You know you’re a nurse when…

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Do you talk about wounds and drainage during a nice sit down dinner at a fancy restaurant? Yep, you’re a nurse. Read all 10 tell tale signs that you’re a nurse, as observed by contributor and RN supervisor, Michelle Lambert.

1. Your talk of wounds and drainage in a restaurant makes the people at the next table run for the door.

2. You replace words with medical abbreviations during conversations with family and friends.

3. Your kids think it’s normal to talk about BMs and other bodily functions in public.

4. You self-diagnose.

5. You go to work with a fever of 103.

6. Your father in-law feels free to describe bodily functions to you, including texture and color.

7. You know the full moon by the behaviors of the people around you.

8. All you watch on TV are medical shows.

9. Every abbreviation makes you think of medical terms.

10. Your 8-year-old tells all her friends about periods and puberty on the playground.

Contributed by Michelle Lambert, RN Supervisor

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17 Responses to You know you’re a nurse when…

  1. Jean RN

    You tell your kid “Stop crying. It’s only a CONTUSION!”… You get excited when your kid gets a cut because you can practice that new wound care technique you learned… You DEBRIDE your kids’ knee scabs… You create your own personalized cold medicine by combining OTC products in your bathroom (“a little Sudafed, some Robitussin, a Tylenol – here you go, kid”)… You find saline bullets, alcohol swabs and glucose test strips in the washer after you do a load of scrubs… You put your kids’ vitamins into med cups for them…

  2. mary helmbrecht

    THIS IS GREAT AND SO TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love it–my kids got so used to talking about stuff at the dinner table we made their dad leave the table and eat in the other room!!

  3. Doris Griffin LVN III

    I remember as nursing students we all met at McDonalds for lunch from the different hospitals in town. The place was crowded.We had been discussing the interesting procedures we had seen that morning in detail. While discussing a vein stripping that had hemorrhaged and all the details. I noted that our neighbors had all moved and were headed toward different tables…As a Nurse I find it all so interesting I have to remind myself to change the subject when I notice someone at the table giving me the LOOK…

  4. Megan

    All of this is great, except the medical shows. I CANNOT watch them anymore. They’re so unrealistic, biased, and just stupid. Excuse me, Grey’s Anatomy…WHO has ever seen a dark OR?! Aside from the blatant lack of nurses, the ones that do appear are dumb/slutty, or old/cranky. Or the other end of the spectrum with that show Hawthore, where nurses run the hospital and put down doctors. I also love that they make residents perform brain surgery, deliver babies, and collect stool samples all in the same day. Please.

    I can’t STAND medical shows!

    But they rest of this list is tres fabulous!

    • MrsShippy

      I so wanted to love Red Band Society, but the mistakes are just so ridiculous. My husband and i said, ” Oh, come on!” at least twice in every scene.

  5. Helen Marshall

    You know you’re a cardiac nurse when you’re driving down a country road and think that the tar marks on the road remind you of A SLOW A-FIB IN MCL LEAD.

    I’ve discovered that it’s best to get your famiily used to your “topics of conversation” early. The first Thanksgiving my husband and I were married, I worked that evening and my coworkers invited him to our potluck. I worked on a Surgical telemetry floor where many of uour patients had had open heart surgery, One of my coworker’s patients got very confused ‘post pump” and since he was very round and he couldn’t see it, he accused my friend of stealing his penis. (Like I said he was VERY confused) Just as my friend was telling this story I turned to my husband and watched all the color drain out of his genteel southern gentleman face. When I got home that night all he said was, “Well, hum, you guys sure have some interesting dinner conversation.” In the 18 years since, no story I have told has bothered him.

  6. Arlene

    If anything edible is in a container with a lid, watch, if a nurse is opening it she will turn the lid upside down. I notice this a lot if there is a sugar bowl being used… I am as guilty as anyone of doint this with all foods..

  7. Nursemillie

    My 6 yr old asked her dad if he knew “what these are?” pointing at her toes. He answered “piggies?” she says no phalanges. lol

  8. Comancheshadow

    My mother asked my oldest daughter, who was nine years old at the time…”Do you know how to turn off a hot eye on the stove?”…. My daughter replied promptly, ” oh yes… you go around it like a sterile field”…. LOL……… My kids also used to laugh hysterically when Gage and DeSoto, the original paramedics, did CPR…with extended arms and pumping to beat the band… THEY knew how to do it correctly at ages 7 and 9!!!…

  9. shelly

    I will be in any random line and looking at people’s forearms going “Hmmm bet I can get a 18 gauge in that!”….. Or when my son was little, and playing rough has he did back then, came in grabbed his legs and exclaimed…”My femurs hurt!” But I definitely turn lids upside down, placing them on a paper towel…..have to thank microbiolgy for that…..

  10. Diana B.

    Your might be a nurse if…
    …you’ve ever basted your Thanksgiving turkey with a 60 cc syringe.
    …you’ve ever used an ABD as a makeshift sanitary pad.
    …you own at least 3 pens, note pads, key chains, mugs, mouse pads, or other items with the names of prescription medicines on them.
    …you hope there’s a special place in Hell for the inventor of the call light.

  11. broseboro

    I went out on a first date last Saturday night, and instead of staring dreamily into his eyes, I’m noticing his veins!!

  12. shortperson210

    All of this is so true, although the medical shows I have to say I point out all that is wrong with them – so now my kids are doing it – haha. Having worked as a surgical nurse most of my career I now have the vantage point of telling horrifically gross stories to my teenage daughter’s prospective boyfriends: you know what happens when you’re drunk and on scaffolding – you fall and your penis is the size and color of a large eggplant and your testes are the same color only the size of melons – so what did we serve his first night @ dinner – yup eggplant and melon – his face just drained – priceless. When I was a brand new nurse one seasoned nurse said: you know you’ve been a nurse for a while when you can wipe sh*t with one hand and eat a sandwich with the other…not that she or anyone would do that, but I quickly realized what she meant.

  13. MahzieLPN80

    . . .you do your best to understand your dogs’ veterinary issues in human terms, lab tests and all.

  14. Lizzip

    You refuse to anything at work with your hands and you eat subs with a fork and knife and potato chips with a spoon. Because after all c-diff tastes worst than it smells.

  15. smbrnc

    You know your a nurse when you think that areal spraying of an antidepressant is a good idea.