“A forensic pathologist fishes a body out of a river and knows right away it’s a nurse. Why? The stomach is empty, the bladder full and the a** completely chewed off!” —Theresa Brown, RN
Yep—the above sounds pretty darn accurate to us! From demanding supervisors to, well, demanding patients, the modern nurse rarely has the chance to take a pee break, let alone scarf down a full meal!
But besides empty stomachs and very full bladders, what’s nursing really like in 2012? We asked you for your best puns, jokes, myths, ironic observations, stories and other odd bits of wry wisdom about the profession…and boy, did you deliver! Check out 10 of our favorite responses to the question “What’s the most outrageous thing about modern nursing?”—and see how many ring true for you!
The most outrageous thing about being a modern nurse is…
1. The most outrageous thing about being a modern nurse is the level of multitasking that it requires. Where else does a typical day of work involve having a therapeutic conversation with a completely naked man who is standing in a karate chop position while you speak with his doctor on the phone for verbal medication orders? Yes. I would, in fact, be a psych nurse. 🙂
2. The most outrageous thing about being a modern nurse is that people actually think that I got into this profession for the MONEY! It is a calling, people! It gets in your blood, your mind, your heart…at least for me it does. If I was looking for a money-centered career, I would have gone for lawyer, doctor or something totally illegal….
3. The most outrageous thing about being a modern nurse is…our utility belts have half the gadgets of Batman’s and yet nurses still save more lives.
4. The most outrageous thing about being a modern nurse is that your life’s schedule is not your own! You learn to do more with less, and that takes more time for less pay. But, ah, the reward of working with patients is our great compensation. And that’s why we do what we do, despite the lack of support that is so often faced.
5. The most outrageous thing about being a modern nurse is that it is the only profession that requires you to have a college degree while part of your job description still includes bed baths, bedpans and bedside delivery (drinks, snacks, pencils, tissues). I go from evaluating labs, conferring with doctors, giving complex medications safely and observing for the first signs of a change in condition to mopping the floor, changing TV stations and crawling on the floor looking for hearing aids, glasses or false teeth.
6. The most outrageous thing about being a modern nurse is having the responsibilities of life and death, yet watching as all the credit goes to the doctors—but being okay with it because you know the true heroes are the hidden ones!
7. The most outrageous thing about being a modern nurse is how quick society is to string up a nurse after any major error…but we’ll never hear about how that error may have occurred at the end of a 16-hour—mandatory overtime—shift while being chewed out by a manager for not making it to an in-service on hand washing. I never judge a nurse that society is crucifying in the media because that could be any of us someday.
8. The most outrageous thing about being a modern nurse is keeping a straight face when another healthcare worker asks me to do something that is just impossible and should be blatantly obvious about its impossibility. For instance, a radiology tech once asked me to “straighten out” a child with severe contractures and scoliosis related to cerebral palsy. Another time a tech asked me to turn off the ventilator because it was interfering with the EEG she was performing. YIKES! I might be superwoman and a jack-of-all-trades, but I can’t do either of those, no matter how nicely I’m asked. =)
9. The most outrageous thing about being a modern nurse is that if there were a zombie apocalypse and new nurses didn’t have all this technology, they wouldn’t know how to actually leave the next nurse a note that accurately describes who and what their patient looks like, and the care he needs—or accurately describe anything to the doc.
10. The most outrageous thing about being a modern nurse is that despite all the technology and all the demands, I still feel honored to walk this sacred journey with patients after 25 years.
What do you think is the most outrageous thing about modern nursing?