10 things nurses are NOT thankful for


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During this holiday season, it’s time to sit back and reflect—to reflect on what nursing is to us and, for one perverse instant, think about what we’re not necessarily “thankful” for.

Here is our top 10 list.

1. Mobile phones. Okay, whose idea was it to tether down the nurses with mobile phones and then give the phone numbers to the patients? It was hard enough before to grab a bathroom break in peace. Now you have to go and hope the phone doesn’t ring while you’re there. Oh—and why does your phone ring right when you have begun a sterile procedure?

2. Computer-generated passwords. How many passwords do you have to remember? You have passwords for your personal computer, your email, your voicemail…just about anything you want to access electronically. If you’re lucky, you get to choose your own passwords and hope they’re easy enough for you to remember while not being too easy for thieves to figure out. So what happens when you get to work and you’re given a computer-generated password that makes absolutely no sense to you, and you can’t change it? Really! Who can remember OioP_892ml2?

3. Punch clocks. We know the importance of time clocks or punch clocks—after all, not everyone comes in on time. But if you’re not allowed to punch in too early, and everyone has to punch in at the same time at the same place, want to bet that someone ends up punching in a minute or two late?

4. Cocky first-year residents. We know: We all have to learn. We were nursing students once. But please save us from the know-it-all, just-graduated-at-the-top-of-my-class first-year residents. If we suggest that you may be heading toward an error, as patient advocates we have to speak up. Please don’t dig in your heels just because you’re the doctor. You may be the doctor, but we know what we’re doing!

5. Paychecks. This one needs a bit of explaining, huh? We love getting paid and are thankful for getting paid, but sometimes when we look at that paycheck and compare it to the amount of work we did…well, you get the picture.

6. Token days for nurses. International Nurses Day is meant to thank us for the work we do all year long. Here’s to hoping someone will institute the International Nurses Each and Every Day, where we’re appreciated daily and have our pay raised—that would be worth celebrating!

7. Hovering visitors. Not all visitors are bad—some are downright nice and pleasant. But others…please keep them away! We could do without the visitors who hover over us as we try to complete a task, who pepper us with questions as we’re talking to someone else and who think that we’re there to cater to their every whim, and all the while they’re not even the patient!

8. Nursing diagnosis. Seriously? We have to figure out a nursing diagnosis on top of the medical diagnosis? Don’t we have enough work to do?

9. Paperwork. Speaking of paperwork, what ever happened to the paperless society we were going to have someday? It seems that we generate a lot more paper now that we have computers and printers than we ever did before. And speaking of papers, how many do we have to sign the same thing over and over again?

10. Long names. Nurses with long names really don’t have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to signing off charts and other sheets again and again…you can thank (or not thank) your parents for that one!

Do you have anything you can add to this list?

Marijke Durning
Marijke is a professional writer who began her working career as a registered nurse over 25 years ago. After working in clinical areas ranging from rehab to intensive care, as a floor nurse to a supervisor, she found she could combine her extensive health knowledge with her love of writing. Although she has been published in a wide variety of publications for professionals and the general public, her passion is writing for the every day person to promote health literacy.

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