Help...going crazy over comments

  1. A relative (in-law) called me yesterday simply to tell me how nurses know nothing, she would never trust anything a nurse says. Her step mother had a bad experience in the OR. This same person calls me often to and says 'since you are going to be a nurse, I thought you should know...' and tells me about some herb or vitamin. People ask me questions and think I'm an idiot for not having the answers.. I haven't even started nursing yet.. start in Sep.
    PLEASE tell me how to respond to these people, oh and how about all those who say 'you're crazy to be going in to nursing.......
    •  
  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   stressgal
    Does this in-law criticize or talk down other things, or just nurses? I ask because I have an in-law who has a way of directing backhanded comments toward me, I simply have learned to avoid her. Of course she is around at family gatherings, but when I find her bothersome I walk away. If she calls on the phone I say "Hello, your brother's right here." and hand the phone off. It is truly the only way I have found to cope. It use to really bother me until I realized it's her problem and mine only if I let it be.
    As far as the medical questions, just tell them you aren't sure yet, after all that's why you're going to school. You can always direct them to a textbook, refrence manual, or someplace web MD.
    Understand too most people do not realize how challenging Nursing school is. When they say "you're crazy to go into nursing" ask them why. Most times they will have a distorted view of nursing and you can show them your passion for this career, or simply state to each his own.
    Good luck and stay the course!
  4. by   ARmickie
    I feel for you, I really do. Most all of my family is really supportive of me at this point. I don't even start prereq's until next week, but they were behind me and the rest of my family 100% since we first told them about what I was going to do. I'm sure that it's aggrivating for you though.

    I agree that you don't need to allow this type of person into your life any more than need be at this point. As far as her comments about nurses not knowing anything, I wouldn't say too much about it at this point. But, just wait... once you ARE through school, you will have the opportunity to make her eat those words, as you know that she'll be calling you up with some little s/s of something and asking you what to do. "Oh... sorry.. you'd better go to the doctor.. I don't know anything..." Baby has a diaper rash, "Head to the ped's office right away." After you refusing to dispense anything you know to her a few times, I'll bet she gets the message loud and clear.

    And, as for those who tell you that you are crazy for going into nursing... I already have a standard answer for that one. "Yeah, some of us are just gluttons for punishment!" I figure that's usually enough to shut someone up.

    Good luck to you, and don't let this woman rain on your parade. If all else fails, tell your DH that her comments are something you aren't going to deal with and that if he wants everyone to have a happy and harmonious relationship, he needs to deal with her!
  5. by   Carolanne
    My inlaws have made some little digs in the past too, saying things like "she just a nurse, what does she know?" and also telling me even before the first day of school, that "you'll never be able to do all of it"), i.e. school, part time job, housework, etc., etc. They are very critical people and as a result my husband has a very low self esteem as a result beomg exposed to this kind of negative thinking
  6. by   Annabelle57
    Oh, I just love opinionated people!

    I have a friend like this - wonderful person and I love her, but if you mention anything about weight loss or nutrition, watch out! She will preach her personal gospel to you, though her methods (usually involving something radical, impractical, or faddish) don't even work for her!

    When people start into conversations like that, I tend to change the topic as quickly as I can, or if I'm on the phone, I'll (politely) interrupt and say that I'm so sorry but I do need to go, if the topic-changing doesn't go as planned. It sounds like her heart is in the right place, trying to help you, but unsolicited advice can be a little annoying! People's experiences can leave pretty strong impressions in their minds, and it's saddening that one negative experience in the OR has turned into a sweeping generalization about the entire healthcare system.

    You have a few different routes on this one, I guess. You could attempt to enlighten her that nurses are in general a smart, savvy, compassionate, intelligent bunch, but it might end up in a no-win argument. Being a non-confrontational person myself, I tend to avoid this option, though I know many people who can debate well and would be fine with this. The other option would be to simply nod and listen. If she's just ranting in general and not directing anything specifically at you, then let it roll off your back. Annoying, yes, but not anything to lose sleep over. Set boundaries and keep the conversations short if she seems to be stepping on the soapbox for too long (see above techniques). It's just really, really hard to change people! Perhaps once you are an RN, her opinion of nurses will soften a little, or maybe change to "nurses are incompetent except for my in-law StudentNY, now THERE's someone who has a clue..."

    I tell people I'm pursuing nursing - I'm still doing my prereq's - and I inevitably will get a health question or two. On things I don't know, I just tell them that I haven't started clinicals yet, so I'm not sure, but I'm excited to learn about hernias/wheezing chests/strange infections/cataracts in the upcoming years. That usually works, along with a that-would-be-a-great-question-for-your-healthcare-provider deflection. Don't feel stupid because you don't know something you haven't learned yet!

    And the "crazy for going into nursing" comments - I agree with Stressgal. Ask them why! There are ups and downs of every career field, and we all know that no profession is a perfect one. You can be someone to clarify some myths and explain your reasons for becoming an RN.

    Good luck!
    Last edit by Annabelle57 on May 28, '04
  7. by   studentNY
    Thanks for all the help. My brother-in-laws wife is VERY much into holistic-ness. She thinks all those who are not TOTALLY into it as much as she is.. are ignorant. (BTW, I am not being negative toward holistic practices). Nurses are saying I'm crazy for going into nursing. I can't help but wonder why they don't find different jobs. I have many who think its great, but it's amazing how the negatives ring in my ears. .....I need a vacation.........or is it pms.
  8. by   Dixiedi
    Nobody ever knows everything and everybody can do anything (within reason).

    Don't let them get you down. I worked full time (LPN) went to school part time and almost completed my ASN a clean home with 2 boys (both born during this time) and a seriously injured husband. My 3rd son was born 3 months after my husband died.
    I admit, it did fall apart after my husband died, but while he was alive and supportive, I was able to do it!
  9. by   BadBird
    Sounds like she is jealous of you and your ambition. You will find that those with less education than you often feel threatened. I would simply smile at her and say "It is well known to all that you don't trust nurses and therefore I will not waste my time or yours trying to educate you, feel free to make a doctors appointment and pay for your answers"
  10. by   purplemania
    Just last night I was asked by a family member to describe the difference between angina and heart attack. I try to read behind the question to see what is REALLY bothering them. Most people just want someone to listen. As for how to defend yourself, don't bother. Just smile and say I don't know and don't try to defend your position. I ask "well, what did your doctor say about it?" then get the story and offer condolences, but NO ADVICE unless it is something on the line of "you need to get that checked".
  11. by   fairyprincess2003
    Don't worry,
    you are not alone. It happened to me as a nursing student, as well as someone applying to medical school. As a nursing student, people would call me up, ramble off symptoms and ask if their doctor was wrong. When I don't know (of course I don't know how to perform a liver surgery they are always like you dont know anything. Now, people do the same things. They ask things I have not even begun to learn yet and say, how are you going to be a doctor?
    Don't worry, I guess we just have to laugh it off. You will get used to it.
  12. by   Kabin
    If the inlaw feels that way she is setting herself up for paternalistic medical treatment or even worse. One of the most important reasons a nurse is there is to protect the patient from this by being a patient advocate.
  13. by   RNNoMore
    Just think: in a few months time you can take her calls and say "Sorry, I can't talk for long, I'm really tired and am off to bed - I've just spent 12 hours in critical care trying to save a child's life, and thank goodness we did and he's pulling through" - sort of makes her day at the office/doing laundry/whatever sort of insignificant doesn't it?

    My father NEVER gave me any praise for things I had acheived, simply because he believed that I would work even harder that way, in an attempt to get some praise from him! He's now a sad old man who has alienated himself from most of his family and friends.

    Ignore this woman and focus on those people in your life that DO give you encouragement & support.

    Paint.
  14. by   studentNY
    [QUOTE=Paint]Just think: in a few months time you can take her calls and say "Sorry, I can't talk for long, I'm really tired and am off to bed - I've just spent 12 hours in critical care trying to save a child's life, and thank goodness we did and he's pulling through" ..............................Thanks. :kiss I love that.

close