Do patients question your expertise? - page 2

by brian 10,882 Views | 20 Comments Admin

Have you had a patient question your expertise or the nursing profession as a whole? Please share your experience - What was said? What did you say or do? Is there a right and wrong way of addressing these comments? ... Read More


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    Quote from DizzyLizzyNurse
    I look young so people are surprised when they ask what my experience is.
    Same here. I often get asked how old I am and they are quite surprised when they hear I am in my 30's and have been a nurse for 11 years.

    I did have a patient ask me before I attempted an IV start "how many mistakes have you made?" Not knowing how to respond I told her I have been a nurse for 10 years and I was more than qualified to attempt an IV start. This pt was a retired MD.
    DizzyLizzyNurse and Sinman like this.
  2. 5
    Quote from nrsang97

    I did have a patient ask me before I attempted an IV start "how many mistakes have you made?"
    Last one was when I decided to come to work today.
    nrsang97, DizzyLizzyNurse, opossum, and 2 others like this.
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    A patient pulled his arm away from me before I administered a vaccine and asked how much experience I had. I grinned and told him he was my 1st patient. He laughed and let me give him the shot.
  4. 1
    When I was working as a tech there were patients who mistakenly thought I was a nurse (and I would correct them) but they would make comments about my age. I'm really not THAT young, but I remember one lady said something like, "when you have kids you'll understand." I said, "I have two kids," and she replied with, "Did you have them when you were twelve?!"

    I'm about to start working as an RN any day now and I know I'm going to run into this except I won't be able to correct them and say, "I'm the assistant." I read someone here say that when patients question your age that they're really probably concerned about whether or not you're qualified to care for them. I'm not looking forward to confronting that problem. In the past, I've changed the subject by saying, "I changed careers into nursing. Before this I did ________." Since my previous career requires a 4 year degree too I think they would realize by that statement that I'm a little older than they assumed. Some people are comforted just by knowing that you're not 20 years old even if you don't have tons of nursing experience.

    I remember having some young nurses when I was in the hospital having my children and I was more impressed that they were professional nurses at a young age instead of worried about their abilities. That could've been because I know what it takes to be deemed "qualified" though.
    opossum likes this.
  5. 0
    Being an APRN I've found that if I wear scrubs to work they ask when the doctor is coming to see them... If I wear a shirt and tie I have to explain that I'm not the doctor, I'm the APRN, to which they usually say, "same thing"... LOL
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    I've had both sides of it... when I was a new nurse, I was asked if it was my first day, a lot. As I've gotten older, people question whether I fit the stereotype (in their minds) of a frazzled nurse with too much going on to really focus on their needs. It never ends, but I just keep on going!
  7. 1
    Quote from nrsang97
    Same here. I often get asked how old I am and they are quite surprised when they hear I am in my 30's and have been a nurse for 11 years.

    I did have a patient ask me before I attempted an IV start "how many mistakes have you made?" Not knowing how to respond I told her I have been a nurse for 10 years and I was more than qualified to attempt an IV start. This pt was a retired MD.
    I took care of an MD the other day that didn't know the difference between a bedpan and a hat...so don't feel too bad lol.
    nrsang97 likes this.
  8. 3
    Quote from mariebailey
    A patient pulled his arm away from me before I administered a vaccine and asked how much experience I had. I grinned and told him he was my 1st patient. He laughed and let me give him the shot.
    I love it!

    I have had a patients MA family member explain to her mother what my job was. She stated how easy it was to be the rn and how the rest of the staff would be taking care of her. It took all I had not to squirt her with a saline flush.
    DizzyLizzyNurse, wooh, and liebling5 like this.
  9. 0
    I've been a nurse for 9 years, since I was 21. I still look very young and sometimes residents and their family think I'm in High School still...no joke. BUT, I carry myself with confidence and no one has ever really questioned my abilities.
  10. 0
    A few did early on in my career, but I just answered honestly. Just last week, an attending physician called the patient's daughter and left a message. When the daughter called back, she said "I don't trust her because I don't know her" and "she can't be a real doctor because she sounds like she's 12 yr old...she's a student right?" I just had to laugh at that, but I see her point because this attending sounds like a child or perhaps Hello Kitty!


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