How do you deal with it?

  1. Exactly as the title states. I passed my NCLEX and have been an LPN for some weeks now and I'm continuing with school for my RN and eventually BSN. But, I stumbled upon an unforeseen "issue" that now seems to plaque my life. How to deal with the general public about my career and occupation. What do you say?

    Examples I guess are just being in the general population and being put in a spot where somebody such when someone "tries" to explain to you something about health and wellness. Do you sit there and play dumb or say "i'm a nurse..." Do you ever get the stone cold look back at you as they shut up. Maybe i just get that because im young and male.

    I have had rash of things happen in a short amount of time and recently I feel that i've been saying "im a nurse" just like the cliche "want fries with that." Its not becoming annoying, but it doesn't feel exactly "right either" Am I over doing it?

    My examples:
    Taking my GF to ER for suspected appi
    I'm donating bone marrow so I've stated multiple times that I'm a nurse over the many phone conversations I have had with a donor registry due to being contacted by different people.
    Going to the clinic (something i never got to do during nursing school) for general health, checkups, immunizations, etc.
    Talking to people in public and the discussion of health or wellness comes up

    I feel overwhelmed and not sure what to do. I'm very proud of my accomplishment, but now i feel like i might be being "too proud" by stating "I'm a nurse.." in the conversations and situations I have been in recently put in.

    How do you guys handle these public situations and daily things? Do you be humble and act like the quite hermit or are you more out spoken?
    Last edit by Ez4me on Aug 23, '13
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    About Ez4me

    Joined: Jul '13; Posts: 11; Likes: 1


  3. by   Ez4me
    I should add that the reason I state all this is because of the reaction and treatment that ensues after. I have never tried to come off as being on a high horse, but man a couple times it was not received well by the other party.

    As my donation date nears and I prepare for my hospital stay.. well, I'm wondering how to go about this.
  4. by   T-Bird78
    I'll mention my nurse status when I'm the pt, and you'll hear it from your medical staff pts also.
  5. by   TheCommuter
    I prefer to not reveal that I'm a nurse to random members of the public, even if they say something I know is totally false or incorrect. Once people know you're a nurse, they bother you for medical advice, so I simply remain quiet and play dumb.

    I once had an inpatient hospital stay five years ago and told none of the staff members that I was a nurse, although my occupation was listed on my face sheet. I somewhat enjoyed the nurses' 8th grade level explanations of what they were planning to do to me.

    However, the low level explanations suddenly ceased once they got a chance to sit down and read my face sheet. "You're a nurse? Where do you work?"
  6. by   Ez4me
    At some times i would rather not, but in my special case: ER trip, bone marrow donation to name a few, i felt it best and was eager to announce my status for my personal reason. But, on other things im not so sure of and like i said it becomes redundant.

    When i go to my donor place i will probably not say anything.
  7. by   Marshall1
    Unless asked what I do for a living, I do not mention being a nurse. Even when I go to the ER etc. Announcing your occupation before hand can work for or against you. I don't want someone who is caring for me or a family member to assume - because I'm a nurse - that I know what they are doing and why. There are many, many flavors of nursing and NO nurse knows everything about every specialty or donor program etc. Also, not announcing your occupation also allows you to assess the care and competency of care you or your family are being provided. Just because some passed the boards doesn't mean they are clinically competent. Taking the test and putting the knowledge into practice are two different things.
    I'm still not clear why you feel it necessary to tell everyone but like the other posters on here, I prefer not to let a lot of people know in the general sense.
  8. by   aTOMicTom
    I'm not even a nurse yet but I sometimes want to interrupt practitioners' third-grade level descriptions of procedures and say "I'm not a grade-school dropout!".

    Like now I'm trying to get Aetna to approve a new Rx for testosterone for me, and spending time on the phone with some of their reps is grating on my nerves. Not just because of the sophomoric explanations, but because of misinformation like this gem, from an actual pharmacist: "You cannot get the 22 gauge needles your doctor prescribed because the testosterone is too thick to go through them"! Hmm, I used 22ga needles for several years without a problem and one pharmacist even gave me a couple 28ga needles, I think they were - pediatric anyway, and the oil went through those fine; slow but it worked. (used the 18ga originally rx'd to draw it up).

    So, OP, I feel your pain. How and when do nurses "reveal" to other medical professionals that they are a nurse?
  9. by   Ez4me
    Time and place really. And just because of the circumstances I feel i needed too. I will forgo announcing my status unless asked.
  10. by   ktwlpn
    There is a time and place when it's appropriate but consider the following-there are times when you need to be treated as the family member instead of the nurse...And when you are the patient it's common for the medical and nursing staff to assume you don't need support,education etc because "you get it" .Alot of that goes right out the window when you put on that hospital gown (it's the great equalizer)
  11. by   KelRN215
    I don't talk to strangers in public so I don't have this problem. My doctors know I am a nurse only because they have asked my profession. I don't talk about it when I'm the patient or feel the need to remind them of such. If I were going to be a bone marrow donor, I doubt I'd bring it up as I can't see the relevance. They should explain the procedure to me as if I were any other patient.