"I could never be a nurse"

  1. Could somebody please tell me what people mean when they say that? Is it an insult? Is it a complement? I usually hear just after I have done some really difficult task for someone"s family member and they only thing they can think to say is "I could never be a nurse". My sister in law has made that remark to me many times and she did it again last night. We had just admitted my confused, aggitated mother in law to a neuro unit. The nurse was trying to explain to my mother in law that she was there to be treated for a stroke. My sister in law was upset because my mother in law had asked her if she had had a stroke and my sister in law had said "no". I explained to her that you can only orient a confused person with the truth. That is when she said, "I could never be a nurse". I think I know what she means whe she says it, she means she is a tender hearted person and could never do and say the tough things a nurse has to do and say. I just wonder what other people mean when they say it. I would prefer to hear, "thank you for taking care of my mother".
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    About oramar

    Joined: Nov '98; Posts: 7,097; Likes: 5,234
    returned nurse


  3. by   sunnybrook83
    I've always chosen to take that comment as that person does not have the strength of character it takes to perform the variety of duties (good and bad) we do on a daily basis. I actually think its a compliment- they know we have a hard job.
  4. by   mustangsheba
    I've always interpreted that remark to mean "I don't know how you can do what you do (it's so disgusting, or hard, or whatever) but I'm sure glad you're here to do it". I take it as a compliment no matter what the intent. With my own SIL, I then point out that I would be unable to do some of the things she does in her career. Our primary target for communication is our patient. I have to admit, I have never understood why it is so hard to tell the truth. Most people are stronger than their families give them credit for. Being truthful with caring and compassion is being respectful. Take this remark as a compliment, as I am sure is the intent.
  5. by   Mijourney
    Hi. Ditto to the last two posters.
  6. by   Spellbound
    I agree with both the other replies. When I worked as a CNA, people always said "I could never do that", whether because of the difficulties, the messes, or the deaths of patients. I always took it to mean, "I would not have the strength to do that." Let's face it, nurses are a special breed, and that is something to be proud of. After all, I haven't heard of too many people who go into the profession for the money!!!!
    I am not actually a nurse yet, I am in school completing my general education requirements before I can apply to nursing school, but I am, and have always been, a nurse at heart, and that is what really counts!!!!!
    So take it as a complement, no matter how the person saying it THINKS they mean it, you deserve it that way.