That's only the nurse...


Tonight I was attempting to settle a patient into a stretcher from triage. This patient obviously had a bad experience at the hospital during a previous visit. While attempting to reassure the patient, she makes the breathtaking statement "that is only the nurse" to her visitor. You could have picked my chin up from the floor in that very moment! It took all I had not to stop what I was doing and walk out of that room. Instead, I continued to treat this patient to the best of my ability and show her that I was only a nurse and proud to be one!

Of course, I did not have all that much time to reflect on that statement during my shift, but once I got home I couldn't quite shake the statement. It got me thinking.... that's only the nurse...

this is is what I have to say about being "only a nurse"

yes, I am only a nurse. I am only the nurse that holds your hand, wipes your tears, brushes your hair/teeth, wraps your wounds, calls your family, listens, answers your call light, brings you to the bathroom, helps you bathe, dresses you, cries with you... I am only the nurse that reminds the doctor to order tests, reminds them of your allergies, reminds them of your pain, reminds them of other comorbities, lets the doctor know when tests are done, completes the tests... I am only the nurse that askes clarifying questions when the doctors orders are incorrect, that advocates for your needs, all of your needs... I am only the nurse that gets yelled at when patients are sad/angry/frustrated with their care or conditions. I am only the nurse that holds your loved ones hands and lends a shoulder to cry on. I am only the nurse who coordinates your care with all disciplines to give you optimal results. I am only the nurse who answers your questions and when not able finds the answers for you. I am only the nurse...

But because I am only the nurse, I can't quite tell you everything that I do for you (that list is way to long)... because I am only the nurse, I can promise you the safest and best care.

Tonight, all things aside, i am proud to "only be a nurse".

NightNerd, MSN, RN

1,129 Posts

Specializes in CMSRN, hospice. Has 9 years experience.

Ugh, that comment. The same people who utter those words are also the ones who will probably demand why you haven't performed their surgery, cured their diabetes, relieved their pain, and fixed them a sandwich all at once. In that case, I LOVE to say, "Sorry, bud. I'm just a nurse." Don't demean what I do and simultaneously expect me to change your life singlehandedly.