Got "nurse face"? How'd you get it? - page 2

by Cinquefoil

8,154 Views | 41 Comments

"Nurse face" = the calm, collected expression that a nurse wears I am a BSN, graduated Sept, no job yet (but looking hard), 2 years experience in LTC, and right now doing temporary caregiving/sitting work in an LTC (private... Read More


  1. 7
    Botox.
    Hagabel, teeniebert, Altra, and 4 others like this.
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    Quote from TheCommuter

    Don't bark at me when I admit this, people. . . . .but I also have some difficulty with empathy. So when a patient is grimacing with extreme pain and rates it a 10/10, I'll quickly intervene without experiencing the range of emotions or achieving the depth of feeling that other caregivers seem to feel.

    So, my 'nurse face' is partly due to being emotionally detached.
    I am the exact same way! I've been called stoic or emotionless to the max as one old coworker said. Tears don't move me either. I intervene but crying won't help the situation. I tried being more sympathetic but it just isn't me. I want to help but I'm not going to get all worked up helping you. Because to me being all worked up leads to mistakes being made. And again this is me and I won't change. Actually I have patients tell me all the time they want me as their nurse from now on. Unfortunately I'm a PRN float nurse so you will probably never see me again.

    So the nurse face will come in time unless that is your personality already.
    berrien likes this.
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    For many I think its got to be a matter of confidence and just "letting your training take over". I am a new nurse so I dont have much of the former to draw on, but it seems like every week I see something I learned about in school, so the learning curve continues to be fairly steep and less and less surprises me anymore.
    arl50 and Cinquefoil like this.
  4. 2
    Quote from TheCommuter
    I already have a restricted affect and have difficulty showing or feeling emotions at any given point in time, so the 'nurse face' came easily to me. Some of my former and present coworkers have commented that I look "so calm."

    Don't bark at me when I admit this, people. . . . .but I also have some difficulty with empathy. So when a patient is grimacing with extreme pain and rates it a 10/10, I'll quickly intervene without experiencing the range of emotions or achieving the depth of feeling that other caregivers seem to feel.

    So, my 'nurse face' is partly due to being emotionally detached.
    One needn't be empathetic in order to provide excellent nursing care.

    OP: Practice in front of a mirror or a video camera so that you can see for yourself.
    TheCommuter and Cinquefoil like this.
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    I have NO IDEA how, but I've been told by random people that I smile a lot. It's really weird because I'm sooo not one of those peppy people who just naturally bounce around saying hello to every person they pass or anything like that. I'm far from it. I'm surprised every single time someone says it. I guess it's a good thing usually though.

    On the flip side, I've been told that my face says exactly what I'm thinking. I guess it's true because when I'm stressed out, people are QUICK to say, "What's wrong?" It happened just yesterday and even though I tried to claim everything was fine, they KNEW I was lying. Being animated can be a blessing and a curse....depending on how often you get upset, I guess!

    I'm always worried that a patient is going to say something and I'm going to bust out laughing, or I'll do the same thing when someone is giving report or some other really inappropriate time!
    Wise Woman RN likes this.
  6. 0
    Quote from Anoetos
    I'd like to see a thread on nurses who flip out unnecessarily. I dont mean nurses who get terse and sharp in high stress situations. i mean nurses who havent learned to keep their emotions in check.
    I don't really "flip out" unnecessarily, but I do get my "I'm really annoyed" face in situations where other people seem to not even notice there's a problem. It's usually nothing related to patient care though, but co-workers instead. For example, when I was asked, "What's wrong" yesterday...I was frustrated because I was trying to chart on my patients while the aide sat in the office on her cell phone eating dinner and patients were repeatedly coming to the desk. Now, if we hadn't only been 30 minutes into our shift and I wasn't starving myself then it would've been a different story. Same thing happens when I have admissions that are only going to get finished before shift change if there's some kind of miracle and the aide announces she's going to take her (12th) smoke break! I haven't been at this job very long so I keep quiet because I don't want to be the new kid who comes in and ticks everyone off, so I stay quiet, and apparently let my facial expressions do the talking which is really no better. I just don't understand people!!! I'm like...helloooooo....are we on the same planet?!
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    I thought you were referring to the haggard, dark circles under my eyes look.
    The calm look is simply the look of resignation.
    wilma30RN, Sammie7, canoehead, and 6 others like this.
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    Well....I am one of those people that wears my emotions on my sleeve, and face. I am NOT a poker player. If I think you are an idiot.....it's pretty clear on my face.

    I found this to be the most challenging part of nursing....one I had to work really hard at obtaining. My family will tell you I am the consumate actress (which really used to irritate me)....so I "played" a role.....distant and aloof. I practiced that blank aloof stare over and over again.

    I got good at it as I learned to school my expression although those who "know me" say they can still "see it" in my eyes. I founf it easier with protective eye wear or my flight helmet so I took to wearing clear glasses for protection and cover...

    They say the eyes are the window to one's soul...in my case that is the truth....and I will NEVER be a good poker player.
    teeniebert and Wise Woman RN like this.
  9. 1
    Now, I can remember some of these comments, and randomly burst out laughing.

    Botox! True....

    Look of resignation! TOO true.

    And, maybe, squeezing my left hand into a fist? Apparently, one study shows it works for athletes: Prevent choking under pressure According to this article, it keeps them from "overthinking", allowing them to fall back on "automated skills". And also helps them look like their left hand, but ONLY their left hand, is angry.
    Last edit by Cinquefoil on Dec 29, '12
    teeniebert likes this.
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    I have a normally calm demeanor, (so I'm told), and am not one to strongly react to too many situations, anyway. Prior to a 2nd career as an RN, I spent many years in Human Resources, and interacted with some pretty colorful people in a variety of circumstances. Since HR is to remain neutral, (or at least I tried to), I think I developed a poker-face then. Little did I know that during a 2nd career in Nursing, that my exposure to that "colorfulness" would be bumped up a few notches by interacting with patients/family members who have co-morbid psychiatric issues! Trying to treat patients with conditions such as delusions of grandiosity, has definitely bumped up my Poker-Face to "Nurse Face" status.
    Altra likes this.


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