The signs of an off-duty nurse, on-duty parent

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Never mind how difficult it is to be part nurse, part parent. Let’s talk about how difficult it is to be the child of a part nurse, part parent.

A BB gun for Christmas? Forget about it. Sick days? Maybe once every six years. Fell out of a tree? It happens—no need to get all worked up over it.

Yes, that whole “childhood” thing is simply different when good old Mom or Dad is playing double duty as a nurse and a caretaker. Yet all the qualities that nursing encompasses (compassion, savvy and skill, to start) are the same qualities that make nurses the very best kind of parents. Funny how that works out, isn’t it?

Certain that there would be a recurring tendency or two, we asked your fellow nurses to share with us all those funny little quirks that practically scream “off-duty nurse, on-duty parent!” Needless to say, the responses we spotted on our ScrubsMag Facebook page had us thinking everything from “too cute” to “let’s hope social services doesn’t get the wrong idea.”

We recommend that you check ’em out below—parent or otherwise, you may be guilty of a few yourself:

“My son went to school one day and told his kindergarten teacher he was rubbing his eyes because he had copious amounts of eosinophilic leukocytes in his eyes. She called me right away. I told her that the Sandman visits a lot because of his allergies. That cracked me up that he remembered what they were called. Still laugh over that almost 20 years later.” —Julianna L.

“On a scale of zero to ‘stepped on a Lego’? What’s your pain?” —Kelley C. 

“When your four-year-old knows what a UTI is, and she calls germs ‘microorganisms’…LOL.” —Claire A.

“I’m a psych RN. When my son was around three, before he’d go to sleep at night, I’d read him a story and then start to question him about his day. ‘How was school? Anything you want to talk about with Mommy?’ One night, before I had a chance to start, he said, ‘My day was fine. No problems. I’m really tired. Can I just go to sleep now?’ I got the message!” —Marci S. 

“When my first kid was born, I worked in the PICU. Every time she pooped or peed, I wanted to write it down and report it to someone.” —Joan A.

“‘Are you bleeding? A lot? If you’re not bleeding, it’s not that bad.’ My mom is a retired nurse and my dad is a retired pediatrician. I swear, we could walk in the house with a limb hanging off and they wouldn’t bat an eye. I now get it, as I am a nurse, too.” —Catherine H. 

“She closes a gaping wound by cleaning it and applying crazy glue…so well, in fact, the ER MD says, ‘Nothing more to do here’ and sends you home!” —Denise R. 

“When my four-year-old son knows his body parts in medical terms, like cranium, veins, arteries, abdomen, phalanges, spinal cord and scapula, and also dreams about being a doctor someday. Also, when my son was in the ER at one time, two nurses failed the IV insertions. I was like, in my head, ‘Can I just do this? I’m a trauma nurse. We can start an IV on a prune.’ LOL!” —MJ S. 

“I worked in the OR, so my kids always got a big hug when I came in from a big trauma case—no matter the time of day or night.” —Carla S. 

Did we miss any? Well, then—looks like you’re going to have to tell us in the comments section below.

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