Why nurses don't want to be identified in public? - page 4

by Mully

26,577 Views | 86 Comments

It's funny. I remember hearing nurses tell stories about being in the public and not wanting anyone to know that they are a nurse. I always thought that was strange, because I've always been so proud of being an RN. Throughout... Read More


  1. 1
    Great story! I enjoyed it immensely.
    Mully likes this.
  2. 2
    Original title: Belgian Waffles and Lung Cancer.
  3. 1
    Quote from Mully
    However if they're going to change it, they should change it to something proper. "Why nurses don't want to be identified in public?" is not a question, it's a statement. It should end with a period. "Why do nurses not want to be identified in public?" would also be correct.

    But what do I know? I'm just the OP.

    Okay! Snarkiness over! Back to chipper .
    I write articles for a nursing website. The editors are very good about not making major changes; usually, my articles appear exactly as written.

    Sorry for the threadjack. Your first title made me wish my MacBook had an "aroma" option. I wanted to smell those waffles.
    Mully likes this.
  4. 1
    It's a toss up for me. I love telling people I meet what I do as I'm proud I made it through four years of school for this! On the other hand it does always lead to questions of "what is this lump on me?" and so forth which can get old.

    I wear my nametag to and from work.
    workingmama77 likes this.
  5. 0
    Quote from MotherRN
    I don't mean to be a kill-joy here, but, I feel for that guy! As someone who moved often over the years, I know what it feels like to be lonely. Sometimes I would strike up conversation with strangers in line or where-ever. It was like throwing out a life line for human contact. That is probably what this man was doing. Just looking for a kind word, needed someone to acknowledge he wasn't invisible in his pain over his mother's cancer.

    Whether or not we are nurses, we are human beings first. Having a job in the medical field doesn't excuse us from reaching out in kindness to someone in need.

    Matthew 25: 31-46 "Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me' 41".

    I'm sure the OP would have been happy to talk to him had he approached her. I see nothing wrong with what she did.
  6. 2
    Quote from Mully
    However if they're going to change it, they should change it to something proper. "Why nurses don't want to be identified in public?" is not a question, it's a statement.
    Yup, that bugs me, too.
    hiddencatRN and SoldierNurse22 like this.
  7. 1
    I always carry a backpack to work with an extra change of clothes. I like medicine, but I dont always like to talk about it. I need a break now and then. I like to keep work at work. I know this isn't always possible.
    BloomNurseRN likes this.
  8. 0
    I wonder why they would change the name of an article, it's not like you were asking a question and they thought changing it would get better responses... I like the original title as well!
  9. 0
    Quote from OCNRN63

    I'm sure the OP would have been happy to talk to him had he approached her. I see nothing wrong with what she did.
    The whole point of the post is that she would NOT be happy to talk to random strangers who invade her privacy when she is off the clock. And, nearly everyone who has posted agrees with this perspective.

    I think the demands of nursing and 'compassion fatigue' are why so many feel this way. Trust me, after shifts like mine last night, I do understand the feeling.

    I don't mean to attack the OP personally. My point is that we need to rise above it and remember we are all called to compassion for our fellow human beings, whether they be strangers or not, whether we are tired from work or not- it's our duty.

    My argument is against a very common attitude among healthcare professionals when off the clock.
  10. 10
    Quote from MotherRN

    The whole point of the post is that she would NOT be happy to talk to random strangers who invade her privacy when she is off the clock. And, nearly everyone who has posted agrees with this perspective.

    I think the demands of nursing and 'compassion fatigue' are why so many feel this way. Trust me, after shifts like mine last night, I do understand the feeling.

    I don't mean to attack the OP personally. My point is that we need to rise above it and remember we are all called to compassion for our fellow human beings, whether they be strangers or not, whether we are tired from work or not- it's our duty.

    My argument is against a very common attitude among healthcare professionals when off the clock.
    Part of compassion is recognizing when you do not have enough energy to commit. If you are too tired to give your all in such an interaction it's kinder to avoid it than to struggle to listen and respond "just because you are a nurse".

    Sometimes you just can't, and I think the point here is that just because we are nurses, doesn't mean we should, or are even able to, be there for everyone else at every waking moment. Sometimes it's kinder to recognize when your intervention would be potentially more harmful than helpful.

    After a night shift, or a busy day, I need to turn off my inner nurse and just be, and that's not selfish, that's just a fact. I'm tired. I honestly cannot give that man what he deserves. My need to have quiet time is as essential as that man's need for somebody to listen, and in that instance, I know I can't listen. If I had to be "on" 100% of the time simply because of my profession, I would be on the fast track to a breakdown.

    So I disagree that it is our duty to always give to others regardless of our circumstances. Obviously each situation is different. For me, if I can't shut down and have that time for me, I would not be able to be there for others when it matters.

    That guy at the restaurant, sure, he likely needed somebody to listen, but it was not going to ruin his life if that nurse wasn't it. If I came across a horrific accident scene on my way home, you bet I would be there for the wife whose husband is receiving CPR. You pick your battles and you pick your moments, and you recognize that you can't always be present in every instance, and you do what you have to do "for you" so you can do for others when it's needed.

    I would not have engaged that conversation either, and I don't think that means I lack compassion. I don't think it means I haven't done "my duty" as a nurse.


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