Younger Nurses: Do you find people dont take you seriously? (semi-rant) - page 6

Ok..so this has been bothering me a lot, but yesterday I had an encounter with a PT and now this is starting to get to me. Just a little rant..and I'd like to know if anyone else feels this way and... Read More

  1. by   chickdude1
    I know, I know, and I apologize in advance because I'm sure you've heard it ten million times, but you will be thankful for it someday......

    The first time I moved to another state and had my own apartment, this guy knocked on my door. I don't know why I answered it, but I did. He asked me if my mother was home. Now, my first thought was to respond, "How should I know? She lives in another state!" but then I thought, "Why not have some fun?" So I told the guy no and that I was a senior in high school.....and he bought it! I was 25 at the time.....

    Now I'm 34 (and rapidly approaching that "magic" 35), and I still get "You can't possibly be that old!" When I started my nursing program, all of my classmates thought I was 23 or 24. Whereas once I would have been offended, I find myself giggling now. I hope you find some way to use that to your advantage or at least be able to turn the tables somehow.

    Like me, you could tell people that you have secretly found the fountain of youth and are awaiting the patent..... :chuckle

    Here's to all of us who look younger than we are (clink!)

    Chickdude1

    PS You're really gonna LOVE your thirties, so hang in there!!!

    Quote from MeghanRN
    Ok..so this has been bothering me a lot, but yesterday I had an encounter with a PT and now this is starting to get to me. Just a little rant..and I'd like to know if anyone else feels this way and how you deal with it.

    Little backround on me: I'm 22, and def. look younger then I am. I worked for 2 years as a student nurse aide, 3 months in PA as a RN on a peds/med-surg floor, and now im here in Texas doing Peds home health. I have had my fair share of experiences, and although I know im not an expert, I'm most certainly not a novice. Therefore..it bothers me when people never take me seriously that I'm a nurse.

    Yesterday I took my patient to PT, and the PT and I were talking, and she asks about me and my backround. And so I tell her, and shes like " Oh you must be a LPN then.." (NO disrespect meant to LPNS here WHATSOEVER!) No ma'am, I'm an RN, yes I have my bachelors, yes I went to school for 4 years, and yes I have experience ( Now i didnt tell her that, just told her that I was an RN, but thats what I wanted to say).. she just seemed so shocked..and shes not the only one who is shocked that I'm a RN. She was kind of just the last straw since this wasnt the first time..

    I've had lots of people seem to not take me seriously that I'm a nurse, and this frustrates me. I just hate when people find out I'm a nurse and say- not ask- they say "you must be an LPN then". I worked hard for my bachelors..ugh..just ask me what I am and i'll gladly tell u! With each new job..I pretty much get asked how old I am every time...

    So..after this rant, since this has been on my mind all day..I feel better.
    Does anyone else experience this? I want to be taken seriously..not looked at like I must not know much about nursing since I look younger and therefore have no experience. I'm really just curious as to opinions and what you all think..

    I dont want to stir anything up,but I'm just frustrated and needed to vent. thanks for responses in advance!
  2. by   RAD72
    know your stuff and prove them wrong. besides, looking young isn't such a bad thing. enjoy it while you can!
  3. by   TexasPediRN
    Quote from chickdude1
    I know, I know, and I apologize in advance because I'm sure you've heard it ten million times, but you will be thankful for it someday......

    The first time I moved to another state and had my own apartment, this guy knocked on my door. I don't know why I answered it, but I did. He asked me if my mother was home. Now, my first thought was to respond, "How should I know? She lives in another state!" but then I thought, "Why not have some fun?" So I told the guy no and that I was a senior in high school.....and he bought it! I was 25 at the time.....

    Now I'm 34 (and rapidly approaching that "magic" 35), and I still get "You can't possibly be that old!" When I started my nursing program, all of my classmates thought I was 23 or 24. Whereas once I would have been offended, I find myself giggling now. I hope you find some way to use that to your advantage or at least be able to turn the tables somehow.

    Like me, you could tell people that you have secretly found the fountain of youth and are awaiting the patent..... :chuckle

    Here's to all of us who look younger than we are (clink!)

    Chickdude1

    PS You're really gonna LOVE your thirties, so hang in there!!!

    Lol- thanks- you really know how to cheer a person up!
    I'm sure I'll enjoy it when I'm 30, but at 22- I dont! Its not that I get offended as much but more annoyed then anything else.
    I feel people give off a vibe like "if you're a nurse, you cant know much since you're so young- you must be inexperienced".

    It just drives me crazy!

    Thanks for the response
  4. by   grace90
    Oh, yeah.... I'm 30 and and am told I look anywhere from 12 to 21. I get mistaken for an aide every once in a while.
  5. by   porterwoman
    Yup. I get the "how old are you?" all the time. I thought when I turned 30 it might change some. It hasn't yet. It gets tiresome.
    I don't have a very good response. I shrug and say, matter of fact, "I'm 30." They're always stunned. My reply is usually something like, "yeah, a lot of people think I look younger." Then I move on to some other topic.
    I get really squeamish talking about anything about myself with pts anyway, you know? Marital status, kids, age, color of my underpants, you name it. It seems to cross my boundaries.
  6. by   blw.rn
    I am with you, sister! I was an RN before the age of 21 (thank God for ADN degrees), and started right off in the ED. People would ask how old I was, and my reply was "old enough and smart enough to be your nurse" That tended to shut people up. I was the baby of the group, and 2 years after that I was one of the lead nurses of the department. Just because you are young doesn't mean that you cannot be competent and professional. Doctors will pay attention if you do not come across as a giggling teenager-stand up for yourself and promote yourself as knowing what you are doing, and they will take notice and you will gain respect.
    I am 30 now, and am the clinical educator for our Diagnostic Imaging department. I am certainly the youngest of my counterparts, but I am respected in the hospital because I know what I am talking about!
  7. by   Brownbetty
    I guess I will get it. I just got my MSN and will start my NP job soon. I am 28 but people always tell me they think I am 19 or 20. Wish me luck, I understand.
  8. by   GiantHeart21
    I was just wondering how all of you got your RN or BSN at such a young age.
  9. by   Brownbetty
    Quote from GiantHeart21
    I was just wondering how all of you got your RN or BSN at such a young age.
    i graduated from college in '98 (first bachelors)...went back to nursing school 2001 & graduated in 2002...started working as an RN in 2002...worked and went to graduate school (NP) starting in 2003 and just finished at the end of 2005. That's how I did it :-)
  10. by   farishtaRN
    I've mostly found that Drs don't seem to really care how old (or young!) I am, they just want to give their orders and go. However, I have occasionally had some bad experiences with older nurses who automatically assume that since I'm not as old as they are I obviously don't know anything. It has been frustrating at times! I had a situation where I was orienting a new nurse (who was probably 15 years older than me) and she had never worked cardiac, while I had been working it for the last 2 years. She was very hard to work with since she refused to listen to what I said, and to my advice and yes, my experience! I certainly don't claim to know everything, and there is still much for me to learn, but I don't like being discounted just because I am young. All that said though, I have had many great experiences, and fortunatly the majority of people that I have worked with and encountered have been great.
  11. by   General E. Speaking, RN
    not to change the subject but I mentioned to my Dh that I thought he needed to go back to the dermatologist he tickled me with his response. He said (very seriously), "Aw Babe, I don't think that kid knows what he's talking about."

    Maybe it's just me, but I'm cracking up now just thinking about it
  12. by   TexasPediRN
    Quote from GiantHeart21
    I was just wondering how all of you got your RN or BSN at such a young age.
    Grad High school at 18, went straight to college for 4 years, graduated with My RN, BSN.

    It was worth it for me
  13. by   bulletproofbarb
    I've been a nurse since 1990. Since then I haven't aged. So 16 years down the track, I'm 38 and still look like I am in my early twenties and get treated like I know nothing. Meanwhile, a friend of mine, she has been a nurse for 18 months, she's just turned 50, has the right look, you know wrinkles, grey hair ect and so people think she is a senior nurse.

    Gah, I'm so over it I decided not to take a higher level position or work extra shifts anymore. I just have had enough. The less time I spend in the place the better.

    People are nice when you explain. Like my colleagues all know but the patients, every day at least one asks for the senior nurse. Well considering tomorrow I am the only senior nurse on, plus one enrolled nurse and casual/agency, I'll not be a happy bunny of I get questioned. No one is rude. It's just tedious now. I'm getting old, it's about time people understood that

    I blame my mum. She's 72 and looks 55ish.

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