What Being a Nurse Has Taught Me

by Bugaloo

33,041 Views | 30 Comments

Although at times I dream of having a different type of career, I know that I would never be satisfied doing anything other than nursing. I have learned that even when I am worn out, tired and frustrated, nursing is the job for me.

  1. 83

    What Being a Nurse Has Taught Me

    I have been a nurse for 14 years and over the years I have learned many things. I have learned that there are days when 12 hours feels like 24 hours. I have learned that it is okay to cry because you are frustrated. Just make sure that you are alone when you do it. It is also okay to cry with a patient and their family.

    I have learned that upper management really has no clue as to what goes on out on the floor. I have learned that if one of your co-workers is going to get promoted, it is usually going to be the one who is lazy, but good at hiding it.

    Being a nurse has made me see how important it is to take care of yourself. End stage cancer, COPD, and CHF are not pretty. Neither is end stage renal failure, colostomies and cirrhosis. I have learned that it is almost never a "spider bite". If it looks like MRSA, it probably is.

    Being a nurse has taught me that humor can be used to diffuse most tense situations. As a nurse, I have had to learn that when families seem demanding, they may be distressed or not understand every thing that is going on with their loved one.

    I have learned that some doctors, especially surgeons, are arrogant. Do not let them get to you. It's not personal, it is just their personality. On the other hand, being a nurse does not mean that a doctor should verbally demean you. I have learned to stand up for myself, with doctors and fellow nurses. I have learned that your CNA's can be your best buddy or your worst enemy. You choose. Treat them with respect. I have learned to never, ever, ever talk about a coworker behind their back, because trust me, it will get back to them.

    Being a nurse has taught me the principles of good time management, being professional and to CYA. I have learned to never say out loud, "Boy, it sure is quiet around here tonight". You can think it, just don't say it. I have learned that just before a full moon, everything will go a little nuts. It is a proven fact.

    I have learned that some doctor's will ask you to lie for them or do something else unethical. DON'T do it.

    In all my years of nursing, I have learned that there are some patients that you will see at least 3-4 times in a month. You can do their admission paper work from memory. I have also learned that some patients will not be forthcoming with information you need to know about illicit drug use or alcohol consumption.

    Nursing has taught me to roll with the punches, to hussle when I need to hussle, and to pee at least once a shift. It has taught me how to be a more compassionate, more caring person. It has also taught me to set boundaries and to leave work at work. I have learned what my own personal signs and symptoms of burnout are and I do something about it before I have a complete meltdown.

    Being a nurse has taught me that some little old ladies are super sweet and others are MEAN! I have also learned that some little old men are absolute gentlemen, and others are pervs. I have learned that to some old people, hemorroids are "piles" and that "gaulded" means excoriation. I have learned that with some demented patients, it only upsets them more when you try to reorientate them. So, if you can't beat them, join them.

    I have learned that no matter how much they pay you, some days it is just not enough!

    Although at times I dream of having a different type of career, I know that I would never be satisfied doing anything other than nursing. I have learned that even when I am worn out, tired and frustrated, nursing is the job for me.
    Last edit by Joe V on Feb 5, '14
    iwant2b1, eemilee, Sabr, and 80 others like this.
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  4. About Bugaloo

    Bugaloo joined Jun '07. Bugaloo has '17' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Med-Surg, HH, Tele, Geriatrics, Psych'. Posts: 172 Likes: 737; Learn more about Bugaloo by visiting their allnursesPage


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    30 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    I have been a nurse for two years and you really hit the nail on the head!! I am in the process of constructing a manual for new grads for a vascular care unit/surg tele stepdown unit, as part of the manual i am looking for articles, poems, just some things to make them feel more and home and better about being new in profession. I would like to know if i could use this as part of this section...
  6. 0
    Bugaloo- Two thumbs up!
  7. 0
    MisprisRN, You are more than welcome to use this in your manual. Thanks, Bugaloo
  8. 0
    Amen, you sound like me. :spin:
  9. 10
    I am a nursing student rounding the nearest corner and on the home stretch - WooHoo!!!

    What being a student has taught me is:

    Nurses are by far the most selfless, loving, intelligent beings on earth! There is nobody that will lift your spirits, calm your nerves, or simply offer that healing touch that means so much like a nurse can. Nurses are the backbone of healthcare, but they are so much more than that, they are those who the patient relies on to heal them when they are sick, to reassure them when they are afraid, to comfort them when they are sad, and to simply be there for them. There truly isn't a word that describes nurses out there.

    I have always had compassion and wanted to help others, but before I started nursing school, I had no idea the impact this would have on me. I have learned so many skills, but I have also learned how to hold the hand of another person and to truly care, even though we have only just met. I have learned that I can be more assertive than I ever thought possible. I have learned that there is nothing more rewarding than caring for other people and truly making a difference in their lives. After all, when you touch their life, they in turn touch yours and for every person that you care for, your life will never be the same.

    I know I have so much more to learn, but I love it and I look forward to it every single day! I cannot believe that I am blessed to be working my way toward something that I love like this and I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, amongst the amazing, the brave, the compassionate . . . the nurses!
    eemilee, tobjur, Ejakait, and 7 others like this.
  10. 0
    Great article!:spin:
  11. 0
    Thanks a lot for sharing these honorable thoughts...God may bless you!!!
  12. 1
    well said

    Quote from Bugaloo
    I have been a nurse for 14 years and over the years I have learned many things. I have learned that there are days when 12 hours feels like 24 hours. I have learned that it is okay to cry because you are frustrated. Just make sure that you are alone when you do it. It is also okay to cry with a patient and their family.

    I have learned that upper management really has no clue as to what goes on out on the floor. I have learned that if one of your co-workers is going to get promoted, it is usually going to be the one who is lazy, but good at hiding it.

    Being a nurse has made me see how important it is to take care of yourself. End stage cancer, COPD, and CHF are not pretty. Neither is end stage renal failure, colostomies and cirrhosis. I have learned that it is almost never a "spider bite". If it looks like MRSA, it probably is.

    Being a nurse has taught me that humor can be used to diffuse most tense situations. As a nurse, I have had to learn that when families seem demanding, they may be distressed or not understand every thing that is going on with their loved one.

    I have learned that some doctors, especially surgeons, are arrogant. Do not let them get to you. It's not personal, it is just their personality. On the other hand, being a nurse does not mean that a doctor should verbally demean you. I have learned to stand up for myself, with doctors and fellow nurses. I have learned that your CNA's can be your best buddy or your worst enemy. You choose. Treat them with respect. I have learned to never, ever, ever talk about a coworker behind their back, because trust me, it will get back to them.

    Being a nurse has taught me the principles of good time management, being professional and to CYA. I have learned to never say out loud, "Boy, it sure is quiet around here tonight". You can think it, just don't say it. I have learned that just before a full moon, everything will go a little nuts. It is a proven fact.

    I have learned that some doctor's will ask you to lie for them or do something else unethical. DON'T do it.

    In all my years of nursing, I have learned that there are some patients that you will see at least 3-4 times in a month. You can do their admission paper work from memory. I have also learned that some patients will not be forthcoming with information you need to know about illicit drug use or alcohol consumption.

    Nursing has taught me to roll with the punches, to hussle when I need to hussle, and to pee at least once a shift. It has taught me how to be a more compassionate, more caring person. It has also taught me to set boundaries and to leave work at work. I have learned what my own personal signs and symptoms of burnout are and I do something about it before I have a complete meltdown.

    Being a nurse has taught me that some little old ladies are super sweet and others are MEAN! I have also learned that some little old men are absolute gentlemen, and others are pervs. I have learned that to some old people, hemorroids are "piles" and that "gaulded" means excoriation. I have learned that with some demented patients, it only upsets them more when you try to reorientate them. So, if you can't beat them, join them.

    I have learned that no matter how much they pay you, some days it is just not enough!

    Although at times I dream of having a different type of career, I know that I would never be satisfied doing anything other than nursing. I have learned that even when I am worn out, tired and frustrated, nursing is the job for me.
    wizeone likes this.
  13. 0
    Your article should be the first page in any nursing school orientation manual! Excellent!


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