Are nurses vampires or zombies?


Creatista | Veer + Scrubs

Do you sparkle or do you groan and lurch?

The two most popular memes these days are vampires and zombies, driven by movies like Twilight and TV shows like The Walking Dead. I saw vampire costumes everywhere this past Halloween and almost went as a zombie nurse myself — until a friend pointed out that it would be redundant.

So which are we: blood-sucking undead sunlight-phobic sociopaths or brain-eating undead decaying sociopaths?

I have reached no firm conclusion, but I do have the following evidence to support the notion that nurses might be the world’s first zombie/vampire hybrids:

  • Vampires go out at night. So does half the nursing workforce in this country.
  • Vampires are generally pretty strange. So is half the nursing workforce in this country.
  • Vampires get a charge out of the sight of blood. Nurses do, too, especially if it’s not blood we have to clean up or be responsible for.
  • Vampires, at least according to the old movies, wear the same darn thing every day: suit, tie and cape. Nurses wear the same darn thing every day: scrubs, sensible shoes, minimal jewelry. That our daily uniform often has printed teddy bears on it merely acts as camouflage.
  • Vampires don’t eat what normal humans eat. Neither do nurses—ever seen what comes out of a hospital cafeteria?
  • Zombies groan, shuffle and often have bits falling off of them. Take a look at the next career nurse you see, especially toward the end of the shift, and see if there isn’t a parallel there.
  • Zombies are unstoppable. So are nurses. Just try to keep us from getting out the door at 7:15.
  • Zombies speak a language that’s understandable only to other zombies. Whether it’s “GRONK. SNAAAR. GRUUUUUTCH!” or “So then, she tells me that the MAP ought to stay above 65, and I’m all, what? A MAP above 65 with a CVP like this one? And what about the ICP?” it’s the same effect.
  • Zombies don’t have the best fashion sense. (I’m just going to leave that there.)
  • Zombies often are less than fresh at the end of the day/marauding/human-hunting. There’s a reason nurses hit the showers first thing when they get home, and it’s not because they fear germs.

I’ve yet to meet a nurse who sparkles in the sunlight or transforms into a big shaggy dog. If I do, I’ll let you know. For now, though, I’m popping popcorn and waiting for the first big nurse-themed horror movie to hit the dollar theater.

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. She writes a monthly advice column, "Ask Aunt Agatha," here on Scrubs; you can send her questions to be answered at

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