The Truth Behind a Nurse’s Facial Expressions

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

Changing Moods Image
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The hospital is nothing if not unpredictable, and nurses know best that the mood can shift from “awww” to “THIS IS TERRIFYING” at any given moment. That’s why you’ve perfected your on-the-job poker face, and employ it often.

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But what if you really could wear your heart (or impatience…or exhaustion…) on your uniform sleeve? And we’re talking all day. What would that look like?

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Based upon our best guesses below, it may be that the poker face really is for the best.

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- When you have to exchange a “hello” with the hospital’s resident know-it-all on your way in to work :

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- When the new nurse asks what time lunch is…

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- …and then asks if anybody ever clocks out early :

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- When your patient’s brother is actually pretty wonderful to look at :

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- When the guy in room #3 tries to explain to you what he was doing with the spear currently embedded in his thigh :

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- When a visitor attempts to wake your sleeping patient :

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- When you and your BFF realize you have the same day off :

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- But shortly after, the two of you are dragged into a code brown situation :

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- When you’re interrupted while trying to comfort an emotional family member :

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- When your favorite patient knows just what to say to flatter you :

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- When you’re trying to explain to a visitor why they can’t smoke in the waiting room :

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- When your nurse intuition totally steamrolls a false diagnosis :

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- When you witness something pretty foul, and you need to take a moment…

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- …or you’re trying so very hard not to laugh at a truly absurd situation :

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- When you’re daydreaming about sleep.

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- Or food.

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- Or food and sleep :

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- When the rookie nurse that you’ve taken under your wing finally performs a perfect blood draw :

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- When you have to explain to a patient (for the seventh time) that WebMD is not more reliable than you are :

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- When you finally arrive home from work and it’s actually a pretty dramatic moment because you haven’t seen your significant other in four days…

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- …and you know you should eat dinner, but you’re just so tired :

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- But then you think about everything you’ve accomplished that day, and you finally feel pretty incredible :

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This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.
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Ellen Civitello, RN
2 years ago

Being an Operating Room RN for almost 40 years, we have gotten used to using just our eyes to show various emotions, as we’re wearing hats & face masks during most of our days! We can show (& read) hysteria, disgust, anger, fear, sadness, frustration, & even love, through our eyes. And sometimes a few hand symbols, like a wave, thumb’s up or down, stop, etc. And some others I won’t mention here. What happens in the OR stays in the OR! 🙂

Becky
4 years ago

Thank the GOOD LORD, Creator of us all, for a ‘poker face’…it inspires confidence and saves lives, at least body parts from harm..And I am soo thanking HIM for the creative souls that put this hysterical, healing ‘inside look’ together!

Tracey
4 years ago

LOL…Love it!!