Do you tell? - page 3
Just a quick show of hands... How many of you disclose that you are a nurse when you are either at the doctors office, taking your child/loved one to a medical professional etc...? Do you notice... Read More
Sep 25, '01List me in the NO column.
No I don't. It's easier now since I don't have the health insurance with the hospital anymore. It's pretty hard to conceal when the Hospital Logo is on the card and the name there is XXXXX XXXXX RN.
My doctor knows, but I see no reason to tell anyone else. It's kind of nice just listening to some of the stuff the "educators" pass out.
Of course if it's really off the wall, I guess I pull on the supernurse suit and fill them in. Not usually. If I'm in the hospital, it's usually better to just watch.
Sep 29, '01I don't usually mention it either when I am with a family member. They usually figure it out in short order though, just by the kinds of questions that a health educated person asks. By the time they figure it out, they will have formulated opinions of me without being influence by preconceived ideas of "the nurse in the family".
Sep 29, '01Like most of you, my doctor knows I am a nurse. Sure does help with the office visits and such. Plus, I don't take my kids in for every little sniffle. That way when one of the boys are truly ill and need to be seen I usually don't have any trouble getting an appointment. My in-laws are elderly and their doctor knows I am a nurse. I see him almost every day at the hospital, so if I need something for them I can just ask. I hate taking care of patients who have family members who are nurses and let you know it with an attitude. Some of them are real jerks, but some of them are sweet as sugar. The jerky ones put me on the defensive real quick. I had one granddaughter one time jumping my case about stuff over her Grandma and wanting to know every little detail. Then, she ended the sentence with "I am a registered nurse." So my response was, "so, if you are a nurse you know that I can't release any information to you about your Grandma. You will have to ask her yourself." Boy, did that pi** her off, but I thought hey you want to play here, it is MY playground and we will play by my rules. All she would had to do is ask me nicely about stuff, and I would have gladly answer her questions. My Mom has always said "You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar."
Sep 30, '01My MD knows I am a nurse as he is staff at my hospital, but I dont routinely tell people that I am, unless Ifeel I need to.
I work the unit so like nilepoc, I feel I have little knowledge of general ailments. So I let them explain things to me.
I also dont mind having a nurse as a patient. I always ask what type of nurse she is. Just so I know what her knowledge base is.
We had a man on our floor with an MI, it was known his wife is an RN. So everyone kept passing that back and forth in report "shes a nurse so be careful"........careful of what????
Anyway I went and talked to her come to find out she worked in telephone triage in a pediatric office and had done so her whole career, and knew little about adult care. So, she was upset that no one was telling her anything.
They were assuming she knew what was happening.
Sep 30, '01It is so nice to hear that other nurses can respect the fact that just because youwent to school for awhile does not mean that yuo are required to know everythinng about all kinds of nursing.
I posted this thread because my infant son was born critcally ill and was in the IICU for 5 months. As soon as the staff found out that I had a nursing background, I was treated differently. It made me very self conscious about asking questions.
I felt that they ASSUMED i knew what they were explaing to me when the fact of the matter was, I had absolutely NO PEDIATRIC experience at all other than my own two other kids. ( and even w/ them I call the consulting nurse for relately simple things).
I finally had to make it very clear that I was MOM first and I wanted to be spoken to as if I had no medical knowledge at all. It was hard for my husband also, they would give lab and procedure results in front of him, I would be able to understand , but he would end up having to ask me later... "so what does that mean?"
We now are experts as far as my sons conditions, but not because of any book knowlegde or training...we HAD to learn. I still have know idea what a normal BP for an infant would be!!
I thank nurses and respect those who know of my background but so not assume I know what they are talking about. So usually I do not tell unless they are making an error in treatment or in the explaination then I might mention it.
Thanks for the responses to this thread!
Sep 30, '01I don't tell when I take my kids into the ED (which, by the way, seems to be happening with embarrassing frequency lately - broken limbs, wasp bites to the eye, they are pretty accident-prone at the moment!) I find that when I am the anxious mother, all my nursing knowledge seems to go west. Also I have never worked in paeds before, so like Steph, know nothing about vital signs etc. I find I get more information geared towards my current (ie stressed to the max, anxious mother, NOT RN) level of knowledge if the ED staff don't know what I do for a living.
Oct 1, '01I guess it depends on the situation. I neither have kids nor have I taken an ill relative to the doc as some of the other posters here have done. In those cases, if I feel it will help the doc ....they can use medical jargon, explain w/less detail (as long as I can follow) or helps get better care I would do it. When in school...vet visits for my dogs were never the same. When he found out I was a nursing student he explained things more and let me in to see my pets' slide under microscope, etc. Very interesting to say the least.
As a patient admitted to the hospital, I would not. I would prefer to be treated as a patient like any other person. That would also enable me to see how they (nurse or doc) treat others, but also not make them nervous. I would not hide it though, if asked I would tell.
Oct 2, '01Yes, I usually tell them. I believe it helps the provider to know what your professional background is, so they can teach, question, etc., to that level. Most folks seem to be more comfortable, once they know, kind of like "you are one of our family." I try to be a little extra nice to folks if I am the patient, because I know what it is like to receive kindness instead of complaints. I will politely speak up and make suggestions, if it seems something is being overlooked. I recently was hospitalized, and am proud to report that the RN's and LPN's, and students who took care of me on a medical floor were, for the most part, conscientious, caring, and thorough, AND-enthusiastic about their jobs.
As in all things, if you tell people what your profession is, use your good judgement. Let them do their job, and remember that not everyone does everything exactly the same way. As long as things are done in a timely and correct manner (measured by end result, use of sterile technique, etc.) that is what matters most. If they don't do things correctly, gently remind them, as you would want someone to remind you. Remember-we are the patient/family in this scenario, not their nursing instructors!
Oct 4, '01If I am the patient I will usually tell so that I am not patronized when I ask questions. I find it to be best that I have had the same internist and GYN for 12 years for now I have less trouble getting what I need.
When my brother had bypass surgery, I was able to explain some of the things the nurses and dr's said after the fact. But when I was in the unit, and the family said I was a nurse, I quickly qualified that with, "but I don't do BIG people (NICU nurse)". I didnt want them to feel at all nervous and change the way they took care of him...and I wanted ALL the explanations they had.
Also, one of the previous nurses said she treats people differently when she knows they are medical. That's really not the nurse that I want to have, or be. It should be the same for everyone.
Everyone in the unit gets so nervous when we get a baby of a doctor, nurse, LAWYER! But I dont, for I know I give the same good care to the poor migrant worker's newborn that I would anyone else. In fact, I'd rather take care of the migrant worker for they appreciate it so much more than most of the medical or rich who think they deserve better...and they don't. It makes me sick to watch the a**-kissing that takes place.
Sorry for the tangent.
Oct 4, '01Boy, I heard that! I once took care (in the ER) of the surgeon that founded our hospital. He was known to be sort of a curmudgeon, but an excellent surgeon, and folks wanted to know if I wasn't nervous taking care of him. Nope! Like you, I try to take care of everyone the same way I would take care of a family member-that way I have no worries or regrets. Of course, some folks are easier to imagine as family members than others... (-:
Oct 4, '01I don't usually tell everyone that I am an lpn-until they get into a long winded explanation for some silly little thing...However-I do not like to be patronized...when my son was just a few days old he developed thrush..He was nursing ok and it was a Saturday evening(of course) but I called the pediatrician for some reassurance...She said" I am SURE he doen't have thrush-newborns rarely get that " Come Monday when we went to the office-of course,he had thrush...Go figure..Last weekend while out of town I had an accident and went to an ED-dx with several fx ribs and just enough pain med to get home.When I got to my family doc's Monday the nurse asks"What brings you here" I told her and she said-sarcastically" And you know this-how? " Thank goodness I could not move my arms or I may have snatched her bald-or fx a rib for her.......Thank the good Lord for narcotics...and sennokot-s...
Oct 4, '01What a great thread!!
I play it by ear whether or not I tell. My PCP knows I'm an RN and it really helps. When I tell her I need Claritin or ask that she please call in the refill and I'll see her next month because I simply can't take the time off for a routine visit, she's cool with that. I had some blood work done a while ago and had to go back to get results. She was VERY booked that day, so came into the room with my chart, flipped to the page and said, "Take a look and I'll be back in 10 min to go over it with you." That was great since I understood most of the results, but had questions about what exactly some of the stuff meant.
Being patronized sends me up the wall! As a home care nurse, I routinely teach others how to use a Basic One Touch to test their BS. When I was dx'd with DMII, the nurse who gave me my glucometer insisted on telling me about it like I was a total newbie. And she knew my profession! It really made me livid!
About family ... Again, I play it by ear. I do more coaching of family members than I do actually talking to docs. My mother has scleroderma which has wrecked havoc with her health. She'll call me with questions about meds etc. I'll coach her on exactly what she should ask the doctor (or tell the doctor!) and why. I find that the more I teach her, the better she is at fending for herself. My joy is to coach people on how to negotiate with insurance companies. They dont' get the fact that it is possible to negotiate and win if you use the right language and push the right buttons!
Oct 5, '01When my grandmother was in her last hospital stay, I was able to visit her. I wasn't going to say I was a nurse until I lost patience with the NP trying to explain everything in layman's terms and it made less sense than it would in medical. So yes I did say I was an RN. The NP and nurses (who really did give excellent care) actually seemed relieved as I was able to help explain to some of my aunts and uncles what was going on and they accepted my explanations.
What kind of distresses me is that I use it to make sure I recieve good care. I have seen my own care change from before telling to after telling. ER personnel attitudes definitely change (especially if I add my current position of nurse manager) after telling. I wish that wouldn't happen.
I am usually somewhat relieved when I find one of my patients has medical background. It makes explanation and teaching easier (usually). Of course there are always those exceptions....