With the long hours nurses spend working in the hospital, it’s easy to understand why most of them leave their workplace feeling cranky and irritated. Unfortunately, however, their struggles don’t end there. There are still a handful of things their families and friends can offhandedly say that can make them feel even worse.
In case you are wondering what they are, here are 10 of the most commonly used soothing phrases that can test your nurse humor:
1. “We’ve all done that before.”
If you’re trying to console a nurse who has just committed a medication error with this line, there’s a good chance you’ll just make him feel worse. Nurses know the implication of administering the wrong medication or the wrong dosage to their patients as well as their careers. No matter how much justifications you make on how common medication errors are, they’re still likely to spend the rest of the shift thinking about what just happened- or what may happen.
2. “You’re lucky you’re getting your day off tomorrow.”
Nurses don’t get to spend their free days like anyone else. We are not even entitled to get as many days off as we want to rest and recuperate. Instead of partying or spending several days out of town, most nurses use their free time to sleep and re-energize for their next shift. And before they know it, it’s time to get back to work again.
3. “You can try again tomorrow.”
When it comes to saving lives, every shot is critical. Nurses treat every chance like there’s no tomorrow. So, when a nurse misses on his IV cannulation once or twice on a critical patient or if he and his team failed to revive a dying patient, you can bet he’s going to feel bad about it for the rest of the day.
4. “You’re a nurse. You can do anything.”
Nurses can wear a lot of hats at work. They can cover the front desk, help transfer you to the radiology department and even take your specimen. Despite being the jack of all trades in the hospital, it doesn’t mean that nurses are invincible. They can get tired, too.
5. “You’re in pain? Why don’t you get your pain meds?”
With the long and stressful hours at work, nurses can experience a great deal of pain, especially their feet and back. When you hear them complain from time to time, avoid consoling them with this line. Although nurses work in the hospital, it doesn’t mean that they can easily walk into the pharmacy to get any medicine they need.
6. “You’re taking the night shift. You can relax tonight.”
Nights aren’t any different from morning shifts. Nurses still give medications, take their patients’ vital signs and attend to their needs as part of the evening tasks. In some cases, night shifts can even mean a lot more work, particularly if there are patients with dementia and incontinence issues that need to be dealt with. Patients are relatively hard to attend to at night as well since most of them can get grouchy when you try to wake them up.
7. “You’re a nurse. Don’t worry about liability. You’re just following what the doctor says.”
Nurses don’t just follow what their doctors say. They are a part of the health team, which means nurses have their own sets of responsibilities and liabilities. They can be held accountable as much as their doctors if they fall short of providing quality and safe care to their patients.
8. “You can stop working if you’re tired.”
The work of a nurse doesn’t end when she’s tired. Nurses stop working when they’re sure that their patient’s condition has stabilized and is already on his way to recovery.
And at the end of their shift and while on the way home, nurses are still likely to think about any medications or treatments they missed giving their patients during the shift. They can even call their station late at night just to check.
When you’re a nurse, you just don’t stop caring- even if you’re dead tired.
9. “This was what you wanted.”
Although we learned a great deal about the profession in nursing school, it doesn’t mean that we know everything about the job. Annoying patients, difficult doctors and low paychecks still surprise and even discourage us from time to time. Working as a nurse is already hard. Don’t make it even harder for us by rubbing in all the negative things about the job.
10. “It’s alright to work that hard. You have lots of benefits.”
Nurses receive varying salary rates, depending on their skills and their location. However, with the amount of responsibility nurses have and the bulk of work they have to complete for one shift, a lot of nurses don’t feel that they’re being paid enough. The risks they face on a daily basis seem to outweigh the benefits they are receiving, too. Comparing their work with monetary benefits is one of the best ways to test a nurse’s humor and patience.
What other soothing phrases do you find irritating as a nurse? How do you respond to them?