I'm Not A Nurse??!!??

  1. 0
    Overheard this phone conversation yesterday between my Dad and his sister, my aunt:

    Dad: "Oh, she's not a nurse any more." .... "Noooo, she hasn't been seeing patient's for a long time. She works in an office for an insurance company."...."No, has not been in a hospital for YEARS, she is in administration. Nothing to do with nursing at all".


    Can't believe this came from my Dad (who very respectfully got reamed a new butt hole by your's truly). Unfortunately, this is the perception of John Q Public that nurses who specialize in case management, utilization review, quality management and research - any of us in specialities that do not occur in the clinical setting are not "real" nurses.

    So, I ended up going into my explanation of how YES I AM STILL A NURSE in the office setting. How, as a case manager and utilization review nurse, I would impact HIM as a patient without him even being aware of my intervention, planning, evaluation and assessment based on discussions with his physician and the insurance company or the payor source. That I still function as a patient advocate and still talk to patient's directly over their care.

    After all of that, he says, "yeah, but that's still not really nursing."


    Later, Dad cut his finger while slicing some potatos. He said, "Hey, can you put a bandaid on this for me?"
    I said, "Gee, Dad, I can't. I'm no longer a REAL NURSE and work in an office so I can only provide you a PAPER CLIP. How's that?"

    He stuck up his first three fingers and told me to read between the lines. Dad's a hoot.

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  2. 13 Comments...

  3. 0
    Sorry to hear that. That is a tough one...How do you inform the general public that you do not have to physically lay hands on someone in order to perform patient care?

    I am currently unemployed, but I am licensed and still consider MYSELF a nurse!

    I liked your retort about the bandaid! :chuckle
  4. 0
    I think nursing is really so ingrained in us that it's like being a combat veteran. Nobody really understands unless they've done it.
    Once a vet, always a vet.
  5. 0
    When I left full time hospital obstetrics and went into a clinic setting, my own mother thought I wasn't a nurse anymore either because I wasn't "doing what I went to school for" which was apparently "taking care of babies."

    It just boils down to ignorance plain and simple. Even my owm mom.

    She still thinks I am not practicing nursing, though I authorize medications and as of Aug 15, will also be doing all the injections/infusions for the whole clinic - on top of 3 hour Remicade infusions! But that's a whole 'nother story...
  6. 0
    Vegas: I think the real perception is that nursing is *tasks*. Not to downplay skills, but I think most of nursing is between your ears. Skills are important, and they should be taught in school, but skills are no good if you can't assess, plan, evaluate, and occasionally intuit.

    I took a telephone triage job at a hospital which had employed me for 12 years or so. They wanted to pay less than I made on the floor, on the theory that this job wasn't "hands on" nursing. (In other words, like your dad, "not really a nurse." They needed the help so they finally gave in. It's hard to explain to a non-nurse that if assessing a patient in person is hard, you should try assessing one over the phone by parent's report! Plus, we got some of the same lovely "perks" that floor nurses get; we got to work weekends, holidays, evenings, nights; got to deal with the darling doctors, and with patients' intelligent and charming relatives!

    And like Sleepyeyes, I think that it *is* ingrained in us after a while!
  7. 0
    i feel that it is how the individual who is not a "nurse" preceives how and what a nurse should do and therefore concludes if the nurse is not doing that, he/she is not a nurse. it's great you and your dad have a relationship that includes humor and laughter. i know i do with my dad.
  8. 0
    Great comeback, LasVegasRN! :chuckle

    Although I haven't worked as a nurse in five years, I have never heard anyone say to me when they find out that I've been out of the field a little while, "Oh, you aren't a nurse anymore." No...the first thing out of their mouths are usually questions about some ailment they have, and what do I think they should do about it. My husband will call me from work and ask me questions that his students often pose to him and the other instructors when they are disagreeing on what the answer should be. I give him the correct answer...he then tells the others my answer while he's still on the phone with me....then I can hear them all say, Way to go, man!" He blows me a kiss, and tells me how much he loves me, and hangs up. I tell him to collect a paycheck for my services from those other instructors, and bring it home with him when he comes. :chuckle
  9. 0
    The worst I have ever heard, and this coming from a nurse in the hospital giving me an update on a patient in ICU was, "Oh your a DESK nurse". *****????? Instead of saying something COMPLETELY unprofessional to this person, I took great comfort in knowing that I had an authorization request sitting on my desk for her giant WART removal on her BUTT. Gee, think I'll just go take a break and get to that when I sit down at my DESK.
  10. 0
    Ya know Vegas, I had to say "I'm a nurse by trade" then get into the UR Case Management title linking them together. Laymen just don't know what the heck it is! (I sure didn't into I stumbled upon it!)
  11. 0
    That is not suprising. Even when you watch movies and there is a hospital scene you see nurses with white caps and shoes polished being subservient to MD'S when you know it is not the case. The average Joe really doesn't realize that RN does not equate bedside anymore. Nursing has so many areas you can pick and choose. There are doctors that work for insurances even if they don't have a practice that is what their title states. Sometimes I feel that nurses whether your in case management or dealing with patients we get no love from our community.

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