Hospital personalities – a humorous walk through the halls

Image: Jen Bennett

We asked a nurse to give us the lowdown…and the highlights…of the people that you meet each day.

She advised us, “These are in no particular order.” So, draw whatever conclusions you wish! Without further ado, THE LIST.

Attending Physicians

Regardless of their specialty, these are the men and women who stride through the halls in professional dress (or, at the least, business casual). They look well rested and are generally fit and well nourished. After a few years’ experience, you’ll be able to differentiate psychiatry attendings (comfortable shoes, dangly necklaces) from orthopedic attendings (cowboy boots, bags of Cheetos in their pockets) from internal medicine attendings (silk ties, expensive heels). Please note that in teaching hospitals, these are the people with either no white coats at all or very long white coats, usually with frog closures rather than buttons.

Resident Physicians

These are the men and women who shamble through the halls, one step up from zombification. They look exhausted (and generally are) and as though they’ve been wearing the same scrubs for several days (and generally have been). After a few years’ experience, you’ll be able to differentiate neurosurgery residents (they get the in-jokes about Starfleet Academy) from urology residents (who have the grossest stories) and dermatology residents (the only rested ones in the bunch). Please note that in teaching hospitals, these are the people with mid-length white coats. The length of time each person has spent in residency can be determined by the following formula: The amount of stuff in the lab coat pockets is inversely proportional to the year rank of the person wearing the lab coat.

Medical Students

If she’s freshly scrubbed, extremely polite, not yet cynical, eager to see patients and thorough with her exams, she’s a medical student. Some still wear the so-called “short coat” (which looks like a white twill blazer), while others go undercover in business-casual wear. If a medical student is coatless, you can tell him from a physician by his age alone.

Nurses and nursing students –>

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9 Responses to Hospital personalities – a humorous walk through the halls

  1. Crystal Hindle

    I am a Registered Respiratory Therapist, and I must say that I absolutely loved this article and how you described the RT people. You nailed the reason I was never able to become an RN, can’t stand vomit. This was very humorous and Thank You so much for the laugh!

  2. kaitala007

    Sometimes I hate being a CNA…you called out housekeeping, engineeering, and even food service workers, yet you said nothing about the CNA….I swear I feel like Rodney Dangerfield…I waited and waited and waited for something to be written…….I am so tired of seeing these lists and never seeing what we do…how we put up with lazy nurses who will not even help when we ask but continue to sit at the desk texting and talking on the phone….thanks, no really thanks….appreciate it…

    • iluvbturducken

      I agree and totally support you. I’m a nursing student now, but I have been a CNA for 8 years. I actually put off being a nurse for a long time because I felt like I would be becoming the man lol. Being a CNA really is the most important and also the most under appreciated job there is.

    • tinathecma

      CNA’s/PCT’s totally rock! Thank heaven for each & every one of you!

    • Karyn

      Just so you know, you are not always unappreciated. I am a Nurse Educator now and one of the 1st pieces of advice I give my new students is to ALWAYS appreciate your CNA. They can make what could be a really bad day into an okay one. I also tell them that the letters RN or LPN after their name does not make them too good to answer a call bell or to toilet a patient. Thank you for what you do. You ARE appreciated :)

  3. KathyLPN

    To Kaitala007, I understand how you feel.I started as a CNA many yrs ago. It was the toughest job I have ever had! All CNA’s who perform their duties with dignity & respect in regard to their pts.deserve much praise.Sometimes,I think nurses forget that you are the first to interact with a pt. on most shifts,you are our lifeline for information regarding changes in a pts.condition. I always have been grateful to my team for having my back as much as I have theirs in the care of our pts! I also have to add,that it has never been beneath me to place a pt on a bedpan,make a bed or give a quick bath to someone in need,when we all have been overwhelmed.Thanks for being there for your pts!

  4. sylvia LPN

    Another Thank You,to all the CNA’s out there. I can understand the frustration when it comes to lazy nurses, it drives me crazy too. We should all work together for the good of our patients.

  5. mg13157 LPN

    Love it!!!!! But I agree about the CNA’s getting left out… maybe part two: cna, ambulance, security, social services, admin, radiology, lab tech, pharmacy, volunteers (hehe) etc…. for sure room for part two.