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It takes a special kind of person to be a nurse—a person who is compassionate, committed, selfless and strong.
Then, there are the nurse-specific qualities that come less naturally to a person—the traits and tendencies that may not necessarily be with you at the beginning of your training, but will most certainly be in full effect toward the end, like a bladder of steel or basic break-room survival skills.
Needless to say, the characteristics that emerge throughout your education are not only vital, but their presence can also help you gauge whether or not you are ready to don your first official set of scrubs.
So, to help you answer the big question—”Are you ready to be a nurse?”—we’ve gathered 15 “work readiness” indicators. Answer “yes” to the majority of them, and you can safely assume you’re ready to hit the linoleum floor running.
1. You can make a meal a minimum of 18 different ways with only a Kit Kat bar, white bread and a packet of ketchup at your disposal.
2. You’ve come to terms with the fact that you’re probably not going to be working alongside a guy who looks like this:
Or, you know, this:
3. You really only need 2-3 hours of sleep to go from this:
4. The thought of a single piece of clothing containing a dozen pockets doesn’t cause you anxiety. In fact, it’s the only thing you ask for during most gift-giving holidays.
That and pajamas or alcohol.
5. Weekends aren’t a big deal to you. Neither are social gatherings, or daylight.
6. You aren’t phased when a patient claims you are actively trying to kill them because:
a. You won’t let them smoke in the bathroom.
b. It’s been a full seven minutes since you last entered their room.
c. They don’t like your face.
7. All of your friends have given up on trying to shock or disgust you. They tell you about the most repulsive thing they’ve seen to date, their most awkward encounter in years or their worst days and you’re just like:
8. You were warned that you’d be wrong about 80 percent of the time in nursing school. You were only wrong 70 percent of the time by graduation.
9. All of your friends and family feel more comfortable if you’re there, so they keep inviting you to try new sushi joints with them (in case of food poisoning), their kid’s soccer game (should they break an arm) and baby showers (so they feel welcome to call you at 6 am with pregnancy-related questions).
You’ve never been so popular, and it may just kill you.
10. You wash your hands every five minutes at work, but still subscribe to the “15-second rule” when snacking at home.
11. You’re well aware that a person’s size, weight and age are in no way directly connected to their fear of needles.
12. You watched this scene from Titanic and thought to yourself, “Duh—they’re probably just slammed,” and that Rose should really be more assertive:
13. Your poker face is this effective:
14. It’s not impossible for you to combine nine cups of coffee with just one bathroom break over the course of seven hours.
15. All in all, you’re grateful to be just the way you are (as strange as you may be) because you get to go to work every day and witness moments like this:
And that’s way cooler than an open weekend.