10 Problems Only An Off-Duty Nurse Understands

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

There are some things that only an off-duty nurse can really, truly understand. With that in mind, we wanted to let all of you off-duty nurse/on-duty civilians know that you’re not alone. A little batty and somewhat intimidating, sure. But not alone.

1. It’s Friday afternoon, and it’s been a brutal week. You figure you’ll give yourself Saturday morning to rest.

You wake up on Sunday at noon like:


2. It’s not often you’re home in time for dinner, and by that we mean “It’s been six months.” Now, not only are you having dinner at a reasonable hour, but it’s been cooked—for you. 

Needless to say, this is a pretty emotional moment for you, and it’s making everybody else a little bit uncomfortable.


3. You’re pretty proud of yourself for attending book club on your day off. Heck, you even skimmed the SparkNotes.

But then, this awful thing happens….

You call the host to ask if you can bring anything, and she says yes.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.


4. You’ve been logging some serious hours working the night shift. For the first time in days, you wake up and the sun is still shining. Your neighbors spot you as you step outside. They wave, but the world—it’s just so…bright. 


5. Your well-intentioned friend is throwing a barbecue for her kid’s seventh birthday. You ask what she’s using to check the internal temperature of the hamburger patties. She tells you that she’s sort of just guesstimating.

Your reaction is unmistakable.


6. You have an event on the horizon that you can finally attend—but the occasion is formal.

You’re told that means “nothing elastic.”


You decide to take a rain check.

7. You’re all about going out for breakfast, partly because it’s such a rare treat.

But you’re always the slightest bit embarrassed when you’re the only one craving a hamburger—at 9 a.m.


8. Speaking of dining out, there’s always that one friend who simply has to make a comment about how slow the service is…when there’s a single waiter. And he’s currently tackling 10 to 13 tables. With a broken arm.

One flashback to the hospital waiting room later, and:


9. You attend back-to-school night. It’s cold and flu season.

You discover that there’s no hand sanitizer in the classroom. You think you’re doing the teacher a favor by pointing this out. The teacher responds with “We keep this classroom very clean.”


10. It’s your one day off this week. You’ve already called to check on a critical patient seven times.

As for everybody else?


What? It is your day off, after all.

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.


  1. Every single one of these!!!! From the hospital where I started my career to the hospice agency I work at now!!! ALL of them!!! LOL


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