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Does anyone have friends that "just don't get it?"

Just curious if anyone in the nursing school experience has stories of friends (or family members/partners) that "just don't get it" when you try to explain what nursing school really involves? Prior to this venture into nursing school, I too thought that it was "just like any other major."

The only way I've tried to explain to those I'm used to spending time with on a regular basis is by describing what doctors go through. For some reason, everyone whos anyone understands that Med school and Law school are challenging and time consuming so it helps them relate.

I guess I've just been thinking a lot of how I'm going to "say goodbye" to my regular lifestyle :cheers: at the end of the summer :crying2: and I was curious if others go through the same frustration.

Aside from the people I know from school, everyone in my life thinks I just "chose a career change, and it's no different than deciding to major in business." :confused:

Although my friends are extremely supportive, I know that they don't understand why I study so much or why I am always stressed out. They majored in subjects where you finish a project and don't worry about school until the next project is assigned. Explaining the concept of never being done studying is hard to do. But that's how school is for me- I never feel like I reach that point of, "Ok, I've studied enough, I'm going to relax up until the exam." That would be a wonderful feeling, but I doubt I'd pass!!

GrnHonu99, RN

Specializes in Neuro, Critical Care.

no kidding!!! no one really understands but us nursing students:) I was telling my roommate about the paper I had to write and he actually said, "i didnt think nursing students had to do stuff like that.." HA! he doesnt even go to college sooo until he goes he wont understand!

Altra, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency & Trauma/Adult ICU.

Aside from the people I know from school, everyone in my life thinks I just "chose a career change, and it's no different than deciding to major in business." :confused:

I hear ya ... and the sad/funny part is, I think that prior to nursing school, and even in the early days of being in school ... I thought this too.

I got over it in a hurry. :rolleyes:

I hate to get into a rant that sounds like "my profession is more demanding than yours ..." -- no one really wins that debate. But I've spent the last few days trying to ease back into "real life" after graduation last Sunday, and I'm finding that my perspective on the "landscape" is permanently altered. And there are people in my life who I can definitely say have no idea what I've been through in the last 3 years, or what I'm about to undertake. I'll have to either be comfortable with that, or there may be friendships that fall by the wayside.

It's all about growth.

Best of luck to you. :)

Yah it is hard when you are living with 4 other girls that want to go out and have fun all the time. I am taking physiology right now. At my school it is the class that is the most often re-taken because people fail or get a D the first time they take it. I am studying so much everyday. It is especially hard during summer when you want to go out and do things, but you have to study. It also is hard when everyone, especially your boyfriend, gives you a hard time about how you are always so stressed. yahhh like I can help that! haha....that is how it is.

wonderbee, BSN, RN

Specializes in critical care; community health; psych.

My ex used to tell me that there was no reason why I had to study so much and that I was obsessed. I didn't even try to explain it to him. After all, there are reasons why he is my ex.

Though nursing school was a long time ago for me I felt the same thing when I was in school. Here I was 21 years old dealing with people both physically and emotionally and actually doing the job I would be doing when I graduate. A lot of other majors don't get real hands on until they get their first job after graduation. A huge responsibility compare to most of my friends in non nursing majors.

Yes they don't understand but once you get your first job you'll be saying that they don't get why it is so difficult taking care of 5 surgical patients. I would love for my spouse/friends to be a fly on the wall for one shift I work.

.....thought that it was "just like any other major."

Well, let's see. If I'm an English major and I forgot to conjugate something properly, no one began crying out in pain.

If I'm a criminal justice major and I show up to enough of my classes to squeak by and pass, no one became physically ill.

And if I'm a business major who blew off my last exam but still graduates because of my overall average, no one died.

If we don't get it all down as close to perfect as possible, we're risking that someone who trusts us with his health and safety is going to scream, cry, get sick or die.

Yep, there's the difference!

My ex used to tell me that there was no reason why I had to study so much and that I was obsessed. I didn't even try to explain it to him. After all, there are reasons why he is my ex.

:chuckle

Very funny..I needed that tonite!

Ya, and the sad part is that one of them is starting nursing school this fall. She actually made the comment that if she could make it through her last couple of prereqs (microbiology and A&P II) that she was no longer worried. In other words, she thinks nursing school will be easier!? Ha! She'll find out soon enough. Also had a coworker say to me "If you think you have it hard, be glad you're not in the Vet tech program like my daughter. " Somehow, I doubt that program is anything like a nursing program. But then, what is? SG

One thing to consider that anyone dealing with animals doesn't get their patients to verbalizes their discomforts likes humans do. Also that people in the vet. world have to deal with more than one species. Just looking at the other side. Not saying one is harder than the other but both can be equally challenging.

"If you think you have it hard, be glad you're not in the Vet tech program like my daughter. " Somehow, I doubt that program is anything like a nursing program.

Well, hey, we all know how many litigious cats there are who know how they wish to be treated, and there's probably a whole course on how to avoid decubitus ulcers in dogs and birds.

JenNJFLCA

Has 6 years experience.

I felt guilty at first that I couldn't spend a lot of time with my friends anymore, but I figured that if they're true friends, they will help me through this and will be when I am done. So far they have been pretty understanding! :p

What a great topic! Guess what- after you get out of school and are working as a nurse, your non-nurse family and friends still "don't get it!" We have sympathized with each other many, many times after an unbelievable 12 hour shift that it doesn't even do any good to try to explain to our husbands, children,etc, how hard and or stressful it was, because you just had to be there to believe it.

talaxandra

Specializes in Medical.

I think it's hard for anyone to have an appreciation for the stresses, demands and real-life details of another position.

Most of my friends are nurses or former nurses, so they get it, and the ones who aren't get that they don't know (ah, they're friends for a reason!). My family, on the other hand, really doesn't. My mother was a nurse, but that was a loooooong time ago, and things have changed; the rest of them? No clue at all.

On the other hand, I have no idea what it's like to be an office manager, a government policy adviser, a conservation management ranger, a naturopath, a medical records clerk, a nail tech, 2IC of a superannuation company... What I think I know is undoubtably as superficial and cursory as what they imagine my job is.

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Has 20 years experience. Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

Outsiders, no matter how close they are to us, don't get the jokes.........in this profession, you tend to develop a really warped sense of humor, and 'normal' people find it hard to understand why we laugh at things like sh**, vomit, and the generalized weirdness of humanity. They also don't get how we can watch people die, take care of dangerous or psychotic patients, put up with all sorts of verbal and physical abuse, and witness human tragedies and still keep our equilibrium.......what they don't know is that if we don't laugh, we'll cry, get mad, or lose it entirely, and we can afford none of those luxuries when we make a living dealing with people at their worst.

All of which makes it hard to come home at the end of the day to a family who loves you but doesn't have the vaguest concept of what you do all day, and you learn to swallow it and go on........or you come to a message board like this, where you can vent to other people who know exactly where you're coming from. :) That's one of the things that's kept me sane all these years! :p

Im not quite to nursing school yet, but Im working fulltime (730-3) and taking A&P I M-TH 6-10. my schedule now is kinda rough, I can just imagine how nursing school is going to be!! My brother and father dont understand at all. My bro is like "Why are you studying tonight? Go to the concert with me." This happened about 2 hrs ago. I was like :chuckle "Yeah sure and are you going to take my practical (covering hundreds of muscles I had no idea existed) on monday nite and my final on thursday and get at least a 90 on both because thats what I need to maintain my A. If so, sure Im going to get dressed and be ready in ten minutes." He was like "Its not that serious its just a class" :angryfire Yeah right!!! I just learned all the bones and tissues in the body, the integumentary system, the endocrine system, the musculator system, and the special senses in 1 1/2 weeks. Its not that serious? Im telling you there defintely are people who just DO NOT understand. I cant wait to see how he reacts to me being in nursing school.

On the other hand my fiance and the rest of my family (for the most part), they get it. They understand its not easy and its rough. And that its just going to get rougher............

What a great topic! Guess what- after you get out of school and are working as a nurse, your non-nurse family and friends still "don't get it!" We have sympathized with each other many, many times after an unbelievable 12 hour shift that it doesn't even do any good to try to explain to our husbands, children,etc, how hard and or stressful it was, because you just had to be there to believe it.

There was an article in the last issue of AJN about how the nursing profession is trying to change the public perception of a nurse. Most people today still think of a nurse as some kind of angelic do-gooder, bent on virtuous work rather than a highly trained, highly skilled professional. We all want our nurses to be empathetic and caring, but people seem to focus on that part, as though that's all it really is: a nice lady (sexism there!) who just really likes helping people. As though anyone with some free time on her hands can get a few classes down and become an RN!!

I didn't get to read the whole article (that time crunch thing) but an ad that accompanied it (part of the article, but a real ad from a nursing association) was GREAT. It showed a smiling nurse, holding a patient's hand/wrist while he lay in bed (smiling at her) with a tray of food in front of him. The caption below read: "He thinks they're having a conversation about hospital Jello. She's actually halfway through about 100 assessments." And then the ad goes on to talk about the assessment skills of the nurse. I loved it.

is the ADN program really tough too? how is it compared to the BSN program?

is the ADN program really tough too? how is it compared to the BSN program?

I'm sorry, I can't tell who you're asking this question of....?

Programs differ from school to school, state to state. My CC ADN program enjoys a reputation as a hardass one. The feeling is, if you're allowed to stay in it until graduation (and you do, indeed, graduate), you're as close to Super Nurse as they can manage to crank out. There's another CC in the region that takes in all those who fail out of this program and they usually manage to pass that one :rolleyes:

I'm sure there are BSN programs that follow a similar vein: some hard as hell, some noticeably easier.

Look on ANY listserve, though, for lots of flame wars on ADN-vs-BSN, lol....it's a stupid argument because everyone gets defensive about the program they chose, after all. Research it yourself, find out what you want after graduation, what you are qualified to get into, and go from there.

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