The day you start nursing school your life changed permanently.
There is the life “before nursing” and then life as a nurse. Two very different worlds.
Here are some of the ways I knew my life had changed when I became a nurse.
1. I started using a different language
“Rationale” and “as evidenced by” became common terminology. Really… (only nurses will understand this one) don’t ask. Heh heh
2. Acronyms became my best friend
Patient history of COPD, CAD, DM, BKA, CVA with some JVD and new onset CHF noted. What??? Can I get a vowel, Alex??
3. I somehow started caring about the type of pens I use
A “fat” pen with some cushion is like gold when you have to write narrative notes that are pages long for EACH patient you care for during a shift.
4. My bladder grew 3 sizes larger
For some strange reason I could go 12 + hours without having to use the bathroom? Is that normal?
5. Coffee was a mainstay in my diet – and still is.
Without it I don’t think I could blink properly some days.
6. My sense of smell not only got sharper, it also got…duller
I could identify a disorder or disease just by smelling the “aftermath” or the preemptive strike. I also found that most smells stopped “bothering me.” How weird is that?
7. Nationally celebrated holidays were simply a date on a calendar
I vaguely remember a time when I didn’t have to work, or worry about covering a shift during a holiday. But, then again, the hospital doesn’t close for the holidays.
8. I began to forget what day of the week it was.
A traditional calendar was useless. ‘What day of the week is it?” Um, when did I work last – let me check my work schedule. That whole “week day” and “weekend” thing…yeah, it no longer applies.
9. I couldn’t call off work anymore.
Not without feeling amazingly guilty! You call off and then remember what it is like to work shorthanded.
10. I stopped answering my phone
Caller ID was an amazing rescue tool. Who’s calling? Is it work?
And, after it’s all said and done, I wouldn’t have done it any differently. I love being a nurse.
So, tell me, how do you know you’re a nurse? Share in the comments section below.
This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.