The top 10 best things about summer from a nurse’s perspective


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Summer, for a lot of people, stinks. If you work outdoors, or you live anywhere south of Yankton, S.D. (and not just summertime, but sometimes years, if you live there), it’s hot and sticky. Mosquitoes and ticks are everywhere, as are bored teenagers out of school. The electric bills are too darn high, and it’s a pain to cook when the temperature outside is the same as the one in your oven. But there are compensations:

  1. You’re out of the heat all day. If you work nights, the same applies, even if you have to triple-layer blackout curtains and turn every fan on high while you sleep.
  2. There are fewer cases of pneumonia, carbon-monoxide poisoning and flu on the units. True, they’re replaced by broken legs, near-drownings and alcohol poisonings, but a change is as good as a rest, right?
  3. You see more of the sun, regardless of the shift you work, than you do in January.
  4. Very few people’s insurance plans reset in September, so there’s no end-of-season rush to get elective surgeries done.
  5. Doctors go on vacation. This means that not only are some of them gone for stretches of time, but they’re generally in better moods when they get back. It’s a win-win!
  6. July offers a unique perspective on both the coming crop of doctors and the younger generation. (Tryin’ to see this as a positive, folks.)
  7. You might get to go on vacation. You might even get to turn your phone off and not check your work email!
  8. This is the one time of year when a work lunch of ice pops, chips and guacamole, and lemonade is acceptable. Gotta keep those glucose and potassium levels up!
  9. Scrubs are almost comfortable when it’s not 30 below outside.
  10. If all else fails, remember: Fall is just around the corner. It’ll bring new challenges, like chainsaw injuries and hunting accidents.
Agatha Lellis
Agatha Lellis is a nurse whose coffee is brought to her every morning by a chipmunk. Bluebirds help her to dress, and small woodland creatures sing her to sleep each night. She writes a monthly advice column, "Ask Aunt Agatha," here on Scrubs; you can send her questions to be answered at

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