How do you describe your job?

  1. How do you describe what you do to friends and family? There are so many facets of my role as an RN in the ER. I often don't feel like I can accurately convey what I do when people ask. I'm just curious how others answer this question.
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    Joined: Feb '05; Posts: 552; Likes: 228

    15 Comments

  3. by   EmerNurse
    Ack - now you ask that question, I have no idea!

    I know when I say I'm an ER nurse, folks get that look - you know the one that indicates they've been watching ER since its inception? I'm usually too tired to try to explain. Let them think I flirt with docs all night, have perfect make-up and time to go to the cafeteria (that isn't open on nights anway).

    Only other ER nurses understand. god bless this forum!
  4. by   traumaRUs
    I have gotten "that look" too. Most folks know what comes into the ER where I worked - its a level one trauma center. I still get asked about the goriest things I've seen. However, its never something I want to talk about.

    Was at church (AT CHURCH) and one of the guys comes up and says, "do ya wanna see my thumb?" Before I could utter "nope," he whips off this nice and neat dressing and voila - he had a traumatic amputation!!! Apparently it had happened at work a few days prior (he had been seen in the ER and had surgery) and wanted me to "check it out." Yikes...helped him to re-bandage it and then I went downstairs to the bathroom to wash my hands and come back to church!!!

    What are people thinking???
  5. by   SargeRN
    Hours and hours of shear furstration and disappointment followed by minutes of total delight and joy. And not just because you're going off shift :-)

    Sarge
    I was a soldier*Iam a soldier*I will always be a soldier
  6. by   Jennifer, RN
    I tell my kids that I take care of very sick and hurt people and try to make them feel better. And then I tell them that sometimes the people don't feel better no matter what, and then I try and make their mommys and daddys and families feel better.
  7. by   bill4745
    After they make the face, I tell them I'm psychotic-which, I believe, any of us who choose to work here are!
  8. by   S.T.A.C.E.Y
    Quote from Jennifer, RN
    I tell my kids that I take care of very sick and hurt people and try to make them feel better. And then I tell them that sometimes the people don't feel better no matter what, and then I try and make their mommys and daddys and families feel better.
    I love that description! Hopefully I'll be able to use it when I work in ED (eventually).
  9. by   Dallas_RN
    There is no easy whay to describe it, I just say it's a "Controlled Chaos" enviroment.
  10. by   bargainhound
    Years ago a nurse said "we don't talk shop after work".

    I think that may be the easiest way to answer.
  11. by   ikimiwi
    I'm trying to get into heaven the hard way!
  12. by   jbird125
    Quote from ikimiwi
    I'm trying to get into heaven the hard way!
    I like that, although we sometimes say the opposite, when i have patients telling me i am going to hell because i am an unkind uncaring nurse because their abdo pain has to wait untill ive finished with the trauma patient.

    In that case i simply tell them that i am going to hell and have a suite already reserved.

    It always shuts them up.
  13. by   andhow5
    "Jack of all trades and master of none..."

    That usually confuses them enough to shut 'em up, and if it doesn't, then I'll say something like, "We dive into situations most people would run from", and leave it at that.
  14. by   azerrn
    Quote from KatRN,BSN
    How do you describe what you do to friends and family? There are so many facets of my role as an RN in the ER. I often don't feel like I can accurately convey what I do when people ask. I'm just curious how others answer this question.
    That's funny, I just had to explain what I do as an ER RN to my sister.
    I told her that I'm the kind of nurse that you want when you feel as if you're really sick and possiblely going to die...I will do everything within my power to keep you alive and help you get medically stable. I also explained that I'm not the best "fluffer" for people that are capable of taking care of themselves. Overall, I told her that I love my job and look forward to seeing what new adventure everyumpiron: shift brings.

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