There is no shortage of “nurse gear” on the market to advertise who and what we are.Â “Nurses Call the Shots,” “Proud to be a Nurse,” “RN on Board”–t-shirts, coffee mugs, bumper stickers, tote bags, the list goes on!
We are all proud to be nurses–especially when we finally graduate/pass the licensing exam/get our first “real” job. It is natural to want to shout it from the rooftops!
And our families are also very proud to have a nurse around. They will make a point of loading us up with all sorts of goodies advertising it and will often “rat us out” when we go with them for their own medical checkups (which can get weird when the doctor starts explaining things to US instead of THEM!).
Of course, later we will have to “translate” the Medspeak into English, and then whatever “my daughter/son, the NURSE said…” will be what gets shared with friends and the rest of the family.
So, is wearing the nurse badge a GOOD thing?
Depends on whether or not you want the world to know who you are at any given time.
Sometimes you would like to pass unnoticed in the world of nonmedical sentient beings, like at the grocery store after a particularly stressful 12-hour shift, or when YOU are the visitor in the hospital. (Of course, if you are still in uniform, it’s a done deal.)
But there are times when, for example, if you work in and out of people’s homes, you may find having a license plate frame and perhaps a windshield sticker helps your patients know who is driving up. This can also be a safety feature in dangerous areas or where law enforcement may need to allow you to pass. In my years of home health nursing, I have found that even the gang members and drug dealers tend NOT to mess with mama’s nurse.
Some nurses never get tired of being “made.” Others NEVER want to be recognized.
And sometimes we can’t quite skip past the patient who falls down right in our path…
It ain’t braggin’ if you can do it! (Rene Neville, RN)