Do you tell?


  • Specializes in Gerontology, Med surg, Home Health. Has 30 years experience.

Not sure where to post this, but since I work LTC....

If you're going to the hospital as a patient or are having a procedure, do you tell them you're a nurse?

I have to have an endoscopy this week and I really hate being treated like an imbecile but I don't know whether I need to tell them I know what's what.

BrandonLPN, LPN

3,358 Posts

Has 5 years experience.

It's more fun not to tell them until just before you're discharged.


223 Posts

Specializes in LTC. Has 22 years experience.

yep agree with Brandon.....past few weeks have had 2 experiences with my kids and waited till one said "does blood bother you?" and then told them "nope, been there done that many, many times"


16 Posts

Had to spit it out once when a doctor was giving me instructions on how to care for my stitches (I'm a wound care nurse hehe)

Specializes in HH, Peds, Rehab, Clinical. Has 4 years experience.

I live in a small enough community that most of my providers know I'm a nurse =) But on the rare occasion that one of my kids needs urgent care, I don't mention it.

On a side note, this winter we had -35 degree nights here and on one of my nights, the pipe that feeds the sprinkler system burst. Long story short, I slipped in water that we couldn't see that had reached the tile floor and in classic cartoon style, my feet went up and the rest of me went down with my head smashing into the tile like the proverbial pumpkin. In front of 3 witnesses. I jumped right up with "I'm OK, I'm OK" but in the end my administrator made me go to ER for evaluation. As we're getting the discharge instructions, the nurse going over the info for things to watch for related to my nice concussion, she's telling my husband to be diligent because nurses tend to poo poo things with themselves. I said "how did you know I'm a nurse? I KNOW I never said I was". She laughed and said "you're wearing your scrubs AND your ID badge, it didn't take a detective to figure it out"! Oh, um yeah! Which just cemented for my husband that I definitely hit my head harder than I was admitting!


34 Posts

Specializes in Geriatric Psychiatry. Has 3 years experience.

I tell them. Makes them more aware of the care they give. I dont want them taking short cuts with me or my kiddos.

NutmeggeRN, BSN

8 Articles; 4,584 Posts

Specializes in kids. Has 40 years experience.

Good Luck!

CapeCodMermaid, RN

6,089 Posts

Specializes in Gerontology, Med surg, Home Health. Has 30 years experience.

I usually tell...just so I can tell my boss I'm out doing marketing for the facility. It sometimes makes them cut to the chase and I do NOT like being talked down to.

Thanks for the good wishes. I've already told the doctor I know the only reason they'll be giving me anesthesia is so I won't be talking through the entire procedure telling them what they are doing wrong!


2 Posts

I never tell until I the opportunity comes and I have too. I have been to the doctors multiple times this last two months, a bunch of different specialists. I have learned that if I say I am a nurse, nothing gets explained to me. They act like I already know everything they are going to say so they don't explain. It's awkward when I then have to keep asking and clarifying. So in general I play dumb. A few times it has been beneficial to say so. And when those times come I will. But I feel like it's better to hold back until you feel like its necessary. Sometimes it has helped me have better conversations with providers. But most of the time, I regret saying anything.

I have an endoscopy coming up in a few days as well. :) but I will probably not say anything.

Long Term Care Columnist / Guide

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

142 Articles; 9,981 Posts

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 26 years experience.

I had to go to an urgent-care center recently where they don't know me, to have my big toe looked at (I broke it in a minor car accident). I didn't say anything about being a nurse until the doctor made it obvious that he was more interested in my psych med list than my CC, then I told him in my most professional voice that I was an RN whose disease was under good control and could we please X-ray my foot now? It was worth it to see the look of utter surprise on his face and to get expedited service. :sneaky: