What to do with people who think they know nursing?

  1. I was out with my family for dinner today, and trying to decide what color scrubs to get for my CNA program - we have the choice between light pink and navy blue. I eventually went with navy blue, but that's not the point. I was talking with my sister (I have two younger siblings) and she wanted me to get pink - I told her no, because if something happened, pink would show dirt more. She asked me why it mattered, since I was going to end up in wintergreen scrubs anyways. I stared at her and asked what she meant. She told me that since I want to be a nurse, I would work in the OR and wear the wintergreen scrubs like all the nurses do.

    (By the way, she's addicted to House.)

    It just reminded me of all the people that know I'm pre-nursing and keep talking about "the shortage" and how "you'll always have a job" and everything. How do you guys deal with that? I've kind of resorted to nodding my head and agreeing, as explaining takes a lot more time.

    Advice, please? I'm just not sure what to do with it! Thanks! :heartbeat
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    About nohika

    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 521; Likes: 520

    27 Comments

  3. by   Vines812
    I don't really have advice because I too do the same! I haven't had to explain in terms of the 'nursing shortage' and job security, but i've had to explain many times to friends, relatives, co workers, etc..who know I am prenursing..why I haven't graduated yet. Many ask when the day will come but Im having trouble even getting into a program. I've had to explain the wait lists, how schools are impacted, the difference between LVN and RN and bridge programs to BSN programs etc. So now I just nod my head and say, yup..im not finished. Lol. I know how you feel.
  4. by   Hushdawg
    First - Remind your sister that House's hospital is a teaching hospital and likely requires more formal uniform codes than standard hospitals.

    Second - Remind her that on TV doctors do the jobs of Nurses so you can't believe anything you see.

    Third - Why do people think they can know all about nursing from watching a TV show and yet would not assume the same thing about being an auto mechanic?
  5. by   nohika
    Quote from Vines812
    I don't really have advice because I too do the same! I haven't had to explain in terms of the 'nursing shortage' and job security, but i've had to explain many times to friends, relatives, co workers, etc..who know I am prenursing..why I haven't graduated yet. Many ask when the day will come but Im having trouble even getting into a program. I've had to explain the wait lists, how schools are impacted, the difference between LVN and RN and bridge programs to BSN programs etc. So now I just nod my head and say, yup..im not finished. Lol. I know how you feel.
    My sister calls my CNA class nursing school. I keep telling her not to, because even I find that offensive. :zzzzz Nursing school in three weeks. Yeah right.
  6. by   jessi1106
    Hi,

    I've been a nurse for just over 2 years now.

    When I am talking with people who really matter to me, and people who are genuinely interested in what I am doing....I take the time to explain in more detail about my profession and my particular role in nursing...the varied hats a nurse wears...etc.

    Most others get the head nod response.

    Good luck to you,

    -Jessi
  7. by   neonatal_nurse
    When I hear these sort of stories I always say: "They think they know, but they have no idea."

    To make conclusions about nursing or being a nurse based on television shows or media is unfair. And to think that what they show on tv is not a very accurate picture of what nurses do.

    Just try to google nurse images and you'll see what I mean. Pictures of scantily-clad women in white will show you that in reality, this stereotype of being the person who sleeps around is what the image of a nurse is. I hope this will change as it's definitely not the portrait of being a patient advocate is about.

    This is just like the wrong ideas that majority have about nurses, like we are all so rich and money is flowing out of our ears. That what we do is so freakin' easy that we can have half-a-brain to graduate from nursing school. That when we work, we just sit around and let time pass by. NOOO!! Lies all of them!

    And fyi, the OR isn't only the area that nurses thrive. Or ER. I guess that's highly because of grey's anatomy and er. As I always tell others, the best RN's are in the critical care units. The stuff that we do isn't so glamorous and sexually charged, we need to keep our pants on at all times.

    Just tell your sis that there's more to nursing than tv. And btw, I love House too. I just hate that the doctors on the show bark their orders like they're in the military.

    About the shortage problem, yes it exists. But it is a competitive world nowadays. Just because the need for nurses is so high doesn't mean that you'll get a job that easily. A lot of employers require experience. 2 words: It's tough.

    Congratulations and good luck!
  8. by   cherrybreeze
    A little different from the previous topics, but I do think it would fit:

    Was talking to my sis about a night that I had one time at work. Pt had come in with a jaw abscess, so her attending was an oral surgeon. This 17 year old patient had quite a psych history, supposedly, and was on a TON of psych meds. That fact alone upset me some, as it didn't necessarily seem the appropriate thing, but there's a lot more to it that I can't all go in to. Anyway.

    The physician was also very concerned about the whole psych situation. He had called to check in on the patient and we had a good, in depth convo about everything. My sister could not get over several things, one being that the doc and I had that convo in the first place. I said, well, we're a *team*, and it's ok (and actually, GOOD!) for him to share his concerns, and for me to give my input. We don't "just follow orders!" She was all incensed, saying that that's why she can be fearful of going to the doctor, since everyone is "talking" about her, and judging what she says/does. I was just surprised that she even took it THAT way, and could not get over how she thought a convo between that doc and I was so inappropriate. She's stubborn, though, too, and you can't convince her of anything she doesn't believe. She's pretty smart about healthcare in general, too. Par for the course, I guess, as she seems to want to disagree with me lately on ANY topic we discuss.
  9. by   GiGiOm
    I used to get aggravated with people's ignorance about what nurses really do. Now, I just ignore their comments. It's not worth getting mad over. And you will not convince them differently, so don't try. Save yourself the energy and don't bother getting aggravated. Simply respond with, "Hmm. I have not found that to be true at all. Let's not bother talking about this. It's too complicated for you to understand." That usually at least shuts down the ignorant comments. Believe me, you will not change someone's mind if it is already made up. It is a frustrating waste of your time and energy.
  10. by   HappyBunnyNurse
    I remember once telling my mom a story about a coworker. The coworker refused to push a certain amount of Lasix. She told the doc she would get the med and the syringe and he could do it but she was uncomfortable with the high dose on that pt. Doc had a little fit (which was funny) and said HE wasn't doing it, threatened to write her up, and left. Long story short she called another doctor and got what the pt needed. My mother said "She will be in trouble for not doing what the doctor said". I said "No, but she could lose her licence if she had killed her pt". Mother was shocked.
  11. by   chicookie
    I usually say it as it really is. Yeah you might think that but the reality is this...blah, blah, blah and go about my merry way. I'm too busy to pay attention to them.
  12. by   kids
    Quote from cherrybreeze
    She was all incensed, saying that that's why she can be fearful of going to the doctor, since everyone is "talking" about her, and judging what she says/does.
    To be honest, by telling her about the patient and your discussion with the doctor you validated her fears.
  13. by   RNKITTY04
    OK sorta related. I work 7p-7a, I really really hate it when I get up in the afternoon @2-3pm walk down my driveway to get my mail and my neighbor comes out and screams across the road "ITS ABOUT TIME YOU GOT UP" usually I just smile and nod but the last time I yelled back "YEAH, WHAT WERE YOU DOING AROUND 3 AM WHEN I WAS WORKING? uggg.
  14. by   CABG patch kid
    To the OP, yea, welcome to the world of nursing. Your sister is the first of many people to share ignorant and misinformed opinions with you.

    My favorite was when I found out about my transfer to the CCU after working a year on a tele floor. I was telling my family about it and my mother-in-law says "Oh! So does that mean you'll be starting IVs now?!!" Very genuinely, too. She didn't mean any harm by it but I wanted to say "Come on lady! What do you think I've been doing on tele for the last year? Getting to start IVs is not what makes the CCU more challenging!" Lol

    As long as you have a partner (hubby, boyfriend/girlfriend) and a few good nursing buddies that understand and respect what you do, it doesn't really matter what everyone else thinks

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