By Meaghan O'Keeffe
Sometimes, being part of the nursing profession can feel exactly the same as being part of a family. You love it dearly, you can’t imagine your life without it, but there are lots of things about nursing (and family) that can drive the most balanced person completely nuts.
Deep down, you love nursing, even with all of its vein-popping, blood pressure elevating quirks.
Here is Scrubbed In’s list of things about nursing that drive nurses absolutely nuts, but we deal with anyway.
1. Call lights: Of course the purpose of call lights is to enable patients to get help when needed, but it’s hard not to get annoyed at the call light itself. It’s blinking, beeping, and taunting you because you just sat down to document. (See #2)
2. Documentation: For the love of all things nursing. Documentation is our greatest tool and the bane of our existence, all wrapped up into a flowchart, and an I&O’s chart, a nursing note, an incident report, a pre-anesthesia evaluation form, a…
3. (For our guys) Being called “male nurse:” For the men in our nursing community, hearing someone refer to them as a nurse, without “male” automatically attached, would be a breath of fresh air.
4. Body fluids: Nurses deal with body fluids all the time. It’s par for the course. But it’s not exactly something one wishes for. We don’t need to name them all. You’re well acquainted with most. They can really dampen your day. Pun intended.
5. Waving your ID to get into your bathroom at home: Many healthcare facilities have areas where you need to scan your ID to unlock the door. When you’ve tried that to get into your bathroom at home, it might be time to take a vacation.
6. Trying to use your fingerprint at the ATM: If you regularly use your fingerprint to get into medication and supply stations, you might find yourself trying to do the same at the ATM screen. Just hope that no one saw you.
7. Hearing a patient-alarm-like sound (outside of work): You’re out and about and someone’s cell phone ring sounds uncannily like an O2 sat alarm. Before you’ve had a chance to process, your pulse has quickened and you’re on high alert. Calm down, nervous system; you’re off duty today.
8. Patients who don’t take the full course of antibiotics: When a patient gaily reports that they stopped taking their antibiotics because they feel sooo much better, there’s a specific protocol you must follow. It involves closing your eyes, taking deep breaths and counting to 10 before calmly explaining the rationale behind completing the course in full.
9. Waking up at 5 a.m. on your day off: Finally, finally you can sleep in. You’ve been looking forward to it for days. But your brain seems determined to wake up as if you need to work today. At least you can stay in bed with your feet up.
10. Bringing a coffee to work, then drinking it cold four hours later: A hot cup of coffee at the start of your day is one of the simple pleasures of life. But did you really think you were going to drink it? You might at some point, it just may be more like iced coffee by then.
What drives you nuts about nursing?