Has your definition of a nurse changed?

Nurses General Nursing


I have to repent in dust and ashes for my early ignorance of the importance of nurses. When I was younger, I had the misconception that nurses just recorded vitals and made sure the patient was comfortable. I thought the doctors did all the thinking. I can't believe I was so stupid! :imbar

I had an appendictomy when I was 19. You'd think that would be old enough to know better, but I did things like test the call button to see if a nurse would really come. Later, I couldn't get anyone to come when I was freezing and needed a blanket. Like the boy who cried, "Wolf!", I learned my lesson. :p

I also remember being disappointed if I had a health question and the only one to talk to me about it was a nurse! :imbar

I'm just curious if anyone else had wrong ideas about the nursing profession before they got into it themselves.

~Carolyn (presently a CNA going into Nursing 101 this fall.)

Specializes in ER.

i knew nurses did all the work early on as i was a rather, shall we say, clumsy kid that required frequent trips to the ER.

Specializes in SNF-LTC; Gero-psych.
i knew nurses did all the work early on as i was a rather, shall we say, clumsy kid that required frequent trips to the ER.

I had my share of accidents as well i played football, baseball, and basketball when i was in school.... However i knew the roll of nurses when i was young seeing that my mother and grandmother and almost all of my family was/is/are nurses....


350 Posts

Specializes in ER (new), Respitory/Med Surg floor.

I never realized how many judgment calls occur with nursing care. Infact someone on these boards mentioned part of the daily ritual of nursing was cleaning the sheets, watering flowers, dusting!!! I can't imagine it now! Anyway so it has changed drastically. I still hear from others that seem to not understand how difficult the job is. I think they feel you do just as the OP stated! I know my grandmother is driving me nuts! She used to care for mentally challenged children sort of like an aide. Wonderful work but she keeps comparing it to as it's the same as nursing. She didn't have to give meds just feed and bath them. I mean work enought just not the same. What's even more irritating she uses my terminology when i talk about work that she NEVER did before! She started calling one part in the place she worked "well in my unit" i wanna scream! This my sound harsh but really she is a very vindictive person. Love her but my whole mom's side is a psych ward (bipolar, ocd, schizo, and a very nasty manipulative grandmother). She finally said GEEZE i never realized how hard you have it to make all those decisions and fast! YES!

UM Review RN, ASN, RN

7 Articles; 5,163 Posts

Specializes in Utilization Management.

Yes. When I started in healthcare, nursing roles were very different, truth be told.

It's way more science-oriented now. Which is sad because I see the new grads running for the morphine when sometimes all you need to do is get the wrinkles out of the sheet. (And there IS a trick to it with a fresh postop ORIF.)


179 Posts

yes yes yes! I had only a vague idea about what nurses did before I decided to become one and I remember when I was a CNA reading all the nursing magazines that were lying around and thinking holy crap nurses have to know that? It is very overwhelming to me to think about the big picture, about the responsibilities, about the life and death situations. I am amazed by the nurses I see and what they have to deal with every day. I can only hope that I live up to the expectations.

zacarias, ASN, RN

1,338 Posts

Specializes in tele, stepdown/PCU, med/surg.

I don't think I really knew what nurses did before I decided to become one. I did see a picture of a nurse with a stethoscope around the neck and thought, "hey that's cool!"

I had multiple surgeries around age 5 and 6 and I do remember the nurses there. They had quite a lot of knowledge and so I think I probably knew that nurses did more than slingin' bedpans when I started to pursue nursing.

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