January 3, 2013

So you want to be a Nurse?

I had a bad day at work yesterday. So this may be the most pessimistic post to date.
Before you decide to become a nurse...

Remember you will make a med error. 

Remember you'll probably be working your Birthday, Valentine's Day, Super Bowl Sunday, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve/Day, and New Years Eve/Day. 

Remember the very people you are trying to save, will call you sweetie, an idiot, they will not acknowledge you, they will vomit on your scrubs, and bleed on your shoes. 

Remember that you may consider two days off in a row to be an enormous luxury. 

Remember that you'll sleep at weird times and have a hard time adjusting because you won't be on day shift. You will be opposite of your husband.

Remember that you might feel like the not best wife seeing people cook, clean, and pamper their husbands...while all you do is sleep with him. 

Remember how you'll miss your family during holidays and sometimes hate yourself for feeling envious of your patients whose families are there with them. 

Remember it takes a long time to find a job. It is not as stable as it once was. Nothing is anymore.

Remember that the hurt and sorrow that your patients experience will affect you deeply.

Remember that you will hurt them.

Remember you will feel shock with them. 

Remember you will be the bearer of bad news. 

Remember that you will be doing everything in your power to help them, but they are too hurt to thank you.

Remember that when the rest of the world wonders how a man can shoot first-graders, you know and are thinking instead of how you would cope as the nurses who had the tiny bodies brought to their hospital.

Remember there will be days you feel like you might not make it through another shift.

Remember that if you have all these feelings and you still want to be a nurse, you will be.

Be sure you want to be a nurse, or doctor, or medical professional before you go into it. You think nursing school is hard? It is, but you have to be sure, even outside of school or you won't make it.


  1. Thank you for being a nurse Lauren! God sees what you do when nobody else does and you will be rewarded for it.

  2. But also remember you are the person who is there for the patient when they may not have anybody else. You're the first person there to help them feel better and the last person they see as they leave the hospital. It takes a special person to be a nurse and I commend you for the job! :)

  3. I can't imagine - but we thank you!! XO

  4. I couldn't imagine being a nurse - I don't have the stomach for it, and I really don't think I could break bad news to someone without crying. Thank you for everything you do for people!

  5. I seriously have so much respect for what you do. My sister-in-law is a nurse, wife, and mother to three children. I've watched her miss so many family events and know it cannot be easy. Just know that there are people who really appreciate your dedication and hard work. :)

  6. I cannot tell you how much you are appreciated - even if you don't hear it all the time!

    xo, jill
    Classy with a Kick

  7. Wow...this was just directed to me! I just started thinking about nursing school

  8. You just named off all of the reasons why I couldn't survive in that profession. You are such a strong person for doing this day in and day out, and just know that you are so very much appreciated. Stay strong! :-)

  9. You're such an awesome person Lauren, and clearly a fabulous nurse! Being able to list all of those things and still go to work each day means you were born for this job. Keep up the amazing work you are doing! :)

  10. I am a nursing student at Gannon university! And it is the best decision I have ever made except falling in love :) just found your blog and joined the site! Feel free to follow mine too :)

  11. You're my hero! Nurses are saints and I could never do what you do. Keep on doing what you do friend :)

  12. I guess I'll add my crummy two cents... You know how much time I have for nurses, and how much value I ascribe to their work. But from three of the women in my family being or having been nurses, and from having handled cases relating to a lot of nurses, let me say this: be gentle enough with yourself to let youself accept that it's OK to bale out of the job (sorry for the awkward syntax). All that you decribe about nursing's hard points is true, and sometimes it's going to be really hard to find ANY reward in the job. Too many of the nurses I've dealt with who have been in the job too long have would up awfully jaded. Some of them take refuge in a cynical contempt for patients that borders on sadistic, and a few take refuge in (ahem) self-medicating.

    I'm sorry to waffle on so long, and I promise I'm not trying to talk down to you, but I guess I just want to say: remember that after a time, it's OK to pull the pin. You seem like a beautiful and gentle person and, well, maybe that means it shouldn't be your "forever" profession.

    1. The beautiful thing about nursing Stephen, is that there are many avenues to go with it. One simply does not need to stop being a nurse because they don't like their particular job. There's just so much you can do. There's some things about nursing; the hard days, the vomit, the blood, the feeling down on yourself for not doing enough that only another nurse can truly understand. A few bad days as a nurse doesn't always mean it's time to leave the profession. Many of us nurses don't go into it for the glory or recognition to begin with. Sometimes it just helps to vent. It's really a difficult and emotional job. It's hard to explain, except to another nurse, why such a hard job can also be so fulfilling, and the reason we all keep returning to work day by day. Just remember, nurses are human too. We have feelings, we have had days; sometimes I think people forget that and expect us to be perfect.

  13. Cheer up! I've been there. It's a crappy place to be to be down on yourself; I just finished dragging myself through the mud for a month. It's not worth it, focus on the positive. Even as nurses we are NOT perfect, there's no way to be perfect. Love yourself, and know that you are doing what you love; recognition or not. That's all that matters. I hope you feel better soon.

  14. I loved this! I was planning on going to medical school but switched into preparing to go to PA school, this is so true and many people don't realize it!

  15. Nurses are some of the nicest people in this world! Sorry that you had a bad day Lauren. I also read a post about nursing a while back on Sadie's blog, she does labor and delivery, but it was helpful too (http://www.simplysadiejane.com/2011/03/letter-from-new-friend.html)

    I couldn't imagine doing the hard work that you nurses do, but I'm truly GRATEFUL for it!

    XOXO - Shar

  16. My Sister in Law is a nurse. From the few stories she's told us, I respect your profession sooo much more than I did previously. For the average person who has had no medical issues, we honestly don't even know the stuff you have to deal with on a daily basis. I would absolutely not even last a day in your shoes. Bad days suck, and are obviously compounded when you are dealing with emotional people, bodily fluids and blood. But, just remember that a lot of those people would not be alive if it wasn't for you, your coworkers and the amazing nursing profession as a whole :)

  17. I really liked this post! It is SO true! Despite all of those things I still absolutely love being a nurse and all current/future nurses should understand this first or rethink their profession.


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