I am one of those people that looks really young. I’m nearly 24 and not only do I get carded, but I’ve been asked what grade I’m in in high school.
There have been times when I’ve been at work or in clinical and I have had patients and family ask me how long I have been volunteering at the hospital or if I am a candy striper. I absolutely hate questions about my age.
BUT there is one question that I actually loathe even more than that. We’ve all been asked it at one point or another. “Why didn’t you just go to medical school?” Really, if I had a dollar for every time I have been asked that, I’d have the beginnings of a nice retirement package about now.
I don’t come from a line of nurses, in fact, I don’t come from a long line of any medical profession. And when I switched from art to nursing it was a shock, but the overall consensus in my family was that they were all pretty proud of me. But without knowledge of the difference between nursing and medicine, I soon started to get asked, “well, you could just apply to a pre-med program too,” and “do you want to go to medical school after nursing?” They aren’t they same thing!
Even now, I still get a few people who think that nursing is the lower rung on a ladder with MD on the top. Medicine and nursing are two very different yet very connected worlds. We have different schools of thought and different models of practice. Our focus is different and we treat illness in different ways. Yes we work together, but we do not work one in the same. And nurse’s aren’t doctor’s aides just because we carry out orders.
I know we’ve all been asked this at some point, but sometimes I just want to shout it to the world and let them know that I chose nursing for a reason. I didn’t choose medicine because I want to be a nurse. I think sometimes that they are trying to be nice, and give a compliment, like, “you are pretty smart, you could be a doctor,” but hey, guess what? I’m pretty smart and I am going to be a nurse! Even better!