Reader’s Digest has published an article, “50 Secrets Nurses Won’t Tell You“. The link will take you to the article itself, and Sandy Summers has written a review of the article at The Truth About Nursing.
There are some interesting “secrets” here – and you’ll recognize a few of the names!
I’ll be the first person to tell you that I am not a perfect person, and not a perfect nurse, but two of these “secrets” really ticked me off.
The first one:
3. “Feel free to tell us about your personal life, but know that we’re here for 12 hours with nothing to talk about. So the stuff you tell us will probably get repeated.” A nurse in St. Petersburg, Florida
I have steam coming out my ears.
Maybe my colleague works in a thumb-twiddling clinic, but we have plenty to talk about in my emergency department. We talk with the patients, not about them, and we are too busy hauling our derrieres around to gossip. When we do, finally, have a chance to sit down, the last thing we think about are the personal lives of patients, unless it directly affects their care.
But thanks, now everyone who reads this “secret” thinks that nurses are lazy asses who have nothing to do but gossip on their 12-hour shift.
Remind me to stay away from St. Petersburg…
4. “A lot of my patients are incontinent, and I’m supposed to just use a wet washcloth to clean them. But if it’s a patient who’s been really nice and appreciative, I’ll go all the way to intensive care to get some of the heated wet wipes, which are a lot more gentle. Somebody who’s constantly yelling at me? I just use the washcloth.” A nurse in St. Petersburg, Florida
So… excellent patient care is only given to those who “deserve” it. Everyone else gets “good enough.” Got that, general public?
They didn’t teach me that in nursing school, good thing this “secret” filled me in.
For anyone in the general population who is reading this – these are not nursing “secrets”. These are descriptions of the personal practices of one nurse. I read all 50 secrets and I’ll go with the other 48.
Rest assured, your personal life is not customarily dismantled at the nursing station and your care is not based on your disposition.
Nurses are too damn busy to gossip and too damn professional to base your care on how nice you are.
I guess 48/50 ain’t bad.
*This blog post was originally published at Emergiblog*