Things you need to know when your married to or dating a nurse!

I have been married for 16 years and there are still things that my husband doesn’t quite get when it comes to being married to a nurse. Dating or being married to a nurse can both be good and bad, and no matter what relationships take work! If you have an idea of what to expect before dating a nurse or walking down the aisle, just sit back and read on.

Sometimes we just need quiet time and space!

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Whether your an introvert or an extrovert, when you are a nurse sometimes you just need some time alone. You have just spent 12 plus hours talking to patients, families, doctors, labs, coworkers, and more! Many of your patients think your RN stands for Refreshments and Narcotics and use you as such. So by the time you are finally home, your patience and hospitality have been spent! So when the nurse in your life comes home and takes a shower, and hides under the covers for awhile. It is not you, they are just recharging and looking for a little peace and quiet! Don’t take it personally.

They eat like their food is about to run off their plate!

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Let’s be honest, when we are at work sometimes lunches and snacks are hard to come by. There are times when we actually get a lunch and we are called away right when we sit down to eat. So it is either starve or shove it down! Then you have a belly full of regret! This can be quite shocking for your date. Sometimes you don’t even realize how fast your eating, but your so used to eating on the run, that you are trained to inhale and run! Nurses are big multi-taskers because we have to be. Sometimes that means getting your lunch down on the go! This can be shocking to people who are not nurses.

There can be graphic dinner conversation! 

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Guilty! Nurses sometimes forget that they are not with their nurse buddies and conversation can go way south! As nurses, we have seen and done a lot. So it can take a lot to gross us out. We cope with this by sharing our stories. Unfortunately, we don’t realize just how gross something might be until we see the faces of our date, family, or friends!  Nurses also tend to develop a twisted sense of humor and this can really make people wonder about us!

Dates will be canceled or occasions missed.

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It is just the nature of our profession. We will have to work holidays and be scheduled when we really want to be somewhere else. We have to cancel because some of us are on call or we are called in because of short staffing. It is important for anyone dating nurses to understand this because it is a big part of our life. Even for those of us that are married, it can be a hard pill to swallow!

These are just a few things to know when dating or married to a nurse. There are much more for sure! So when we say it’s the nurse life, you now have a small glimpse at what that entails.

Bonus: 

When a nurse finds out that they are also talking to a nurse, be prepared for stories to exchange like old war stories! There is nothing like talking to another nurse that gets it!

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7 myths about nurses!

There are many, many myths out there when it comes to nurses and the nursing profession. It is important for the general public and future nurses, to understand that most of these myths are not true. I have either encountered people projecting these myths on to me or have fallen for them myself. So here are 7 myths about nurses I have compiled that is important for you to know!

 

Nurses really want to be doctors

If I had a nickel for every time someone has said things to my colleagues and I like, “You’re so smart! Why are you not a doctor?”, or “I bet you wish you would have been a doctor!” Most of the time it is meant as a backward compliment, but it is strange that this myth persists. Most nurses went into nursing to become, well nurses! There are some who go on to become doctors or nurse practitioners, and that is fantastic! Nurses can move on to become practitioners in their profession. Most nurse practitioners actually have a Ph.D.! They work as colleagues with physicians to meet patient care needs. There are many reasons why we chose to be nurses instead of doctors. Nurses spend more time with the patients, they have the opportunity to develop bonds with clients, and there are many opportunities in nursing! Nursing is a professional organization and professional career, that we are glad to be a part of. These are just a few of the reasons that this myth is not true.

Nurses just clean up…poop

I get this from family and random people ALOT. They seem to think a nurses job is cleaning up after people and that’s where it ends. Yes, we do clean up poop, but there is so much more to nursing. We administer medications, work with the doctor and multiple other departments, take off orders, start IV’s, draw labs, and the list goes on. Those are just some of the technical things we do. We are also strong patient advocates! Patients open up to us and we are able to try our best to get what the patient wants/needs. We cry with patients and family, sing, and dance! You never know what each new day will bring in nursing.

Nurses have the best schedule, they are off 4 days a week

Ah, yes! This was what I was most looking forward too! But those 3 day work weeks come with a price dearie! (That is my Rumpelstiltskin impression). Most of those 3 shifts will become a 14-hour shift. Then there is management calling you asking you to come in on your day off. If it was a hard, stressful shift, then 1 of those days off will probably be used for recovery! I do miss the 9-5 a little. I wouldn’t know what I would do with myself if my shift ended in 8-9 hours. It would probably seem lightning fast.

Nursing school is easy

It really baffles me that people still look at nursing as an easy degree. Nursing is usually up there in the top 10 hardest bachelors degrees. Not only is nursing school challenging, but you have to fight just to get into the nursing program.  Many times there are entrance exam, point systems based on grades, and recommendations. Then they only take so many applicants! After you get in the program it doesn’t slow down or get any easier until the end. You have the BOARDS.

Learning is over once you graduate

Be prepared to graduate nursing and feel like you still know nothing. You will learn a lot more on the job. This is common because nursing is constantly evolving. For this reasons, healthcare providers have to be up to date on their evidence-based practices. There will always be new skills or medication to learn. When you sign up for nursing, you sign up to continue growing and learning all your professional career!

Nurses are the physician’s gopher

Okay, there are some days you are going to feel like the physician’s gopher. The truth of the matter is, we are all in this together and we are colleagues. If there are a lot of procedures that are done at the bedside on your floor, then you might have to set up the doctors supplies. That doesn’t mean you’re a gopher. You’re a team player! They have multiple people they are seeing on multiple floors. It would probably take them forever just to locate the supplies they need on your floor. Most doctors truly appreciate nurses and are great team players! When we all work together there are better outcomes for the patients and work is much more tolerable!

 

Nursing is a women’s job

This is one myth that stills hangs around, but it is slowly going away, I hope. I have worked with many nurses male and female! Every nurse is unique and brings different skills to the table. I think that it is great that our profession is expanding more and is open to both male and female. I’m not sure why people think nursing is a women’s job? It is a stereotype that is being broken, thanks to many wonderful male nurses!

These are the 7 myths about nurses that I have encountered! I am sure there is more. Feel free to discuss in the comments below! What nursing myths have you busted or even found to be true?

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Your guide for improving bedside manner, nursing edition!

My brother has been in the hospital for a little over week. He was in one hospital and then transferred to another one. Most of the nurses, cna’s, and doctors have been real good! There are a few though that has inspired this post! Why is bedside manner important in nursing? It helps you to establish trust with the patient and their family. Usually, when you think of bedside manner, nurses tend to think of doctors. It is just as important, if not MORE important, that we are practicing what we preach! Nurses are with the patient way more than the doctor, and you are their advocate. This doesn’t let doctor’s off the hook, but we are talking about nurses. Sometimes we just need to  have a reminder on how to better our bedside manner. Bedside manner can be forgotten with the fast pace we are having to keep, and the amount of patients we care for, but it is still important! So this is your guide to improving bedside manner, nursing edition!

  1. Listen! In our fast pace environment and patient loads we can simply forget to listen to our patients and our families. They are a treasure trove of information if we just listen. For example, my brother is down syndrome. When he is in the hospital we always have one family member at his bedside. My brother is non-verbal. He has trust issues. There are certain things you can do to get his trust and a special way to communicate with him. He uses sign language for certain things, and different mannerisms for others. The family in this scenario are the experts. It doesn’t matter how many initials come after you name, LPN, RN, RN-BSN, MSN, or PhD! The family and client are the more knowledgeable ones when it comes to themselves and family. I’m not saying that they always know best, but it helps to listen, and gain trust, before coming in slinging mud.

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2.  Use everyday language to explain things. This is an easy one to forget, because in the medical field we have our own language, and we use it all day long. It is extremely important that patients and families understand what you are trying to communicate. If you told a patient that they needed to take their medicine PRN and PO (as needed and by mouth), they might shake their head like they understand, when they really don’t. A lot of times they will not speak up because they don’t want to sound dumb, or like they don’t understand. We can get in a hurry and the medical language we use every day can just slip out. So it is important to make sure they understand by having them repeat back or teach back!

3. Don’t Judge! In our everyday life we tend to make snap judgments of people. It is important that you understand this and make sure they are not coming out in the way you communicate. This includes the spoken word and body language. It is important that judging comments do not come across in the teaching or advice you give patients. There is a whole life and background of information that you don’t know. An recent example of this, a nurse scolded my husband over the fact my brother drinks cokes. He is a borderline diabetic. What she hasn’t seen is the years my brother has had this habit, and the effort he is and we are trying to cut them back. The way she stated it to my husband was really judgmental.  Tone is just as important in communication!

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4. Be present. Before you enter the room clear your head of the other 10 million task you need to complete, and concentrate on this patient. If you don’t then you will appear distracted, and your client will notice. Patients know if they are being rushed. Like asking if they need something as your running out the door. If you have the time, try and have a seat by the patient and be at eye level. There have actually been studies that show the patient is more satisfied when this occurs and also feels that the nurse spent more time with them. Even though the same amount time was spent sitting as was standing. Sometimes it is just the little things!

Sometimes we all just need a good reminder to be professional and watch our bedside manner. When we are taking care of many clients and have multiple things we need to do. It can be easy to skip over bedside manner, but it is important that we make ourselves present, listen to patients and their families, don’t be so judgmental, and finally use everyday language!