The field of nursing is complex, very stressful, and emotionally draining. While we may seem to have it all together and be all cool, calm, and collected; there are some days that make us question ourselves, our abilities, or even our choice in a career. Albeit briefly.
Some days are easier than others, but still some days your nurse may wonder if they’re going to make it to the end of the shift without their brain exploding. The amount of information, ever changing, that swims inside a nurses’ mind while he/she contemplates medication administration based on patient assessment coupled with the an uncertain presentation is stressful to say the least. It can be a load on a person to keep up with and provide the best care possible in this environment.
At times it all becomes a little too much. We get frustrated. Our patience wears thin and our tempers may threaten to flare. There’s little time to decompress and sometimes we can get a little flustered. We may even get angry.
Here’s 30 things your nurse may have thought, but never said.
- It’s ok. You can breathe. You’re talking.
- I’m older than you think.
- I’m not a waitress.
- I require nutrition to function. My taking lunch is not to punish you. I really need to eat.
- I’m not killing you.
- This is not fun for me either.
- I noticed you’re able to sleep, eat, and/or talk on the phone with that 10/10 pain. Interesting.
- Here’s the call light again. This is so you don’t have to yell “hey girl” at the top of your lungs. Subsequently, my name isn’t hey girl.
- Are you familiar with the words “please” and “thank you?!”
- You don’t have to poop everyday. I promise.
- So… You say you don’t use drugs. Your positive drug screen indicates you do. It’s ok. That happens a lot.
- Don’t abuse the call light. It may disappear.
- Your arms are not broken as far as I’m aware.
- You are allowed to do some things for yourself. For example, you may scratch your own nose.
- Stop being a baby.
- Feeling sorry for yourself does not foster healing.
- Be nice to me. I know 100 ways to kill you just off the top of my head.
- I’m not a maid.
- My feelings get hurt too.
- Your socio-economic status means nothing to me when caring for you.
- You are not starving to death.
- Removing your oxygen mask doesn’t help you breathe better. You will die.
- Despite your assumption, no, I can’t lift 3 times my own body weight.
- Yes. I “only” work 12 hour shifts. I’m super, but not super-human.
- Kinda like food, I require sleep too.
- Just because I’m sitting doesn’t mean I’m not working.
- I laugh at funny stuff. That doesn’t mean I don’t empathize with your time here.
- If crazy was a diagnosis, you’d be all set.
- You will be the cause of my disability claim.
- You are not my only patient today.
We may think these things, but we’ll never say them. They leave our thoughts as quickly as they came. And then usually we feel a bit guilty and may fuss over you a little to make ourselves feel better.
You see, the thing is that we love what we do. Yes, it’s frustrating at times. Yes, we get mad. But in the end we want to take care of you whether it’s saving your life, bringing your lunch tray, or fluffing your pillow. So, even though we may think it for a minute; we’d never say it.
Most of us have been patients or have sat with a family member who was a patient. My own mom was a chronic patient off and on before her death. So I know the other side of the coin. I know you get frustrated with me too, and you could probably come up with a list longer than 30 things you wanted to say, but then didn’t. And I’m okay with that. I know being a patient is as hard as being a nurse.
No matter what goes unsaid, at the end of the day I’m proud I got to take care of you. And if I’m lucky you will be proud to have had me as your nurse.