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Lipstick stat!

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It’s 6:00 a.m. and I’m so exhausted I can’t even think straight. After a long night of studying and writing a paper, I just want to curl back up into bed and forget the rest of the day. This is probably how the majority of us feel in the mornings before work or school.

Do you ever wonder where some of your fellow nurses find the time or energy to look so put together? Chances are they probably don’t have the time or the energy either, but it makes them feel better about themselves.

I am one of these people. Rarely do I leave the house without makeup. In a pinch, there are two items that must always be applied: mascara and, most importantly, lipstick. Mascara can make any sleepy eye look at least half opened. It gives a bright-eyed look that usually can last all day long. Lipstick takes only seconds to apply, and while it does make for a pretty face, it also enhances our smiles, which are a big part of who we are.

I feel better about myself if I look at least halfway presentable. I always keep my lipstick in the pocket of my scrubs and reapply it throughout the day. It just makes me feel good! Nothing is more frightening than a nurse who actually looks as if her intentions are to hurt you! Lipstick stat!!!

One day when I was working in the hospital, I was bathing a patient and his nurse came in to introduce herself. She was as sweet as could be and I didn’t think twice about her until the patient made a comment to me: “She could have at least dried her hair before she came to work!” Apparently the nurse’s hair was still wet from her morning shower.

This is just is example of how attentive patients are as to how we present ourselves. Some people may argue that beauty lies within. Very true, but our faces are the physical focal point for the patients we’re treating. If we can’t take time out to care for ourselves, how can we care for our patients?

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Megan Gilbert

My name is Megan Gilbert. I am a 29-year-old third year nursing student at Purdue University Calumet. I have been married to my wonderful husband Scott for eight years and we have two beautiful boys; Reece and Mason. We currently reside in Northwest Indiana in the town of Schererville, which is about 40 minutes outside of Chicago. I love spending quality time with my family and l also enjoy singing with my local church. In addition, one of my favorite things to do in my down-time is blog and read blogs.
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8 Responses to Lipstick stat!

  1. Jane

    I think you should look professional but the article on makeup is not necessary..don’t you think women get enough pressure to look good
    Rather be clean neat and be compassionate

  2. Resi

    In response to Jane’s comment, I think the point of the article was more about self-care: “If we can’t take time out to care for ourselves, how can we care for our patients?” The author stated that she does these things to feel good about herself, to feel more confident I assume. I think it’s just a plus that is also makes a person look good physically; we also want to look professional and presentable. And I also believe it is true — that to care for others, you must also be able to take care of yourself first.

  3. When i first saw the topic of the article I though “Oh Boy”. Since reading it I have come away with a new perspective. The last part about it taking time out to care for ourselves is so right on. I also believe that make up in excessive amounts is putting a negative spin on things.

  4. terry

    The one thing I HAVE to do in the morning is my hair. It is short and has style ; if I didn’t do it I would look as if I had just woken up! No matter what time I have had to go to work, I have ALWAYS taken a shower in the morning and did my hair! (I use to get up at 3:30 AM to work in an outpatient methadone clinic- had to be there-half hour ride – to open for 5AM) Still did my shower and hair!

  5. Sahara

    @terry, amiable amy, Elle and Resi:
    I take a shower 2x a day when I’m scheduled to work, once before and once after work. I feel icky when I don’t shower after work, especially; and of course prior to my shift, it’s always nice to not have bed-head. The comment from that patient about his nurse having the nerve not to dry her hair before coming in to work is un-called for–he should be thankful his nurse takes a shower, so as not to offend patients and people in general, due to certain odiferous scent that may emanate from her or for any number of reason. Talk about a patient being petty. Looks to me, this patient may have some kind of anger and denial issue stemming from his hospitalization?. I for one, am glad to see nurses with their hair still damp from showering; it’s a wonderful clean scent that is more than welcome in ICU.

    Make-up, mascara, concealer and definitely yes to lipstick; not only for the sake of professionalism but when you’ve got an anxious patient who feels very vulnerable and just as you walk in to see him, he starts to crump. Lipstick has a way of concealing your fear when accosted by a situation that drain the blood from your whole face, especially “the lips”. Patients feel better when the nurse appears to have everything under control during high stress. situation. After-all…the patient has no idea you just turned white as a ghost, under your carefully painted lips, in an anticipation of a Code Blue.

    BTW ladies, carrying liptstick with you can also prove beneficial, as it can double up as rouge/blush.

  6. HoosierRN

    My hair is naturally curly. I never dry my hair with a blow dryer. My hair is wet when I go to work because I let it air dry after I apply gel to it. If you want to talk about scary, let me blow dry my hair before I go to work. I will look like I just stuck my fingers in an electrical socket.

    My female patients almost always comment on my thick, curly hair. They love it!

    I don’t consider myself lazy either. It is just the best way to deal with my hair after washing it.

  7. cheriv

    I have never been to work with wet hair, but there have been times doing a “double back” with less than 8hrs off between shifts that I wish I would have got a little more sleep and if I went to work with wet hair at least tied it back until it was dried……..

  8. Wow. As if I am that person that goes out with wet hair. Aghhh!LOL! I am not proud to admit that I am like that at times but, I never imagine that it can create a negative impression. This is an awakening for me. Thanks for this post.

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