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Some things should not be said on a nursing unit

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Since I’m on semester break from school, I’ve been picking up some extra shifts at work. So, of course, I have stories. This next story is an FYI type of public announcement to ALL nurses out there, but especially those newer nurses, graduate nurses and any green-behind-the-ears nurse learning the ropes of a new job.

We often joke about it, but the truth is that there are just some things we nurses can THINK all we want, but can never speak. Do not use your “outside voice” when certain thoughts pass through that skull of yours.

Certain things need to be kept silent and to yourself. It’s sort of like the “Q-word” urban legend. There is a profound difference between thinking it’s quiet on your unit and actually saying it’s quiet on the unit. Saying the “Q-word” is like yelling “bomb” on an airplane or in a movie theater. Chaos will follow.

The other day, a newer nurse on her last leg of her orientation was finishing up a task when I heard her utter the phrase, “I didn’t have anything to do anyways…”

GOOD GRIEF!

It’s one thing to think to yourself that you are caught up on all your meds, your assessments, your charting and to be ready for the next “wave” of craziness.

But to actually say it out loud for everyone to hear?!

I thought the sky was gonna fall, the ceiling was gonna collapse, or something worse!!!

After my heart skipped a beat and I caught my breath. I made sure to educate that nurse on the finer points of thinking vs. saying in the world of nursing.

Whew!

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