In the onslaught of recent events, nurses have endured a wide variety of reactions. While nurses have been getting a lot of criticism in the media and press, we’ve also experienced an overwhelming amount of support from others inside and outside the profession. Enjoy this bit of satire to lighten the mood and thank all those nurses who take the selfless route every time and make us proud. It’s not easy, although some might say it is. #nursesfornina
Ask anyone and they would identify nursing as the most selfish and lazy profession. As nurses, we often neglect our duties for hours, play on the Internet, and essentially waste as much time on the clock as possible. We linger around the water cooler, making up gossip about various coworkers and management, lacking any kind of impetus to do real work. We glance back at our patients from time to time but there’s really no rush, right? They can manage on their own in a prone bed on an oscillator ventilator in a sedation coma. We take bathroom breaks with regular frequency, go out to eat for lunch (and stretch out the hour into two), and leave early on Fridays if we want. In reality, we don’t take our job too seriously.
There’s no sense of urgency or immediacy. It’s essentially the most-stress free job you could have. You don’t need to pay close attention as you complete an assessment or titrate a pressor. The arterial line probably isn’t reading correctly anyway. Just recycle that manual BP of 55/32. That acute change in mental status? Most likely he just didn’t get enough sleep last night. You say you’re allergic to this type of antibiotic? I’m sure you’ll be fine, take some deep breaths. You can rationalize almost any finding. The alarms are so considerate and only go off when there’s a true emergency, not every two seconds, waking my finally-sleeping patient. In fact, if you silence the alarm quickly, it’s like that short run of V-Tach never even happened.
You’ll never get caught up in a frustrating debacle for a simple miscalculation on a narcotic flowsheet that happened three shifts before you got to the patient. It was an honest mistake and I’m sure they will eventually figure out who didn’t do their math correctly or how the computer malfunctioned. It’s not like your career is at stake or anything. It’s almost impossible to get fired from a nursing job.
We lack true responsibilities and act accordingly. We sleep in past the alarm, roll out of bed and into work whenever we feel like it, definitely never at the crack of dawn or for an entire night shift. We take the words “on call” very nonchalantly and drink away the night at a bar, shrugging off the possibility that we might have to go into work. It’s really not that important that I stay clear-headed for my job. We would never sacrifice a day off to come in to help the unit when we’re short staffed. We don’t stay late or come in early for a fellow coworker who wants to see her daughter off to her first prom. In short, it’s my time and I’ll keep it that way.
I flippantly observe my agitated, helpless patients and shrug at them with an unconcerned look that simply says, “good luck.” I passively carry out physician orders, ignoring words like “stat” or “asap” or “critical.” I never move at more than a snail’s pace. I blindly follow the orders I receive rather than questioning the first year resident’s decisions. I don’t ask questions or advocate for my patient but follow the relaxed approach, letting fate take its course. I’ve never reminded a physician to put my restraints back on my agitated vented patient. That would be too much effort.
We absolutely never take risks. We avoid the places that no one wants to go. We would never sacrifice our own health and wellbeing for someone we don’t even know, especially with the possibility of contracting a life-threatening illness. If someone coughs on me, I’m out the door, never to return. You’re on your own. We’re always treated by others with respect and are the last to be blamed in a controversial incident. I’ve never heard a nasty nurse joke or a colorless pun about my job. I sleep well at night knowing all of this.
I’ve never wanted to shout profanity at the person from the lab. Pause. I’ve never wanted to shout profanity at the person from the lab.
I have never met an unkind family member. Even those who are feverishly scribbling down my every move are gracious and appreciative. They would never threaten me or shout at me or tell me I’m incompetent as I run myself ragged trying to save their family member’s life. They always understand the reasons why I do the things I do and hardly ever bring up some ridiculous google article and force me to read it at the bedside. In fact, I absolutely love the fact that WebMD lists cancer and stroke as a symptom for every common ailment. It makes my life so much easier. Each family brings me cookies and flowers and commends me to the CEO of the hospital as the best nurse who has ever worked at the bedside.
I’m affirmed daily, well-rested, and carry an extremely low amount of stress. I’m essentially getting paid to be awesome at watching a monitor. Don’t be fooled, this job is cush and I get paid WAY beyond what I deserve. I don’t understand anyone who says this job is hard.
Now to anyone who has ever been a nurse, known a nurse, worked with a nurse, been related to a nurse, etc- you know all of this is a satirical spin on nursing life that is mostly untrue, (while I still encourage nurses to take excellent care of their patients and not make narcotic errors). And that’s why it’s funny. If you’re a nurse, you understand many of these misconceptions and can relate to the frequent frustrations with a sense of humor.
As nurses, we work tirelessly day after day enduring long shifts, little to no time for breaks, and thankless patients. I’ve had to go to the bathroom for hours but held it as we went to STAT CT or did one bedside procedure after another. I’ve had patients spit, slap, push, curse, vomit on and berate me. I’ve had to call the police on several family members for getting too aggressive in the ICU. I work weekends and holidays despite the fact that I would love to be with my own family. I endure the monotony of first year residents with a smile on my face, trying to help them not kill anyone. There are many, many frustrating aspects of nursing but if all the bad outweighed the good, then why would we do it?
Because of supportive coworkers. Because of kind families who really do bring cookies. Because of the satisfaction of seeing the patient who was on his death bed walk back in the door months later. Because, despite the satire, it is a great job to have if you want a family and flexibility. Because we have a unique opportunity to permanently impact someone else’s life. Because we signed up for a level of selflessness that proves to be extremely rewarding. Because of a million more reasons that make the job worth it.
Our commitment and fortitude has been put to the test lately and we’ve come out stronger than before, sticking up for each other and advocating for ourselves. It makes me proud of this profession, and it should make you proud too. #supportthescrubs
Why do you love being a nurse? Why do you continue to sacrifice for the patients and families? Why should we be proud of our profession?