Wear scrubs in a hospital? Then you're a nurse - page 3

I'd like advice and tips on how to better handle the following type of scenerio better. I was talking with my mom and several of her sisters the other day. Turns out one of my aunts (not present... Read More

  1. by   RNOTODAY
    I have no advice, but I get what your saying. I am a nurse in an OR, and just the other day a surgical tech, said to me........."I used to be a private scrub * nurse * for a plastic surgeon" I didnt bother to correct her, but it was odd, because she is actually going through nsg school pt, so she should know the difference. It makes me kind of upset when people just clump together everybody in healthcare who is a female and call them "nurse". it makes me even more mad when the people who are actually cna's, techs, etc, and not lay people, do it .
  2. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I probably would have asked why they were going to nursing school if they were already a "nurse".
  3. by   BSNtobe2009
    I used to love it when reviewing loan applications for possible fraud and would only see "Nurse" written in the box for occupation. I would always pick up the phone, call the loan officer, and say, "Why TYPE of Nurse is your applicant?"

    The loan officer would say, "What difference does it make?"

    I would respond, "Anywhere between $20,000 and $120,000 a year".

    The most common violation is we would have someone put down "Nurse", suspect they were a CNA, and used $90,000 a year as their income from that job alone. These were on stated-income loans. We would have LO's insist they were RN's, and I would say, "Fine, just get me a copy of their state license for the file and we should be able to clear it right up."

    That's as far as most of those got. We wouldn't hear back from the applicant.
  4. by   futurecnm
    I would probably just ignore it. Some people aren't going to listen no matter what and you know the difference.
  5. by   hollyvk
    Everyone wearing scrubs is more than just a "slight problem" as patients and families can no longer easily tell who is a nurse and who isn't. And nurses have done a very poor job in educating the public as to what they do, so it's no wonder that many people can't describe what nurses do and think all the non-doctor workers in the hospital are nurses. Docs have their lab coats as their wardrobe "badge of authority," what do nurses have as their's? (Scrubs that look like pajamas and running shoes?) :wakeneo:

    It's nice that Johnson & Johnson is footing the bill for the "Be a Nurse" campaign to encourage more people to go into nursing Discover Nursing but their site doesn't explain what nurses do or how they are different from physicians or other healthcare professionals or workers.

    And there hasn't been a decent TV show that focused on nursing since "Julia" Julia in 1971. While "ER" has nurses, it focuses on the docs and doesn't show what the RNs are doing to assess patients and implement nursing care (as opposed to just carrying out the medical orders and being available to advance plot lines).
    ER (TV series) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    It would be helpful if the ANA and/or state nursing associations would allocate some money towards public education on how nurses make a difference and why healthcare cannot not function without us. . . .

    I'm thinking a print ad campaign or a TV one with 30 second spots: "It's 3am in the Intensive Care Unit and Bill Wilson's heartbeat has become dangerously irregular. Who identifies this and administers the crucial medication that converts his heartbeat back to a safe pattern? A Registered Nurse! RNs make the difference between life and death for people on daily basis. Learn more about how RNs make a difference in the hospital and in your community (list website)."

    If I have only one pet peeve with nursing, I'd say that it's that we talk a great game (can you say, "venting"), but getting to the point of taking action on our own behalf usually lacking.

    What have YOU done lately to educate others about what you do as a nurse? :typing

    HollyVK, RN, BSN, JD
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

    "When I hear somebody sigh, 'Life is hard,' I am always tempted to ask, 'Compared to what?'"




    Quote from Moneypitt
    I think that everyone wearing scrubs is a slight problem. Patients think there are so many nurses, and they think we have loads of time. I mean just look at all those nurses at the station just sitting there doing nothing (tele tech, unit secretary, case manager). Gosh! lol

    I love it when the housekeeping staff enters a room "Housekeeping, I am here to clean your room", and the patient asks them to get them a pain pill.
  6. by   Kelly_the_Great
    :yeahthat:
  7. by   SummerGarden
    Quote from hollyvk
    And there hasn't been a decent TV show that focused on nursing since "Julia" Julia in 1971. While "ER" has nurses, it focuses on the docs and doesn't show what the RNs are doing to assess patients and implement nursing care (as opposed to just carrying out the medical orders and being available to advance plot lines).
    ER (TV series) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    It would be helpful if the ANA and/or state nursing associations would allocate some money towards public education on how nurses make a difference and why healthcare cannot not function without us. . . .

    I'm thinking a print ad campaign or a TV one with 30 second spots: "It's 3am in the Intensive Care Unit and Bill Wilson's heartbeat has become dangerously irregular. Who identifies this and administers the crucial medication that converts his heartbeat back to a safe pattern? A Registered Nurse! RNs make the difference between life and death for people on daily basis. Learn more about how RNs make a difference in the hospital and in your community (list website)."

    If I have only one pet peeve with nursing, I'd say that it's that we talk a great game (can you say, "venting"), but getting to the point of taking action on our own behalf usually lacking.

    What have YOU done lately to educate others about what you do as a nurse? :typing

    I agree with your post!! I too wish there were shows that portrayed RNs as they are and focused on life saving skills along with being patient advocates. When I have some money, I plan to throw it at some organization or group willing to produce such ads and shows. :spin:
  8. by   SummerGarden
    Quote from multicollinarity
    Better ways of explaining this?
    You explained it well. "Engineer" is a protected term too and family and friends of electricians use it to describe them all the time. In addition, the public confuses Registered Dietitians with nutritionist who only have a high school diploma. So all professions have this problem to some degree. Entry into the field won't change it. Public education and policies will.

    Once I become a RN I plan to call myself a "Registered Nurse" and refuse to use the term "nurse". I decided that part of the problem is not only educating the public on the word "nurse" but that RNs and LPNs use the term as lightly as the public. Although one cannot blame the public, Registered Nurses and LPNs do not wear protected uniforms like Police Officers or Fire Fighters so how are they to know who is who or who does what?

    On the other hand, it is possible that your Aunts hate the term "tech". And so they were angry with you for pointing it out. They think that you think you are better then their sister and too big for your britches. So that is probably why they did not like you correcting them. I doubt they did not agree with you. I personally think that they did not want to admit that you, their niece, is correct.
  9. by   twotrees2
    Quote from multicollinarity
    I'd like advice and tips on how to better handle the following type of scenerio better.

    I was talking with my mom and several of her sisters the other day. Turns out one of my aunts (not present that day) is going to start a surgical tech certificate program. I knew about this because my aunt had discussed it with me, knowing that I'm going to school to be a nurse. Anyway, one of my aunts didn't know that I knew about it. So she tells me that Aunt Mary is going to become a "surgical nurse in only 8 months." So anyway I said I think that it is fantastic that Aunt Mary is going to become a surgical tech. Then another aunt said no...surgical nurse. So I explained that I think it's great what she's doing - I was just pointing out that Aunt Mary's program isn't a nursing program, it's a surgical tech program. I said that each program is deserving of respect in their own right - they are just different. So it goes on, and I hear things like "she'll be working in the operating room - helping with the patients. Of course she'll be a nurse." To which I said, again, "each is a separate profession deserving of respect. We have many different professions in the hospital such as respiratory therapy, speech therapy, etc. Nobody is better...I'm just saying the jobs are different..she's not going to be a nurse, she's going to be a surgical tech. Legally a nurse is someone who is a licensed LPN or RN." Then I explained that it is such a serious issue that the state board of nursing prosecutes anyone who holds themself out to be a nurse and isn't a licensed nurse.

    Well it ended in a ruckus with one aunt saying I was acting superior to Aunt Mary "who is going to be a surgical nurse!" So I grinned and said "Oh so anyone - read female - in scrubs who works in a hospital helping doctors -read god-like males - is a nurse then?"

    I'm sure I'm not the first to have this sort of conversation. Any tips or extra special ways of explaining this? I should mention that I call (to myself, nobody else!) one of these aunts NE. As in National Enquirer. She thinks in those terms. Not the brightest bulb. She gave me the hairy evil eye the rest of the night. What surprised me is that two of my other aunts seemed mad at me for clarifying that Aunt Mary is going to be a surgical tech and not a nurse.

    Better ways of explaining this?

    i guess id have just let it go - it wasn't your aunt saying she was going to be ne but the rest of the family. most of the older especially people think of anyone who cares for people like that a nurse be they cna or RN or surgery tech- everyone is entitled to thier opinions and you and auntie know what she will be so id just drop it and forget about it and keep peace in the family. at least the family acknowledges her- my grandmother never thought of me as a nurse- or that i could be a good one till the other day when i stayed with her while my grandfather was dying and i took care of him - she finally after all these yrs said yes i did pick the right profession adj i am good at it - lot worse to not be acknowledged or believed in at all..
  10. by   twotrees2
    Quote from multicollinarity
    Yeah - NE can and will think what she wants. I guess I was surprised that my other aunts seemed irritated and continued to insist that she'll be a nurse. I thought maybe there would be a better way of explaining this.
    my grandmom couldnt have cared less till few days ago - a nurse was a nurse was a nurse be they cna , rn, lpn, tech, lol. until she saw me in action she did ask the difference ( as we have relatives who are LPN's and CNA's so she decided to find out what the diff was - even then she only wanted to know the difference in what school taughtand a very brief as possible explanation cause she still thinks a nurse is a nurse is a nurse no matter what they are of they are taking care of people at the hospital or nursing home or home health lol. ) is there really anyharm in this? i dont think so just so we know the differnece so when folks like this ask for what they need we can go get the right person for the job they ask us to do
  11. by   twotrees2
    Quote from Gompers
    There are tons of people out there who think this way. They don't understand was nursing really is and have no idea that using the term "nurse" loosely is actually against the law. Do you know how many babies we admit to the NICU where the family informs us that "the mom is a nurse" so then we talk to her like a nurse - use medical terms, etc. When she acts confused, it's then that we come to find out that it's not the mom, it's the aunt or grandmother they meant to say was a "nurse" instead. Okay, fine, but then it comes out that she isn't a nurse either - just works in a nursing home and isn't even a true CNA. But they don't get that there's anything wrong with throwing that term around.

    Must be why visitors sometimes say to us, "So did you have to take a class to be a NICU nurse after high school or something?" and when we explain that we all went to college and many of us have our Bachelor's degrees, they look at us like we're crazy.
    using the term loosely is not illegal for laypeople - what is illegal is if you portray YOURSELF as a nurse ( or doc etc) that there will be trouble. any normal person would not get in trouble for calling someone a nurse if they aren't. and as for talking to mom or anyone in medical terms when they come in because they are in the medical profession is a pet peeve of mine- i explain to ALL my families and residents who work in the health field as if they were laypeople. when one is upset - say like this weekend when granddad was dying - i wasn't in the mood to be thinking about stuff in the medical terms as i was tired up over 2 days brain not quite thinking straight - so i think its best to always treat everyone as if they are laypeople and explain in terms that are simple and especially complete. not to mention just cause someone is a nurse doesnt guarantee they know what you are talking about - maybe never heard of disease or terms ( not everywhere uses same terms for everything) - in my opinion just courtesy to be simple and not expect sick patients or tired and weary family to grasp the bigger stuff even if they do know it.
  12. by   twotrees2
    Quote from alongbella
    "So I explained that I think it's great what she's doing - I was just pointing out that Aunt Mary's program isn't a nursing program, it's a surgical tech program. "

    Just a thought............if your family is like my family, is it possible that it dosen't matter what you do or what Aunt Mary does but only that YOU will never measure up to Aunt Mary never, ever? In other words, it isn't about being or not being a nurse. I had a SLIGHTLY similar experience with my aunts and a certain cousin. They were always singing her praises and explaining to anyone who would listen that "Jody" was having SUCH a rough time in college, (her unranked liberal arts college-no offense meant to the general reading public here on this fourm!) but doing amazingly well considering her challenges, etc, etc, However, not a WORD of encouragement to me as I struggled for my BS degree in my choosen field at a University ranked 3rd in the country for that degree! I finally learned to laugh and not cry! :chuckle It dosen't matter what I do or don't do in this life. "Jody" will ALWAYS outrank me!!!
    know that feeling!!!!
  13. by   mgordonlvn
    You people are waaaaaay too uptight...

    If I call myself a glow-in-the-dark 3 Musketeers bar, does it make me a glow-in-the-dark 3 Musketeers bar? (This is a rhetorical question. Because, obviously, to be a glow-in-the-dark 3 Musketeers bar, it takes quite a bit more effort and training than just being a regular 3 Musketeers.)
    Last edit by rn/writer on May 23, '07

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