November 5, 2008

So what do you do as a nurse? Give shots?

If I had a nickel for every time that someone has asked me what I do as a nurse, I could probably buy myself a plane ticket home to Alaska. There have honestly been sooo many times since I first started nursing school that people (and well-meaning people at that) have asked me what I could possibly do during a twelve hour shift at the hospital. I have had some people sincerely believe that I give my patients shots and pills, maybe start an occasional IV, and then just monitor my patients and fluff their pillows for them if they need it.

It's kind of hard to describe how crazy being a nurse can be (not to say that other jobs aren't super stressful/crazy as well). Being a nurse takes a lot out of you physically, mentally, and emotionally. This is why nurses usually only work 3-4 twelve hour shifts a week: it takes at least one day off to recover phycially before you can join the world again and have a life. I LOVE being a nurse, however I'm positive that the last year I spent as a nurse at MD Anderson Cancer Center has aged me significantly.

So it's time to set the record straight on what a nurse does:
As a nurse I definitely give shots, pills, and start IVs. However, being a nurse also requires me to be a social worker, advocate, life-saver, crier, laugher, shouter, book-keeper, problem solver, secretary, educator, family meeting coordinator, patient care coordinator, physical therapist, expert at doing eight things NOW, shoulder to cry on, heavy weight-lifter, Spanish translator, computer technician, medical equipment repairman, moderator, speed-walker, and last but definitely not least, a bodily fluid wiper-upper. Sometimes I've been lucky enough to be all of them in one day. Like I said, LOVE my job, but definitely not a cushy job.
So I have to ask any of my nursing friends who follow this blog: was that pretty accurate?

I hope everyone out there is fortunate enough to have great nurses. Hopefully your nurses are nice, helpful, and good at IV starts. If they ever seem a little flustered, the above explanation is probably the reason, and most likely your nurse is trying REALLY hard to serve you as best as possible. It's just not an easy job!

7 comments:

Nicole said...

Holly! I didn't even know you had a blog! Geez! Sorry! This is great!! I love just hearing what you are up to every day or week or special events... whatever! Love you!! You are awesome.... I bet you are the bestest nurse ever!!

The Wilson Family said...

Oh my gosh, Holly, I love this blog. I wrote down your number, I will be calling you. Sounds like we have alot of the same things going on right now. I love you!

e said...

Everyone always asks me what I do besides bedpans . . . I try to sweetly explain to them how stupid they are. Seriously, people.

Nicole said...

Um, How do I "follow" this blog Holly?

Talia said...

Ha! I pretty much do all of this as a mom...minus the IV thing!! You are overly qualified to be a mommy! Except I don't get "days off" to recoop my sanity! Haha :) Super cute blog!

When Kyle had to volunteer in the ER he told me he could never be a nurse! He said he has the easy job... paramedics only have to stabalize, then nurses have to do all the rest!

Rachel said...

HAHAHA! Love this post! I feel like being a nurse can be pretty crazy business too. Aren't nurses amazing? ;)

The Routsong Family said...

Hey Holly! How are you! It is fun to read what you have been up to! Keep in touch!!

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