Nursing is our profession, but it leaks into other aspects of our life as well. Here’s how you can spot a nurse at a bar, a restaurant, a backyard barbeque, or anyplace else where people are kicking back and enjoying a drink.
They order red wine.
It’s no secret that too much alcohol is anything but good for you, but if you’re going to drink moderately from time to time, red wine is a great choice. Nurses are pretty health-conscious people, so at the bar, you might notice them ordering a nice Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. Although the health benefits of red wine are probably overstated by pop science journalism looking for clicks and pageviews, it is true that red wine may actually have a few modest health benefits. Some of these include:
- Neuroprotective effects from resveratrol. Resveratrol is an antioxidant that may have neuroprotective effects that could help stave off Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.
- Promotes longevity. While the cause isn’t completely clear, research has indicated that red wine drinkers seem to have a thirty four percent lower mortality rate when compared to people who drink beer or vodka in similar quantities.
- It’s heart healthy. Red wine gets its dark color and bitter, astringent aroma notes from tannins. The tannins in red wine contain procyanidins, which may help protect against heart disease.
They drink pretty moderately.
The relationship between alcohol consumption and health is a rather delicate dance. It’s no secret that alcohol abuse is incredibly harmful — according to the World Health Organization, it caused 3.3 million deaths worldwide in 2014. Chronic alcohol abuse comes with a host of health issues that can dramatically shorten a person’s lifespan, including Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, malnutrition, alcoholic fatty liver disease, chronic pancreatitis, and a higher risk of cancer.
And yet, in low and responsible quantities, alcohol may have some positive long-term health effects, including better cardiovascular health. When you run into a nurse at the bar, there’s a good chance they’ll be drinking pretty moderately, in keeping with the CDC’s alcohol consumption guidelines.
They’re probably not ordering sugary drinks.
Chances are, the nurse will take a gin and tonic or a rum and diet coke over a sugary cosmo or margarita. Those girly drinks like appletinis and daiquiris have a ton of sugar in them, which isn’t great for your health. The World Health Organization recommends a surprisingly modest sugar intake for healthy adults, around six teaspoons or 25 grams.
You catch them using hand sanitizer from their purse or pocket.
You might catch a nurse at the bar sneaking a squirt of hand sanitizer from a pocket-size bottle in their pocket or purse. And if the bar bathroom has bar soap instead of dispensers, you can bet that they’ll be reaching for the hand sanitizer instead. Believe it or not, bar soap can be a haven for bacterial pathogens. The CDC actually recommends dispensers over bar soap in public or shared bathrooms, and a 2006 study found that soap could potentially become a source of continued reinfection in dental clinics.
They’re still wearing their scrubs.
If a nurse just got off of a shift, they may still be wearing their scrubs. Let’s get real: scrubs, and especially scrub pants, are ridiculously comfortable. It’s a secret that only healthcare professionals know.
They might have a textbook with them.
If they’re working on a master’s or PhD., a nurse at the bar might be quietly reading a textbook while they’re sipping their wine or beer.
They always come prepared.
If someone manages to get a minor injury like a cut or a bruise, it will probably be a nurse who happens to have a small first aid kit in their pocket or purse. You can also observe nurses, as well as doctors, EMTs, and other medical professionals, springing into action if something more serious happens in a public place. If someone’s having a seizure or going into labor, you can bet that the nurse knows what’s up.
They’re a great listener.
One thing about nurses is that we work with people constantly, and because of that, we learn pretty quickly how to become good listeners. Active listening and “reading between the lines” can be essential to gleaning more details about a patient’s condition and status, and part of the therapeutic relationship is providing support for patients going through tough times. When you strike up a conversation with a nurse at the bar, you know they’ll listen closely and provide a lot of sympathy and support.
Spotting a Nurse at the Bar
As nurses, we often recognize our own. These are just a few of the many ways that nurses can spot our fellow nurses out in the world, whether it’s at the bar, at a party, or anywhere else.
This article is written in satire.