Why Don’t Nurses Ever Get Real Vacations? 7 Solutions…

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

Here’s the issue: No matter where you go in the world, you’re still a nurse, and you’re compelled to do “nurse-y” things, like save lives when people are choking or having an allergic reaction or drowning or whatever.

So how do you, dear nurse, get a REAL vacation from nursing?

1. Avoid places that have things that people might fall off of.
Colorado is beautiful, as are the cliffs in Northern California. Gravity, however, is the same
everywhere and might lead to broken legs or skulls.

2. Don’t go to any restaurants that serve peanuts, shellfish, dairy or anything large enough to choke on.
The Heimlich maneuver can be a real chill-killer. Learn to love smoothies! Especially the ones that don’t combine peanuts and shrimp.

3. Avoid airplanes.
I have never heard an announcement on a train asking for a medical professional to press their call button. Of course, the last time I rode a train I was two years old. It might be safer just to take the car.

4. Don’t go anywhere with water.
You might be the only person who knows how to perform CPR on a drowning victim.

5. Don’t go to places with lots of poisonous, stinging things.
You might be the only person who knows how to deal with anaphylaxis.

6. Don’t go anywhere where the median age is over 50, there are babies or anybody has diabetes, a heart condition or asthma.
This applies to everyone, but especially intensivists.

7. Just stay home, turn off your phone and hide under the covers.
This is the best vacation of all. Nobody can reach you to offer you critical overtime, you don’t have to answer the door and there’s plenty of food in the fridge.

Statistics show that the majority of accidents happen in the home, though…so maybe you ought to stay in bed.

How'd we do? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.


  1. Yep pulled folks out of car wrecks. Found woman beat up laying on side of road in middle of the night. . Ran stop lights ect. Took her to ER. Caught elderly man falling backwards down escalator. Responded to phone calls in middle of the night in small town I lived in. Neighbors MOM I auscultated ruptured bowel sent to ER. Another neighbor small child 106 temp. Parents ask me what to do. ER trip stat. Local park child fell off swing. Big bump back of head. Trip to ER. Another neighbor drunk fell off top of sliding board. Trip to ER. Mayors son middle of the night. Heard loud explosion sound of crash. Jumped in my truck Mayors son drunk ran his car thru local beauty shop. All the way thru building and ruptured gas main connected to building. Called out to all responders. Mayors son taken to hospital and jail. Gas main shut off. Found pick up truck upside down in field. Owner staggering around drunk. Ask me for a beer. Called responders. They were not amused. Humanity has its moments.

  2. My husband and I Took our grandchildren on a Disney cruise and in the middle of the ocean the 🛳 stopped and turned around for a medical emergency and headed towards land. They had medical staff on board but it got my heart racing. As we reached port everyone was on the side of the ship watching the plank go down and the ambulance arrived. My husband laughed and said “I hope the ship doesn’t tip since everyone is on the same side watching!” The woman
    appeared ok. I think they could have life flighted her if it was really bad.

  3. Recently two different nurses on two different vacations came back to work to tell tales of their vacations. One started with saving a teacher’s life (stroke with a seizure) at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in front of the entire school class. (Good thing he was a neuro nurse). The second guy was on a flight home with the “worst sunburn of his life”. The request for medical help goes out he walks to the flight attendant to find a passenger having a seizure. They asked him if he thought they needed to land and they actually listened to him and did.
    Don’t know the outcome of either person, but they were both living when EMS arrived.

  4. Just sleeping would be a vacation. As short staffed as the hospitals in my area are you generally can only go on vacation if you can arrange coverage ( and they don’t like overtime). I did enjoy the chuckle though.

  5. I really enjoyed this article and the laughter it brought. Thank you for taking the time to write & share it 👍🏼💖

  6. Lol, when I was first dating my husband, sitting in a bar at Newark Airport waiting for our plane. Hear that unmistakable ” wheezing ” sound, look over there’s a guy choking, run over, do the Heimlich, make sure guys okay. Walk back over, husband says How did you know he was choking, I’m like You didn’t hear him wheezing?


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