5 Things I Wish People Understood About Nursing.

Our job always has a pop of surprise some where thrown in and a good day can turn bad at the blink of an eye, so we don’t expect our patients to understand it. It’s a profession that is in its own category but does have tips and tricks that you can be aware of as a patient. Let’s discuss!

There is no such thing as a scheduled PRN. Believe it or not, we aren’t mind readers and we definitely do not put your narcotics in with your regular meds just because you get it every night… you need to ask us. We are more than willing to pop that oxycodone for you (if you are due, of course) so you can feel more comfortable. Just let us know.

There is only one of me. It can be frustrating when you need something and can’t get it immediately but I am only one person and I will get to you as soon as a I can. Unfair nurse to patient ratios are real and unfortunately, both you and I feel the repercussions of this. Prioritization is what is going through my mind when I have a lot of people needing me at once.

Being rude, disrespectful or verbally abusive towards us does not make us work better. In fact, it makes it that much more difficult to handle you. I understand that being a patient or the family member of a patient and not getting answers right away or whatever else is bothersome can be difficult, but we are trying to work with you, not against you. Please treat us kindly.

It’s okay to have questions for us! That is what we are here for. Don’t try to yes us to death if we are teaching you something and you don’t understand. We want you to be successful at taking care of your health and we will answer every question you have until you fully understand.

Nursing is mentally, emotionally and physically draining. We can be on our feet going from patient to patient without stopping at times. We sometimes will neglect our own needs by barely having enough time to take a sip of water, eat a snack or even go to the bathroom. And we spend our entire day listening to our patients symptoms and trying to mend their ailments. We also may spend time grieving with families over the loss of a loved one or rejoicing in the happiness of a new life. So we sometimes will take the mental and emotional exhaustion home with us and our work will interfere with our personal lives on many different levels. We give a lot more of ourselves to you when you are under our care than you may realize.

Hopefully the above information will be used to shed a different light on our career and how it works. It’s not a black and white concept and it has so many different dynamics so it can be difficult to understand. So please respect us and know that we truly do want to provide our patients with the care that they need and deserve.

2 thoughts on “5 Things I Wish People Understood About Nursing.

  1. “There is no such thing as a scheduled PRN” SO true. I’ve had too many patients upset with my on night shift when I “didn’t wake them up for pain meds” that were PRN. If you’re sleeping, I’m assuming you don’t need them! 😅


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