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10 Things Your Nurse Will Never Tell You
Some people have said that nurses are the best secret keepers ever. It’s been rumored for ages that they keep things all secret, and they hear everything between doctors, patients, and the patient’s family.
It might seem a bit strange at first, but when you think about it, it begins to make perfect sense. Everyone keeps secrets. (Some of us better than others!) But the truth is that there are some things you don’t need to know and maybe you don’t want to know. There are facts that you might not be able to handle, and some things that, well, nurses probably just wouldn’t tell you even if they had the chance.
On the other hand, the truth sets you free, so let’s talk about the top 10 secrets that your nurse has probably been keeping from you.
1. Giving You Medicine is a Pain in the Behind
Yes, giving out medication is something that nurses do, and some patients think that giving out pills or shots is about the only thing nurses do, but that’s not true. What is true is that giving medicine is a very time consuming and challenging chore. It’s not as if nurses can just go into a cabinet, grab a bottle of pills and just walk over to your bedside to give it to you. Your nurse needs to look at every medication that the doctor has ordered for you; make certain that she understands the dosing method; check for any possible side effects or interactions; possibly make a phone call to talk to your doctor if she has any questions or concerns; perhaps even run down to the pharmacy if your medication is not available. Giving you medication is not as easy as it seems, but your nurse will certainly make it seem that way!
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2. She’s Exhausted
Chances are that your nurse will never tell you just how tired, exhausted, and fatigued he or she really is. You might even tell her “You look tired” and she might say, “Oh, just a little” or “Yes, but I’m off soon,” but she won’t tell you how the stress drains her, or how the years of rotating shifts has left her completely worn out. They won’t tell you that their feet are aching, their back hurts, and their brain is just as tired. When you wake up and see your nurse standing there and you say, “What? You are still here?!” They will probably answer “Oh, just a little bit longer.”
3. That Another Patient Passed Away
In critical care units or intensive care units, your nurse is, literally, right outside the door, if not right by your bedside. If you should look around and not see your nurse, it’s probably because she is really busy in a nearby room, and things are not going very well. When your nurse returns, she might seem a bit flustered or seem like she is having a manic episode because she will be double checking everything about you. This is most likely because another patient in her care passed away, and she won’t tell you about how it broke her heart. She will only make sure that you are well taken care of so she doesn’t have to deal with a second death in one day and so you won’t have anything to think about but getting well.
4. That She is Also Sick
Although you might guess when your nurse is sick because she is sneezing or coughing, most of the time, you won’t know anything about it. Your nurse will stay home if she has something contagious, but for just about anything else, she will show up for work. You will never hear nurses talk about their slipped disc, their chronic pain, or arthritis. Everyone knows that nurses make the worst patients, so while they might neglect themselves, they will never neglect you.
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5. That You Remind Them of a Family Member
It’s very likely that your nurse has had a family member or friend fighting the same issues you are fighting. Nurses, too, have had parents facing terminal illness, sisters having difficult pregnancies, and brothers involved in terrible accidents. Sometimes, you or your family member bears a striking resemblance to one of their family members. They might be remembering when their mother was facing the same situation you are going through, but they won’t tell you.
6. That Their Family is Sick
One of the drawbacks of working as a nurse is that you can rarely leave work at a moment’s notice simply because your child has the flu. Nurses must care for their sick patients, even when their own child or spouse is sick at home. However, you will probably never hear your nurse talk about their role as a caretaker for their aging mother or that they are exhausted because they were up all night with their sick baby. Your nurse will act as if you are their only concern, because that is their job.
7. Your Nurse Will Go to Bat for You
Sometimes, your nurse will need to go to bat for you. Nurses fight for the best interest of their patients, going head-to-head with your doctor or other health care professionals if needed. They will present their case about what they know about you and what they believe is the best for you. They will never tell you about it, but your nurse can be your best advocate if the need should arise.
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8. How Scared They Get When You Are Close to Death
Sometimes, things don’t always go the way doctors think they will and patients skirt seriously close to death. Your nurse, like your doctor, is honestly rooting for your recovery, and when you take a turn for the worse, nurses get stomach aches, racing hearts, and they will worry about you. You might not believe it, but they honestly will. After you are on the road to recovery, your nurse might explain what a close call you had, but they will probably never tell you that they were also worried sick that you might not make it.
9. Sometimes, They Bend the Rules
Sometimes, if you ask your nurse for something that is against the rules or that is technically outside of their job description, they might tell you no, but don’t be surprised if your nurse sometimes replies, “Let me see what I can do.” This doesn’t mean that your nurse will ignore doctors’ orders or blatantly go against hospital rules, but your nurse does know that some rules can be bent so that they can make you happy, even if what you have asked for isn’t 100 percent “kosher.”
10. They Think about You After Work
Nurses take their jobs very seriously. You are a human being and when your nurse goes home for the night (or day as the case might be), they take a piece of you with them. It is not at all surprising for your nurse to call back during their time off to check with the other shift and see how you are doing. Some nurses tell their patients that they will pray for them or that they will be thinking of them when they go home. These are rarely empty words meant to make you feel better — chances are that your nurse means them.
Your nurse holds a great many other secrets about you, things she might have overheard or something private that you might have disclosed to her, but you need not worry. If your nurse can keep all of the above secrets, she can keep just about any secret you might imagine.