Nursing is a fast-paced industry with lots of ups and downs. Working as a nurse usually means interfacing with dozens, if not hundreds, of patients in a single day. When every shift is literally a matter of life and death, nurses usually experience their fair share of drama. But due to the professional nature of the job, nurses usually keep a lid on their innermost thoughts and feelings when dealing with patients. From secretly resenting doctors to dealing with frustrating patients, here are 20 confessions of being a nurse:
1. Gossip Travels Fast
Patients tend to be open about their personal experiences when talking to nurses, especially if they’re stuck at the hospital for hours or days on end. But patients should realize that nurses tend to gossip on the floor. What happens in a hospital room usually doesn’t stay in the hospital room.
2. Not All Nurses Agree with Doctors
If a nurse tells a patient, “You have a right to a second opinion,” it usually means they disagree with the doctor’s diagnosis or recommended treatment. Nurses aren’t required to agree with doctors when administering care, so they might suggest a patient seek out a second opinion.
3. Many Patients Should Have Come Earlier
Time and time again, many patients hold off on seeking medical care, even though they should have come sooner. Nurses usually refrain from making patients feel bad about themselves, so they may say something like, “If this happens again, contact the doctor immediately” instead.
4. Smiling Is Just a Part of the Job
Nurses tend to smile a lot when greeting and talking to patients. But their patients shouldn’t take it personally, smiling is just a part of the job.
5. The Sicker the Patient, the Less They Complain
If a patient is talking a nurse’s ear off, it usually means they’re doing okay. The seriously ill patients tend to keep quiet.
6. Yes, Nurses Watch Medical Shows – and Laugh
Patients may be wondering if their nurses have ever seen a show like Grey’s Anatomy. The answer is usually yes, but they’re probably laughing at how unrealistic these shows can be.
7. Patients Aren’t Guests in a Hotel
Some patients like to be waited on hand and foot, but nurses are there to administer medical care, not pamper their patients.
8. “You’re Too Smart to Be a Nurse” is a Huge Insult
Some patients like to think of nurses as less capable than doctors, but nurses bring plenty of skills and medical expertise to the table, sometimes even outshining their superiors.
9. Some Nurses Get Blamed for Someone Else’s Mistake
Healthcare is often a team effort, which means some nurses may get blamed for someone else’s mistake. It’s just a part of the job, albeit a frustrating one.
10. Patients Shouldn’t Distract Their Nurses When They’re Trying to Do Their Jobs
If a nurse is filling out a form, administering medication, or doing some other important task, patients should keep to themselves until the nurse is finished. Otherwise, the distraction could cause the nurse to make a mistake.
11. Patients Should Never Lie about Their Pain
Some patients like to look tough and lie about their pain, but that’s always a big mistake. Patients should clearly communicate their symptoms.
12. Drinking Water Before Having Blood Drawn is Always a Good Idea
If patients are dehydrated, they could get drowsy or even lose consciousness after having their blood drawn.
13. Hospitals are a Madhouse During Holidays
Patients should avoid being admitted during the holidays, if they can help it. Otherwise, they’ll likely face long wait times.
14. Nurses Believe in Miracles
Nurses care about their patients, and even if the odds are slim, they’re still bound to hope for the best.
15. Some Doctors Don’t Care About Pain
Some patients may not get the sympathy from their doctors they were hoping for if they’re in pain.
16. Nurses Save as Many Lives as Doctors
Some patients like to think of doctors as the real saviors, but nurses are often responsible for just as many patient recoveries as doctors.
17. If Patients Are Confused, Speak Up
Patients should ask questions if they’re confused, or they may miss important details.
18. Not All Patients Are Grateful for the Care They Receive
Patients can give nurses a hard time, even if the nurse is doing everything they can to help them.
19. Men Tend to Hold Off on Receiving Medical Care More Than Women
When it comes to receiving care on time, women tend to do a better job than men in terms of taking care of themselves and going to the doctor when it’s necessary.
20. Only the Gravely Ill Get Admitted to Hospitals
If patients have mild symptoms, they probably won’t be admitted to the hospital, so it’s best to visit a physician or doctor instead.
Nurses clearly have their work cut out for them when it comes to caring for patients.
If you’re a nurse who is looking for a career change, consider starting a career in travel nursing. You’ll have the opportunity to work at hospitals and healthcare companies all over the country, meet new people, and gain valuable professional experience.