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A day in the life of a pediatric nurse

Pediatric nurses—prepare to have your (daily work) life flash before your eyes…in memes.

1. You begin your morning routine with a cup of coffee and your news station of choice…

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But only for a moment.

Because as soon as you can say for sure that no major catastrophe is underway, it’s time to shift to Cartoon Network or the Disney Channel so you can stay up to date with all the characters who are sure to be a topic of conversation later.

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2. Now that you’ve studied up on the top-rated ‘toons, it’s time to slip into your scrubs.

Is today a Mickey Mouse day or a Minions kind of day?

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You go with Snoopy, filling the pockets with enough tattoos and stickers to dole out by the dozens.

 

3. On your way in to work, you find that your usual parking spot is taken—by a Power Ranger. Last week, it was Shrek.

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Then you remember how much one of your patients LOVES the Power Rangers, and suddenly, you’re prepared to offer this spot-stealer-turned-hero your breakfast, too.

 

4. Your day begins. There are lots of finger puppets, checking to see “how big those muscles have grown” overnight, dodging stray toys during an assessment and spirited games of peek-a-boo.

Mom and Dad (all of them) see a lot of this:

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And this:

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But you know that there’s a method to the madness, and that there’s real, important work being done in between all those fake Taylor Swift concerts and games of hide-and-seek.

 

5. Of course, there’s always that one increasingly agitated parent who questions your methods and wants to speak to a physician.

And while you want to react accordingly…

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You resist the urge to explain to them that there is nobody present in the hospital who is more familiar with their child—from their vitals to what they ate for breakfast and lunch, right down to their favorite episode of Dora the Explorer—than you.

Meanwhile, said child is clinging to your thigh like:

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6. Invariably, one of the little ones vomits on your scrubs and you have to play it cool.

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But you still think they are the cutest thing you’ve ever seen—which is also how you feel about almost every patient (we’re not really sure how that works, but we’re totally cool with it).

 

7. Rumors spread that there are bagels in the staff room. There aren’t.

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Now that you’ve been reminded of that thing called “food,” you poke around the staff room to see what you can nibble on the run. You find mac ‘n’ cheese, apple sauce push-pops and coffee.

Push-pops and (more) coffee it is.

 

8. Nine hours into your shift, you’re officially convinced that the Elmo song is going to haunt your dreams.

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But the Elmo song’s biggest fan looks like this:

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And he takes his shots like a champ so as not to upset Mr. Bear, whom he’s only there to morally support. So you let it slide.

Of course, later, when your Elmo-obsessed patient finally falls asleep…

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You give yourself a moment to cherish the silence.

 

9. It’s finally time to close out the day. You’re exhausted, but you rally to prepare the next nurse with all the information he or she could possibly need (and then some), along with a little added wisdom, such as:

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10. Somehow, you manage to drag yourself to the market on your way home from work for something (anything!) edible. Determined to re-enter the adult world, you bypass the Cap’n Crunch and Oreo cookies.

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You’re only partly successful.

Then, while paying for your roast chicken, peanut butter fudge ice cream and a bottle of wine, you suddenly become aware that you’re using your “five times higher than normal” work voice when speaking to the cashier.

They’re kinda just looking at you like:

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But it’s cool, because as soon as you arrive home and start to put your groceries into the fridge, you see that it’s positively covered in drawings, thank-you notes and pictures that families have sent you—some as many as five years running.

And you end the day knowing you’ve made a difference, and that you’ll do it all again tomorrow.

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