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“Really” A Nurse

Author, Karyn BuxmanHow long does it take before you feel like you’re a “real” nurse? Orientation may be long behind you, yet you’re still not 100% confident in everything you’re doing. We seem to be missing that official rite of passage or seminal event that allows us to recognize ourselves as fully competent, skilled professionals. With that in mind, I thought I’d share the top ten signs you can use to determine if you’re officially a “real” nurse yet:

Sign One: You have seriously contemplated asking Pharmacy to send up some Superglue to keep your combative patient from ripping his Foley out…again!

Sign Two: A trip through a Halloween Haunted House or viewing of 1001 Grossest Things Ever reveals that you’ve permanently misplaced your gag reflex. Testing this by opening random dishes in the staff refrigerator can confirm the loss, but does run the risk of releasing toxic airborne pathogens native to abandoned tuna sandwiches. Proceed with caution!

Sign Three: You buy SCUBA gear and take lessons even though you live in landlocked Kansas, solely so you can go find and pull the plug on the Gene Pool.

Sign Four: You have to physically restrain yourself from doing violence to a colleague who uses the dreaded Q* word to describe the unit. Your colleague, being a nurse themselves, instantly apologizes when they realize what they’ve done.

Sign Five: Your wardrobe consists of scrubs, scrubs, and more scrubs. Formal events leave you wondering if clogs are *really* appropriate for the opera.

Sign Six: You never miss an opportunity to use the bathroom. This makes your weekend getaway to the country a stunning tour of every john for twenty miles. The trip takes nineteen hours!

Sign Seven: When an administrator asks how you feel about electronic charting, you cite how wonderful it is to be able to record mistakes faster. You smile the entire time you say this, and the administrator nods and agrees with you, never noticing what you actually said. You are not surprised by this.

Sign Eight: Armed with only casual ‘shop talk’ you manage to clear an entire restaurant of customers – and the waitress goes home early with an upset stomach!

Sign Nine: You know the date of every full moon for the next three years, and have requested them all off. Astronomers call you to verify their predictions!

Sign Ten: The EPA has seized your shoes and uniform at the end of a shift, proclaiming them too great a biohazard to be exposed to the world at large. But they’re sure you’ll be fine…

*The Q word: Shhhhhh… Quiet!

Yours in laughter!

Karyn Buxman



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