Is it hard for nurses to be patients?

Shazia Memon, a pediatric critical care nurse in New York City, wrote a first-person story for The Atlantic about what happens when the nurse becomes the patient. And it’s really quite funny.

“As a pediatric critical care nurse, I deal with my fair share of screaming toddlers, stressed parents, and anxious kids,” she writes. “And during the most unpredictable of emergencies, we maintain a cool composure in hopes that the patient and our colleagues will follow suit. Basically, calming down panicked people is a huge part of the job description.”

So what happens when the nurse changes teams, from being the hand holder to the one who needs her hand held? Not so great, as it turns out. After discussing it with friends, Memon determined that nurses may be some of the worst patients ever!

Before you get offended, hear her out. “My personal opinion is that it’s a dysfunctional coping mechanism; we don’t know how NOT to be calm and in control,” she writes “So the rare times that we don’t feel those ways, we project our anxiety through behaviors that are just as unfamiliar to us.”

To read the rest of the article and decide if you agree, head over here. But be sure to come back and let us know what you think in the comments below.


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One Response to Is it hard for nurses to be patients?

  1. ruralnurse RN

    With nurses, I am a model patient because I can empathize with them. Doctors—now that’s different. I don’t always share their opinion or directions and tell them. Probably not the smartest thing to tell a doctor that we nurses KNOW.