How do you cope with looking "too young" to be a nurse? - page 4

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. Visit  calivianya profile page
    1
    It is so aggravating, I'm right there with you! I don't mind it when it's a friendly observation and people smile, but when people get serious and it's a criticism it's different. There is a world of difference between a patient saying, "You look so young and beautiful!" with a huge smile on his/her face and saying, "You don't look old enough to be here," with a frown. Sorry, but if I pass boards, I'm qualified to take care of you as an RN and if you have a problem with that you can take it up with the state BON because they're the ones deciding that I'm qualified!
    carolinapooh likes this.
  2. Visit  Bringonthenight profile page
    0
    Another thread on the how hard it is to be young...
  3. Visit  MgMRN1 profile page
    0
    Enjoy it! You are not young for too long! I look 10-15 younger than my age and I get tickled when patients thinks I am a new graduate.
  4. Visit  carolinapooh profile page
    0
    Quote from Bringonthenight
    Another thread on the how hard it is to be young...
    If it happened to you to the degree it happens to me - at eight days shy of forty - you'd know how old it gets. By many people's standards I'm NOT that young - and I'm certainly not deluding myself into thinking I'm a twenty year old. I'm not. I am considered middle-aged.

    And I'm fine with that. I embrace it. I'd rather be 40 than 20 again for a lot of reasons.

    I just need others to believe me when I tell them the truth.
    Last edit by carolinapooh on Jun 7, '13
  5. Visit  carolinapooh profile page
    0
    Quote from MgMRN1
    Enjoy it! You are not young for too long! I look 10-15 younger than my age and I get tickled when patients thinks I am a new graduate.
    It's ageism and it's insulting at any level and any age - be it sixteen or sixty. I have no problems with people thinking I'm young - but don't talk down to me because you think it. People don't realize how insulting it is.

    I think it's just desserts when it turns out they think I'm SOOOO much younger than them, and I'm either their age or older - but in reality, they look infinitely older than I do. Inwardly I get a massive kick out of it. Serves them right for trying to be cute about it.

    I'm no judge of another person's age because I know I don't look mine - and I go out of my way to make sure I'm not insulting them in that regard.
  6. Visit  Bringonthenight profile page
    0
    Quote from carolinapooh

    It's ageism and it's insulting at any level and any age - be it sixteen or sixty. I have no problems with people thinking I'm young - but don't talk down to me because you think it. People don't realize how insulting it is.

    I think it's just desserts when it turns out they think I'm SOOOO much younger than them, and I'm either their age or older - but in reality, they look infinitely older than I do. Inwardly I get a massive kick out of it. Serves them right for trying to be cute about it.

    I'm no judge of another person's age because I know I don't look mine - and I go out of my way to make sure I'm not insulting them in that regard.
    Ageism? Calm down gurrl. These are little old ladies and men telling you you look young. It's a way the patient tries to start conversation and build a relationship with you.

    I actually think the day the patients stop asking how old you are you'll be upset that no one thinks you look young any more.

    And your last two paragraphs have contradictory statements in them- "I'm no judge of another persons age" "...I get a massive kick out of it".

    This whole thread is about a middle aged woman's subconscious insecurities about her age and looking young. It's pathetic. Focus on your nursing care- maybe that's the real reason they are questioning your professionalism.

    Flame away Madonna.
  7. Visit  carolinapooh profile page
    0
    Quote from Bringonthenight
    Ageism? Calm down gurrl. These are little old ladies and men telling you you look young. It's a way the patient tries to start conversation and build a relationship with you.

    I actually think the day the patients stop asking how old you are you'll be upset that no one thinks you look young any more.

    And your last two paragraphs have contradictory statements in them- "I'm no judge of another persons age" "...I get a massive kick out of it".

    This whole thread is about a middle aged woman's subconscious insecurities about her age and looking young. It's pathetic. Focus on your nursing care- maybe that's the real reason they are questioning your professionalism.

    Flame away Madonna.
    I'm not a 'gurrl'. I'm female, I'm a woman, I'm even a girl, but not a 'gurrl'.

    They're actually not little old ladies. And I'm not just talking about patients.

    They're usually - and for some reason quite often - 45 year olds. Sometimes they're 40 year olds. In other words, they're my age already. They just spent more time in the sun, smoked more cigarettes, and made different lifestyle choices than I. And they're very rarely patients. I never said specifically patients.

    It is most definitely ageism. It's ageism when it's used in a condescending, belittling manner.

    The "madonna" is a bit out of line.

    I am no judge of how old someone is. And when someone speaks to me in a condescending manner because they believe themselves to be oh so superior to me based on their perception of my age - and they turn out to be my age or even younger than me, I do get a kick out of it because their tactic backfired on them. What generally happens is they blush and look embarrassed. Joke's on them - because I'm not the kid they thought I was, I look a hell of a lot younger than them, and they're not being as cute as they'd thought.

    No contradiction in terms there at all. You completely misread what I stated.

    It's not pathetic - it's the way it is for some folks. It is most definitely ageism.

    Actually, in a way, you almost sound a bit jealous.

    I don't 'miss it' if someone doesn't go out of their way to ask my age or find out how old I am. I actually consider that polite. And since my 78 year old mother looks about 60, my guess is this mixed blessing is something I'll have quite a long time.

    No need to be condescending to me regarding my nursing care or my professionalism or anything on that level - especially since you have no earthly idea who I am. That's quite a stretch if you ask me and really, I don't know how anyone could cast such aspersions based on a post or two on an anonymous message board, of all places. But you're entitled to your opinion even with a lack of knowledge on the subject.

    If the topic of the thread bothers you, I can't help that. If it bothers you that some of us don't like being talked to as though we're much younger than we are, I can't help that either. It's not cute, it's not sweet - it can be hurtful and perceived as belittling on the part of the recipient depending upon the context in which it's presented.

    Flame away, Ma'am. Or Sir, for that matter.
    Last edit by carolinapooh on Jun 8, '13 : Reason: To remain gender neutral
  8. Visit  Bringonthenight profile page
    0
    The reason I read this thread was because I get the same comments, I just don't see it the way you do, as insulting or ageism. When patients/family members/ colleagues make the comments it seems to be out of genuine curiosity , I don't feel attacked or insulted. If i feel like they think i'm not experienced enough or don't know what i'm doing it makes me work harder and show them my knowledge and experience. I see it like teaching them to not judge a book by its cover in my own way.

    I never repeat the comments I get to coworkers like some people I know do all the time eg: "omg all my patients today have told me how young I look, it's so annoying" to me that just comes off as insecure- like they want everyone to know that everyone thinks they look young and they want their coworkers to agree or something.

    Your jealously comment only confirms that you like the comments you get. What did you think I was jealous of? Your youthful looks?

    Your doing the exact same thing in your posts as you claim you are the victim of but in reverse. you are ageist of people your own age who look "SOOO much" older then you.
  9. Visit  carolinapooh profile page
    0
    I actually don't like the comments I get when they're condescending in nature. I was commenting on your seeming annoyance with the fact that our looking fifteen years younger or consistently being mistaken for being much younger than you are - and our commiseration on the subject - seemed to bother you.

    I can't stand being in Macy's and being told I can't use my credit card because it's not mine, it's my mother's (yep, it's happened to me multiple times in the last couple of years, and no, it's not my mother's, it has my name on it - the same thing happened to me once when I pulled out MY gold Amex card - 'I'm sorry, you can't use your parents' card in here' before I was even asked for ID!). I wasn't pleased the time I walked into a bar and was grabbed by the arm as I walked in, and was told by someone I later found out was 22 that I wasn't allowed in because I'm not old enough (happened less than a year ago - the friend of mine who just happened to be an attorney told the guy he was lucky I didn't file assault charges as that was a threat of violence). I don't like it when I'm told by people who don't even know me that I couldn't possibly remember X because 'I'm not old enough' but I most certainly am and do. I don't like it when I'm told my driver license is fake (it's not). I don't like being in a restaurant and being asked would I like lemonade or juice and upon responding I'd like a beer, getting told with a heavy sigh, "Well, you know I'm going to need to see some valid ID for that."

    (The comment when she saw my military ID? "Good God, you're older than I am." Yes, I do enjoy it when people are forced to eat crow. It's called human satisfaction. I don't enjoy being talked down to because I look as young as I do. Perhaps seeing that will teach people that 'never judge a book by its cover' is a bit more than an old tired proverb.)

    Sometimes I get carded because it's the law, and I don't mind that. But sometimes it is presented as though the person thinks they've got a Big Catch coming. Even my husband has commented he's seen it.

    Every single bit of that is ageism. All of it. It's also rude and just plain out of order. It's also prejudice in the strictest definition of the world: formulating an opinion based on someone's appearance.

    And with a 60 year old brother, a 59 year old brother, and a 50 year old sister, not to mention having had parents in their sixties when I was in my twenties (and it was weird back then - my dad was 61 at my high school graduation and my mother was PREGNANT with me at my oldest brother's graduation), I'm far from ageist. I'm so far from it it's ridiculous. I have no earthly idea how you can say I am "ageist of people your own age who look 'SOOO' much' older than you". Actually I think people who act that way are pretty ignorant in a lot of ways. They also come across as petty and just a little bit sad when you think about it.

    I'm not talking about sweet little old ladies or people my mother's age or my late father's age commenting on how young I look. Or even someone my own age going, "Wow, you definitely look younger than that." I'm talking about people who draw the assumption and then treat me accordingly and even talk to me like I'm a two year old. Sometimes, like a lot of things with pretty much everyone, it rolls off my back and I think, "HA! And now don't you feel just a teensy bit ridiculous." And sometimes it really grates me the wrong way because it's uncalled for.

    ETA: One of your earlier posts was "Another thread on how hard it is to be young..." That comes across as tired of stuff like this and when you turn around and almost attack me for my experiences, yes - it looks as though you're jealous of people who encounter this every day. I'm not saying you are. I myself even said earlier it's a mixed blessing and I know how lucky I am. But it does get old sometimes. And it's way out of line when people use someone's appearance as an opportunity to condescend, for whatever reason.

    Enjoy your thread.
    Last edit by carolinapooh on Jun 8, '13
  10. Visit  catman88 profile page
    1
    I have to giggle a little at this thread -- sometimes I go months without getting a comment about how young I look, then suddenly I get attacked everyday for weeks straight about it!! It doesn't bother me too much unless it is very condescending, in which case I try to be as confident as possible and maybe discreetly bring up how long I've been at it (FYI I am a tech not a nurse yet!).

    But last week I went to buy champagne -- the associate refused because she was certain it was a fake I.D. They had to call over the manager to verify it was really me. All I could think was, if I was a teenager with a fake I.D., I'd be buying something stronger than champagne
    carolinapooh likes this.
  11. Visit  carolinapooh profile page
    0
    Ain't that the truth....like I'd lie about being practically 40 - yeah right!

    Yep - it's the condescending depths some stoop to that I can't hack. I agree 100%.
  12. Visit  calivianya profile page
    0
    Bringonthenight, I don't think you've had the experiences we're talking about if you think it's not ageism and condescending. Curiosity is one thing, and that's okay, but outright accusation that I'm incompetent because of my age is something else altogether. It's there in the tone of voice. I want patients to treat me like I'm a nurse right off the bat, not that I'm a kid who wandered into their room and started playing dress up with scrubs. That's how it really feels sometimes. I went to school for this and I'm a professional - I don't enjoy being talked down to because of how I look. I don't put up with being talked down to from physicians, what in the world makes patients think I'm going to tolerate it from them?

    I really don't get why you think this behavior is okay. Would it be okay if the patient was insinuating the nurse was incompetent because the nurse from an ethnic group the patient didn't like, or the nurse was of another religion? Is it okay for the patient to say, "Honey, aren't you a little too fat to be a nurse?" If it's not okay under those circumstances, it's not okay when it's about the nurse's age either.

    I get a lot of satisfaction in telling those people that 90% of my nursing school class was younger than I am. That usually shuts them up.
  13. Visit  NurseKatie08 profile page
    0
    I've definitely been the recipient of some ageist comments. I'm 27 years old and honestly don't look much older than I did when I was 18. When I get the benign sort of "how old are you" comments by a patient that's just making conversation, I chuckle and say "older than you think I am". When I get nasty comments about age/experience/"are you sure you're qualified to do this", I kindly remind them that I have a sum total of seven years of formal nursing education, recently culminating in my MSN in Nursing Education. That usually fixes them up.

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