can part the Red Sea and help the children of Isreal cross on dry ground. It’s just that powerful.
  4. Whenever I hear the phrase, “Oh your JUST the nurse?” I often like to respond with “Bless your heart.” 
  5. Internet doctors are real. AKA the know it all who gathered most of their information from websites and chat rooms. I am not saying those are bad and I applaud any efforts on being proactive in your learning about your condition. However, a world-renowned surgeon can evaluate a patient but if they didn’t see it on the Dr. Oz show, read it online, their comadre didn’t approve, or the doctor didn’t tell them what they wanted to hear, then it probably ain’t worth nothin. 
  6. There are really great people in the world. There are patients who have a heart of gold and you will love. There are nurses, doctors and other staff members you will absolutely adore and wish you could take them with you to every job you move onto. They are the real deal and restore my faith in humanity.
  7. As an antidote to really great people in the world, there are also really entitled, angry, in denial, not so pleasant people in the world and they come from every social / economic class. Learning how you respond to this particular group of people is key to your continued movement forward. Try not to take personal what they say towards you. Just take care of them and keep going. Might I add, there are also some really crazy nurses/doctors/medical staff who you often wonder how in the world did they make it through nursing/medical school, pass their boards and make it as a nurse or doctor. But I gave up on trying to figure that out a long time ago and just let it go. The key is finding those who you resonate the most with, keep them close and keep the crazies away. 
  8. When out in public I try not to profess I am a nurse. I don’t mind friends & family members knowing and I don’t mind when they ask me my opinion, but not so much random strangers. Because once people find out, you will soon become the bearer of all things health related in their life and NOTHING, I mean nothing is off-limits. From their bowel movement history, to the growth they had removed 10 years ago that still itches some days, to how do I treat this spot on my big toe, let me show ya’ what it looks like. It’s not that I don’t mind hearing it and giving my 2 cents on the matter, but it’s definately not information I would solicit from a Wal-Mart shopper.
  9. As humans we underestimate our own humanity. I hear it almost daily, “I just didn’t think it would take me this long to recover from this surgery. I thought I would bounce back faster.” Just because our world has progressed so rapidly with technology, doesn’t mean our bodies will recover in the time it takes to restart your computer. Rest and time are still two major factors needed and underestimated.
  10. No matter your age, appreciate the health and life you have today, you just never know when what you take for granted will be something you hope and pray for. You never ever know what a day will hold.

Happy Nurses week!!! 

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