You look too young to be a nurse
- 4Jul 10, '12 by SwansonRNIs something I hear from my patients constantly. I'm petite with I guess a lot of people consider a "baby face". I am told a lot that I look like I'm in my teens. Thanks? It used to not bother me, but now I think it's rude even if it is meant as a compliment. Why do you think it's okay to ask me how old I am or comment on the way I look? What if you walked up to a bank teller or a mechanic and demanded to know how old they were? It also stresses me out because I feel like I have to work that much harder to earn the patient's trust once they say that.
What I'm asking is, what would a good/appropriate response be when a patient asks my age/comments on the way I look?
- 12Jul 10, '12 by Esme12, BSN, RN Senior ModeratorI sometimes think patients ask personal question to place them on even grounds when they feel you, a stranger, has all this personal information on them and they have nothing on you.....making them feel frightened and vulnerable. They try to make the "relationship" somehow more "personal".
I would just laugh and tell them "why thank you......I am much older than I look.......my parents gave me good genes.....and to think what some poeple would pay for this...." and smile sweetly.
- 7Jul 10, '12 by NicuGalWhen I tell many of our parents that I have worked in my unit for 27 years I still get...did you start when you were like 12? Just laugh it off and say....one day I'll be so glad to be hearing this lol Just like the surgeon who did one of my daughter's knee surgeries....I said...jeez...I think I could be your grandmother and he laughed and said, Just call me Doogie lol
Don't let it bother you, they could be saying or calling you worse things!
- 6Jul 10, '12 by StephalumpI fear this is my future. A cashier at a store refused to sell me a video game rated "M" the other day because I couldn't find my ID and she couldn't tell if I was over the age of 16. :/
I've never minded being told I look "too young.". What I mind is now that I'm getting older, the phrase has turned into "Oh, you look so good for your age!" I'm 27. Am I supposed to be looking like hell already?
- 4Jul 10, '12 by HouTx GuideI believe that patient comments like this are usually masking deeper concerns - and in this case, rather than laughing it off I would try to take the opportunity to (respectfully) uncover them with a response such as "Are you concerned that I am not experienced enough to provide the care you need?" You could then provide them with information that would reassure them... " I have umpteen years of experience in MedSurg, certifications up the ying yang, .. and I am in continuous communication with your physician to address any additional problems you may have"
Otherwise, you may get one of those nasty-grams via HCAHPS... the patient thought you were immature and flighty.
- 4Jul 10, '12 by RunnerRN2b2014I get that frequently when I tell people I have an almost 21 year old and an 18 year old. I've heard "You don't look old enough to have kids that age. Did you get knocked up in high school?" A LOT. Um, no.....I was 23 and 27 and married when I had my kids! When I was pregnant with my first one, I used to get such condescending stares and to make it worse, I was edemic so I didn't wear my rings. Yep, I looked 16 and pregnant! LOL
I always reply with, "Thanks to good genes, I'm older than you think. "