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Secret things nurses REALLY think

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Every nurse has them: those nasty little non-nursey thoughts that sneak into your brain like steel-toothed ferrets during a hard day.

They’re the thoughts that civilians hope we never actually think, the ones we feel guilty about, the ones we never admit we have until we’re in a well-lubricated frame of mind and in a safe place.

Auntie Agatha has those thoughts, and she’s not afraid to share them. Read on, my poppets….

1. Sometimes I don’t like you very much.

Seriously? Sometimes you piss me off. It doesn’t matter whether the “you” in question is a doctor, a patient, a family member, a lab tech or one of the pizza delivery dudes: You occasionally piss me right off. I’m only human, after all, and this job can hit stress levels that make a Red Terror Alert look like a day in a Victorian novel, all lace and picnics.

Even though I look patient and caring, inside I’m seething. I take care of it with AA: Advil and Alcohol, the nurse’s therapy of choice.

Me neither –>

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Agatha Lellis

Agatha Lellis is a nurse whose coffee is brought to her every morning by a chipmunk. Bluebirds help her to dress, and small woodland creatures sing her to sleep each night.
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22 Responses to Secret things nurses REALLY think

  1. Norma

    Thank you for this. Perfect timing :-).

  2. Deb Wagner

    NEVER EVER assume that if a woman looks a bit older than the male patient she’s visiting that she is his Mom…oops..

  3. cheryl

    Make sure if you bring a newborn in to a mom & an older man is sitting with her don’t say what a beautiful baby, your father must be so proud, It turned out to be
    her husband Ugh

  4. Jean Malizia

    Thanks, I really needed this.

  5. Barbara Richard

    Words to live by!

  6. Tory

    Thanks so much for posting this! It was just what I needed to hear today. Being a new nurse is so scary, especially when you got those “un-nursely thoughts”. Helps to know it’s all “normal”..

  7. Sandy Grambow

    I have tears in my eyes reading this. I have been a nurse for 36 years and I have felt all of those things at one time or another yet I know this is what I was born to do. I was born to be a nurse. It was a bit frightening that my feelings were put so eloquently in these paragraphs. We are human afterall and sometimes we have to remind ourselves of that. What was written should be given to all nursing grads before they embark on their journey into nursing. Thank you!

  8. Jobi

    Thanks for verbalizing exactly how I have been feeling lately. It makes me feel like I am possibly…normal?

  9. Jackie

    Awesome! You have seen right into my brain/soul!

  10. Jo, I absolutely LOVE this. It is like you looked into my heart and wrote everything I feel about why I chose nursing as my career. Thank you for this post! It made me tear up a little to know there really are other wonderful and amazing RN’s out there :)

  11. nan

    Jo, you hit the nail right on the head. I can remember feeling all of these feelings during my 36 years of working as an RN. Now that I can no longer work,[ I'm now disabled due to severe back pain and on too much medication to remember all I need to do,] I think of just the good things that happened during my career. Like the letter from a patient’s girlfriend after he passed away from metastatic cancer at age 37, 2 days after I last took care of him. She knew I was a student, so she got the dorm’s address and wrote to me about how I brought hope and love with me every time I entered the room, and what a great RN I was becoming. That memory still echoes in my brain, and I hope that I became the nurse she said I was going to become. I miss my career so much.
    To those that are still working: Love your job. Learn all you can-by reading, going to classes, or just plain asking questions. Treat each and every patient, regarless of age or gender, like they were your beloved Mother. Most importantly: when you leave work, leave it there. Use your time off to recoup and regenerate. To quote Cherry Ames, Student Nurse “What you see here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here.”

  12. Alice

    One of my favorite un nursey thoughts: a little pillow therapy for that really annoying patient

    • sallypat RN

      I understand where you are coming from. There was a time nurses were highly respected. I think it started to go out the window with the nursing caps. You have to be tough and smart to be a nurse.

    • Lisa Jackson

      Ah yes, we all have that one patient that we want to smother with a pillow!!

  13. Jeanne Vacca

    Thanks,Jo.I’m glad I’m not the only one who has thoughts like these.

  14. JennRN RN

    Sometimes I think we all have patients we prefer to get,…. and there are ones who we pray NOT to get. I dont think it effects the care we give though. At least I would hope not.

  15. ellicechristianna

    i loved this article.

  16. mhaggerty3315 CNA

    LOVE THIS!!!!

  17. dweitzel

    Nice to know your not the only one who has these thoughts.

  18. sallypat RN

    Had those thoughts more often than I care to admit. I like the comment from Alice about “pillow therapy.”