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‘You might be a nurse if…’

Image: Showtime

In its debut season Nurse Jackie ruffled many a feathers in the nursing community with the title character’s pill popping, adulterous antics. So what’s the latest controversy? There might just be a real Nurse Jackie! Or at least we’re convinced there is!

Whether you think Nurse Jackie should have her license revoked or you’ve been doing a little dance around your TiVo, you’ll agree that this bitingly witty and sarcastic list from Showtime’s Nurse Jackie message boards could have been written by Nurse Jackie herself! Enjoy (if you dare!).

YOU might be a nurse if ………

  1. The front of your scrubs reads ‘Nurses… here to save your ass, not kiss it!’
  2. You occasionally park in the space with the “physicians only” sign… and knock it over.
  3. You believe some patients are alive only because it’s illegal to kill them.
  4. You recognize that you can’t cure stupid.
  5. You own at least three pens with the names of prescription medications on them.
  6. You believe there’s a special place in hell for the inventor of the call light.
  7. You believe that saying ‘it can’t get any worse’ causes it to get worse just to show you it can.
  8. You wash your hands BEFORE you go to the bathroom.
  9. You believe that any job where you can drive to work in your pajamas is a cool one.
  10. You consider a tongue depressor an eating utensil.
  11. Eating microwave popcorn out of a clean bedpan is perfectly natural.
  12. You’ve been exposed to so many x-rays that you consider it a form of birth control.
  13. You’ve ever heard a patient with a nose ring, a brow ring, and twelve earrings say “I’m afraid of shots.”
  14. You’ve ever placed a bet on someone’s blood alcohol level.
  15. You’ve told a confused patient that your name is that of a coworker and to call if they need help.
  16. Your bladder can expand to the size of a Winnebago’s water tank.
  17. You have seen more penises than any prostitute could dream of.
  18. You believe that not all patients are annoying… some are unconscious.
  19. Your family and friends refuse to watch medical sitcoms with you because you spend the whole time correcting everyone and pointing out upside down x-rays.
  20. You don’t get excited about blood, unless it’s your own.
  21. You’ve sworn to have “do not resuscitate” tattooed on your chest. Soon.
  22. Discussing dismemberment over a gourmet meal is perfectly normal to you.
  23. Your idea of fine dining is anywhere you can sit down to eat.
  24. Your idea of a good time is a cardiac arrest at shift change.
  25. You believe in the aerial spraying of Prozac.
  26. You believe that ‘shallow gene pool’ should be a recognized diagnosis.
  27. You believe that the government should require permits to reproduce.
  28. You believe that unspeakable evils will befall anyone who utters the phrase “Wow, it’s really quiet, isn’t it?”
  29. You have ever wanted to write a book entitled “Suicide: getting it right the first time.”
  30. You have ever had a patient look you straight in the eye and say “I have no idea how that got stuck in there.”
  31. You’ve had to leave a patient’s room before you begin to laugh uncontrollably.

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41 Responses to ‘You might be a nurse if…’

  1. Oh I am an older woman in nursing school .I love love to watch nurse Jackie I know she offends some Reg Nurses but she cracks me up.Helen

    • Dennis Magee

      If you believe, “TSTL- (too stupid to live) should be a NANDA recognized nursing diagnosis.

  2. Phillip

    HAHAHA!!! LMAO!!!! I’m a CNA and a lot of that applies to my job as well. May I print this out and take it to work? The nurses I work with will love it.

  3. Lisa

    I just loved, You might be a nurse if….. I’m an xray tech but, I can relate to alot of the nurses jobs. I have been in the medical field for 12 years. Your great, keep everybody laughing!

  4. Jessica

    I had a code at shift change the other day! that is too funny! Going along with the pop corn from a bedpan thing, I have also seen people on my floor drink pop out of the big graduates that we empty foleys and colostomys into! I cant bring myself to do it because even though I know they are clean I cant get over the mental image.

  5. nurse eea

    love it too funny i can relate to every one of the you are a nurse if… no ones knows the pressures of the medical field but the people who work it its not a job for everyone

  6. shenetha

    i’m a nurse and i agree with everything! especially the one about the call light!!

  7. Vanessa Cain

    I love these………….I used to say, you must be a nurse, if you believe speeding lead therapy (a bullet) is one of the best treatments for some patients.

  8. Jenn

    As a pediatric nurse, a common “diagnosis” was FLK (funny looking kid) as a result of FLP (funny looking parents). But I most definitley agree with people needing permits to reproduce. Also, must add to that, I am not alone in thinking that everyone must be IQ tested before procreating!

  9. Dounia Fontana

    i love these, im a big Nurse Jackie fan. i know there are nurses out there that are just like her but i just watch it for the laughs. its a great show hopefully she will get the help she needs before her marriage falls apart. i too work nights its a tough shift.

  10. Belinda

    Luv Nurse Jackie!!! Great show. Im also a peds nurse and agree with IQ testing!!!! oh brother! What I’ve seen!

  11. Marilyn

    You might be a nurse if you have ever used a pair of hemostats to pluck your eyebrows.

    You might be a nurse if your soda pop is warm and your coffee is cold…and you drink it anyway…and like it.

  12. Your name

    Lol!!! I’m a Neuro Scrub Nurse and reading this really touch home. And thanks for letting me know that My co-workers and I are normal. Well; normal for nurses. Thanks again!

  13. Catheirne

    Love Jackie, but my you might be a nurse is
    You order pizza when you hear that a major trauma is arriving. Nothing like pizza and brains on the floor.
    Of course, I am a trauma nurse.

  14. Nicole

    This is hilarious. I work in a nursing home as a CNA and several of these fit my job too. Especially the call light. And I definately wash my hands BEFORE I go to the bathroom.

  15. Diana

    I just gotta say…these are great and I think that as much as some of what Nurse Jackie does…alot of it she does for the good of the patient..without all the blue tape…granted being addicted to rx drugs and cheating on her family are definately two pitfalls..and really hate those aspects of her personality…they are a reality in nursing and life as well…so those who knock her…relax and enjoy..because mostly its just good entertainment that most any nurse can relate to!!

  16. Christina

    Very true! N very funny!

  17. Lol. All of it is so true!!

  18. Helen Marshall

    If you think that strangling family members should be part of the patient’s care plan.(especially patient’s wives) you are a NURSE. (I don’t know how many times I wanted to do this but the state tends to frown on those things)

    I’ve known quite a few staff that have had a drink in a graduate especially pregnant nurses who have to drink a certain amount of fluid/day.

    Speaking of pregnant nurses…You know you are a pregnant nurse if you can throw up and then change colostomy bags./pull chest tubes/ hang blood. I once knew a new nurse who was pregnant and threw up in the patient’s trash can as she was changing IV tubing.

    You know you are a nurse if you’ve got a GI bug and you take a stool sample to your dr’s appt.
    (I did this once and actually grosses out my Dr.!)

    Love nurse jackie. In between her drug issues and family drama’s she gives really good nursing care, a little unconventional yes, but she’s always putting the patient first and thinking of their comfort and care.

  19. wendy

    This comment is for the peds nurses who spoke about “funny looking kids” and IQ testing for parents. My grandson was born with Down’s Syndrome. His mother has a masters degree in social worker, and his father, my son, was working on his Ph.D. in environmental engineering. The nurses that cared for my grandson made things much worse for his parents…ie. Are you two related? Did you do drugs? There comments, questions, ignorance and general lack of compassion was appalling. Down’s Syndrome is a congenital disorder that just happens…the reason why is not known. As nurses, i think that we are challenged everyday to try to put ourselves in our patients position….when people are sick and frightened, they need not only our clinical skills but our compassion and love…one human being to another.

    • pedsedrn

      I know I cannot truly speak for the other nurse but I can tell you Down’s babies, kids, and even adults are always a pleasure to care for in the hospital. No one makes fun of them ever at least not healthcare professionals. Are you a nurse? If you are then you must have never worked in a trauma center/ ER where sometimes the humor is not politically correct but you cannot allow yourself to be completely submerged into it all or you would end up on the psych floor. Sorry you were offended but relax no one was making fun of your grand child.

  20. katherine

    Had a good laugh…thanks!

  21. Beth

    I have one!!! You might be a nurse if you believe that all bleeding stops…..eventually

  22. Kelley

    You might be a nurse if..you know that wearing new shoes or scrubs to work is a guarantee that someone will bleed, puke, poop or snot on you.

  23. Tanya

    Hey Wendy, lighten up! It is a topic about jokes. No ones attacking your grandson. And ive seen plenty of FLK’s that didnt have Downs. I thought the list was great, including FLK as a result of FLP, but my personal faves are 14, 18, and 29! LMAO!

  24. barb

    Beth (March 25), I’ve had a surgeon tell me that all bleeding stops eventually. He went on to say that the human body can only hold so much blood.

  25. April

    LOVE Nurse Jackie! She is like Dr. House, says what we all wish we could say to some people.

    When we are having a bad day at work I always tell co-workers…just remember, it can only last 12 hrs

  26. Your name

    I so relate to the pg nurse….I indeed once shared a puke pan with my pt… she sent me a Christmas card for many yrs after.

  27. Candice

    Wendy- FLK’s are children who have NO other reasons, ie: downs, birth trauma, hydrocephalic, etc, to look “odd”. Any nurse who would label a downs child a FLK needs to look into changing specialties not to mention she must have alot of learning still to do if she was grilling yr daughter about drug use with a dx of downs
    On a lighter note, I love the “you might be a nurse if…” lists- they almost always bring a smile to my face

  28. You might be a nurse if you can sit eating dinner while your colleagues patient is vomiting “coffee grounds” get up help her set up suction while she vomits in the trash and go back to dinner……

  29. FYI…I “thought” I was offended by Nurse Jackie until I recently watched an episode and realized a) I worked with her (ER) b)sick humor is how we cope without resorting to drugs, alcohol or “speeding lead” treatment….and remain caring, compassionate professionals

  30. Brenda Larkin

    I loved #13 and #29. And I do like my patients being anesthetized.

  31. Janet Walters

    You might be an OR nurse if u ever wanted to write on the path slip-‘explanted vibrator- return to patient!

  32. Pete

    You might be a Nurse if when in a line at the store and looking over the “Well Built” person next to you, You find yourself thinking, “I bet they are an easy…Stick.”

  33. Debbie

    You know you’re an Orthopedic scrub nurse when you like big boners.

  34. Deana

    you might be a nurse if “pillow treatment” is a cure for OPS (obnoxious patient syndrome)

  35. Allison RN

    This totally applies to me, not sure about everyone else. You know your a nurse if the idea of sleeping on a hospital bed grosses you out because you know what you’ve cleaned off of them.

  36. Molly Stokes RN

    The time you want to leave early, there is an arrest.

  37. dac2215

    I have always maintained that overly vocal/annoying patients require “mallet therapy” (as in Wiley Coyote and the Road Runner).
    Back in the “dark ages” (1977) I had an awesome 1st year nursing professor that told us that “gallows humor” was actually an acceptable way to cope with stress!! (outside of patient’s & family’s hearing range, of course).
    Virtually ALL of the comments on the list have come out of my mouth in the last 35 years.
    Another meme I use to this day to explain to my husband and children why people do incredibly stupid things is “double digits”-referring, of course to the IQ of these people. My kids know exactly what I mean if I shake my head and say double digits. I think that may be catching on!

  38. dac2215

    For those of you who have been in this profession less than, oh say 30 years… There is a book that I believe should be read by any ICU (or any nurse for that matter) especially if you work in a larger and especially a teaching institution: the book is “House of God”. It’s not religious, it’s an hilarious commentary on all that we have been speaking about.
    To entice you I will dredge up from my memory a few of the points in the book:Laws of the House of God

    A set of hospital rules/truths from Samuel Shem’s book, “The House of God”. I. Gomers don’t die. II. Gomers go to ground. III. At a cardiac arrest, the first procedure is to take your own pulse. IV. The patient is the one with the disease. V. Placement comes first. [Transfer them out of your department ASAP] VI. There is no body cavity that cannot be reached with a #14 needle and a good strong arm. VII. Age + BUN = Lasix dose. VIII. They can always hurt you more. IX. The only good admission is a dead admission. X. If you don’t take a temperature, you can’t find a fever. XI. Show me a medical student who only triples my work and I will kiss his feet. XII. If the radiology resident and the medical student both see a lesion on the chest x-ray, there can be no lesion there. XIII. The delivery of medical care is to do as much nothing as possible. See also: gomer.
    There are those repeat patients that no one, especially the ED doc in charge that night want to see-the patients are labeled “GOMERS”-Which stands for “Get out of my emergency room”! There are corollaries that accompany this designation: A) GOMERS always go to ground [they either fall out of bed or they die-hence the morgue is typically on the ground floor]. Get the book, read it-laugh and cry then pass it along to other nurses to share the humor.
    Oh, one last thing-I think most everyone knows the “Peter Principle”=Whatever can go wrong will go wrong; and people rise to their level of incompetence.
    There are MANY corollaries specific to medicine and nursing-I am rusty at the moment, I used to have a list.
    For those who work in burns/plastics you will appreciate this one, actually told to me by the surgeon:
    “The part of the flap that you need the most is the part of the flap that will die”.
    Share more when you have them. There is a book by that name “the Peter Principle” From the back cover: “It tells why incompetence is no mistake in any area of human endeavor-why schools do not bestow wisdom, why governments cannot maintain order and so on; also why people rise to their level of incompetence-YES that’s why your manager is the way they are!
    Continue to drink out of the graduates-I always took one that was 4th from the top-maybe grubby paws hadn’t touched that one! (BTW orange juice and cranberry juice mixture is the closest thing you will come to a Mai-Tai while you are at work!)
    Sorry for the length-after 35 years is was deliciously cathartic!

  39. wassdogs

    There’s been several occasions when I have blamed smelly farts on sleeping /unconscious patients.

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