The title is misleading; I’ll admit. Sure, there are things nurses don’t tell their patients because, well… every industry has its secrets even if perhaps they ought to be public. But these secrets are of the other kind. The kind that once you find out what exactly they are, make you respect nurses even more. And I’m about to divulge them.
Nurses are EXHAUSTED
At all times. In fact, even when they appear happy and chipper, they are simply spent. The stress of caring for oftentimes critically ill patients, the years of back to back shifts, the hours upon hours spent on their clogs clad feet, can really do a person in. And mind you, that’s aside from whatever they’re dealing with in their personal lives. But when you state, ‘You must be exhausted!’ nurses will just laugh, admit that yes, they ARE tired but will never ever let on the extent of it.
Administering Meds is No Easy Feat
On the patient’s end, the nurse cheerfully walks in with all the necessary pills separated into individual, white cups. Said patient pops the pills. (Takes about 2 seconds each; you know the drill.) And life moves on. On the nurse’s end however, so much more goes into administering medication. She must first check to see what exactly was ordered and what exactly each medication is for. Then she must check for any possible side effects or interactions with other meds, as well as decide when exactly it should be given. Oftentimes she’ll have to call the doctor to clarify an order, or head to the pharmacy to obtain a medication that wasn’t readily available. And once all that is in order, she’s got to pray that all the bar codes actually scan! All that for a couple of pills. Who would have known?! Certainly not the patient!
Sometimes Nurses Get Sick Too
It’s a given that when nurses come down with something contagious, they won’t show up to work. But when they’re simply feeling under the weather, the patient will usually never know. Forget about being under the weather for a couple of days. Do you know how many nurses suffer from chronic pain, oftentimes due to their line of work? And yet, aside for the occasional yelp, or grimace you would never know. Because nurses are on the giving end. Always. That’s their life blood, and they simply do not know how to be the patient or even how to demand any sort of sympathy. It’s a one way street for so many of them.
Nurses Deal with Sick Family Members Too
Unfortunately, the patient in the hospital isn’t always the only sick person a nurse may have to care for. There can be an aging parent, a chronically ill child, a spouse with a medical condition etc. But the patient won’t ever know anything beyond the fact of the matter, because nurses are committed fully to their patients and want to give the best care possible. They don’t want to burden their patients with the knowledge that something big is going on in their private lives. So, while you get 100% all day every day, just know that there may very well be a bigger picture.
Nurses are One of Your Greatest Advocates
This one makes me smile, because 99% of the time, the patient has no inkling of what the nurse did on his/her behalf. Nurses are constantly standing up to doctors and sometimes even family members in order to ensure that their patients get the absolute best treatment possible.
Nurses Go Home and Still Have Their Patients on Their Mind
While nurses may physically be able to clock out of work, mentally they never do. They think about you, worry about you, and pray for you. And more often than not, they’ll call the nursing station when their off duty just to find out how you’re doing. True story.
There may be others. Y’know; secrets nurses dare not tell. But it’s what makes them the incredible super humans they are. Thank you, thank you, thank you!