Confessions of an RN: We are only human.

The nursing profession is complex. We do try to be the people our patients need and deserve but we are only human. There were plenty of examples of RNs showing their humanity… here’s a few.

– We probably don’t practice what we preach.

An RN has the responsibility to promote the highest level of health for our patients. We talk a great game about smoking cessation, diet, and exercise.

Here’s the thing, we rarely take our own advice. After your RN gives you an epic evidence-based speech, they likely go back to the nurses station to eat carbs, suck down caffeine, and pop nicotine gum.

We are only human.

– Our humor is inheridly twisted.

You don’t spend hours managing the bodily fluids of other people and making life or death decisions without having to develop some coping mechanisms.

One of the most effective coping mechanisms RNs use is a good sense of humor. Now, admittedly, our humor can become… a little off compared to the general public. But if we were unable to find humor in our work none of us would last very long.

We are only human.

– We all have that one thing that bothers us.

RNs have a pretty high tolerance for things that would make most people feel uneasy, nauseous, or faint. But all of us can identify one thing that bothers us to the point that we dread the shift when we come face to face with our nemesis health situation.

It is not uncommon for RNs to have a buddy-system for such situations. The kind of buddy-system that details one person cleaning all the sputum plugs and another handling all the compacted earwax. You know, real teamwork.

We are only human.

– We make mistakes.

This one is not hard to believe but incredibly hard for RNs to handle. When our work entails thousands of critical decisions that effect the outcomes of the people we are caring for mistakes are going to happen.

We do our absolute best to make the right choices throughout our shifts but hindsight is 20/20… and it sucks.

We are only human.

– We carry some patients with us throughout our career.

There are always those patients that will create a lasting memory. This memory will contribute to future decisions and how you carry out nursing care.

Some patients we emotionally bring home with us. There are simply times when you can not separate work and personal life.

We are only human.

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