How do you cope with looking "too young" to be a nurse? - page 2

Hi everyone. I'm Lacey, and I'm new to this forum! Anyways, I look young for my age. And being short as well doesn't help. I've had people beat me up emotionally for looking "too young" to be a... Read More

  1. by   crn26
    I get this all the time. I laugh it off and tell them my real age. I am 28 and people ask if I am 18. I then ask if they would want a teenager being a nurse. The best thing is to not take it personally and feel happy that you look young and not old.
  2. by   grev
    I know exactly how others perceive you! Im 27 but look like a fresh from the schoolroom starry-eyed little girl! Sometimes I experience some people who would eye me warily when I come in weilding a syringe or a tube set. There are times when they would say straight to my face that they would like a more experienced (meaning older) nurse to give them the shot. But once I do my job, they look at me with new respect. Just do your job well and no one will dare question you!
  3. by   lockheart678
    People have always thought I'm way younger than I really am all my life. By the time I actually became a nurse, I was so used to it, I didn't really care what people said. Even though I look young, my coworkers can see how competent I am, and they all respect me for the job that I do. I do get patients quite a bit who ask me how long I've been doing my job, and even a few have wondered how old I really am because I don't look old enough to do my job, but I just answer their question and move on. It doesn't bother me one bit.
  4. by   squidbillies
    This only concerns me as far as GETTING a job
  5. by   RNperdiem
    My brother taugt me a fun way to deal with this. When he was in residency, and a patient would say "you look too young to be a doctor!" My brother would look at them innocently and say "I don't think 19 is too young to be a doctor at all!" and pause to see the reaction. He was a man in his early 30's, and that line almost always got a laugh.
  6. by   ChaseZ
    Personally, I grew a beard. That option may not work for the majority of nurses. I have never really had a problem......all the little old ladies love me
  7. by   Quit Floating Me
    I just respond that I am old enough to know what I am doing!
  8. by   JZ_RN
    I look very young (I am young but look about 15) and yesterday a girl asked me how old I was, very rudely, before I was about to give her her birth control injection. I should have said, if you don't trust me to do this you can wait for someone else to come back for lunch... in an hour.

    It happens all the time.
  9. by   samadams8
    Quote from LaceyRN12
    Hi everyone. I'm Lacey, and I'm new to this forum!

    Anyways, I look young for my age. And being short as well doesn't help. I've had people beat me up emotionally for looking "too young" to be a nurse. They think I'm a teenager. People don't take me seriously at all, and it's hard to feel like an adult because of it. What are some ways to help me cope with this?

    Thank you.

    I have always been cool with it. You show competence and confidence, but don't overcompensate, as some may, with an attitude.

    "I'm blessed with good genes and clean living." That's my bit and I say it with a smile. 20 some years later, it isn't so much of an issue, but people still can't guess my age. I just had a group of people ask me this the other day. Some people are fixated on age, and I can't understand why. Just smile and be confident.

    Regardless, people always have to get to know you and your work, and it ends up being OK. So be glad for your genes and do well.
  10. by   imintrouble
    I never considered that I worked in a progressive area, but I can't remember hearing a young looking nurse's ability linked with their appearance.

    Is it possible YOU place more emphasis on your appearance than patients and co-workers? "You look too young to be a nurse", is not an indictment on your abilities, but simply an observation.
  11. by   RNRAC
    Glad I am not the only one that has this issue! I dont actually have a job yet, but clinicals were always fun alot of the older patients always assumed I was a candy striper or a high school volunteer...
  12. by   georgiajayne
    Im 25 and look 16, but usually its not a problem. I'm a nicu nurse though so my patients don't care, and many of the parents are around my age anyway. Parents do ask me sometimes how old I am and comment on how young I look but usually its just because they are curious. They see I am confident and take good care of their babies. Usually when I say how old I am and how long I've been working they just say "wow thats great you figured out what you wanted to do so young and went for it!" I only really have had one dad who made a big deal about it and kept asking me if I was old enough to drive, but eventually he shut up because I took really good care of their baby and he was really appreciative of everything I did for them.
  13. by   HippyDippyLPN
    I feel your pain! I was 19 when I started nursing school, 20 when I graduated. I always got the " are you old enough to do this?" I always want to say no I am not but they were really desperate and needed someone to play nurse and I was available so it worked out lol. I am 25 now and still get it because I look 18. Honestly I am competent and feel secure in my role as a nurse so even if they think I am too young after awhile they forget about because I know what I am doing and I think that shows.