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What are a nurses pet peeves?

Nurses put up with a lot of sh*t. Both literally and figuratively. Here’s a list of sh*t I hated dealing with in my nursing career:

1. Doctors with huge egos. 

images-150x150A doctor I know once had a nurse fired simply for answering the ward telephone in his presence. In a hospital there are all kinds of emergencies and answering the telephone may well save a life! Of course nothing could be more important than Doctor Bruised Ego over there!



2. Managers with their nose high up in the air.

Some managers develop a similar sort of bloated ego as doctors do. This can cause a lot of issues for everyone. Of course I wouldn’t class all matrons (or doctors for that matter) the same way…just a few.

3. Patients that think they own you.

crazy-nurse-150x150Technically they do sort of own you. They can get away with murder and there’s almost nothing you can do to those obnoxious patients…almost.

Nurses I worked with at least found ways to warn each other about these patients by using code words in the patients diagnosis. “This is Mrs Smeegle and she has HPT, DVT, Chronic PIA (pain in the ass)”. Or for a particularly dimwitted patient we’d say “we have a case of low apgar”A scoring system used on newborn babies to assess their physical condition. A low apgar score, would usually indicate a lack of oxygen to the brain and the possibility of retardation.. It was little ways of not only warning other nurses that this patient may be a danger to herself and others, but also a tiny bit of vengeance for her terrible attitude (having a little inside joke/laugh at her expense). Yeah, some might find this horrendously offensive but I think it’s harmless compared to the immense amount of stress these types of patients inflict on nurses daily.

4. People that think of you as a walking pharmacy because you work at a hospital.

How many times have people come up to you and asked if you could get them meds? Like you have the ability to just walk into the hospital take whatever you please and hand it out to everyone. Well, yeah you can get away with that sometimes in tiny quantities and there are people who you really don’t mind helping out, but then there are those that keep coming back for more, or worse, they tell their aunts, uncles, cousins and cousins cousins cousin that you can supply them with free meds for a lifetime. nursing-habits-icon

5. People who think all you do is clean poop and sleep all day! 

This should have been higher up on the list. This makes me go CRAZY INSANE! I just can’t stand it when ignorant people undermine the job as though they’d survive even one hour doing what nurses do! It’s an insult above all insults. Say that to a nurse and you’re not gonna have a good time next time you need to get your shots buddy!

Let me know in the comments below what you find unbearably maddening from your experiences as a nurse. How do you deal with the issues that you experience? Also, if you’ve got a story to tell from a patients/doctors/managers perspective, I’d love to hear it.

  • Glad to be a med/surg nurse!

    How sad…yes nursing is difficult, challenging, and long hours; however, as a long timer in nursing I have found those who complain and are negative such as those here bring down the profession of nursing. Glad each of you got out and found something in life to make you happy.

    • Arkadia

      Thank you so much for your input. I’m really glad you find nursing
      enjoyable. You have my respect. This blog is not about bashing the
      nursing profession. It’s about the good, the bad and the funny. It’s a
      land for nurses to come in and share stories anonymously and without
      harming the hospital they work for or their patients. You see some of us
      have major concerns and our complaints are not petty or pointless.

      I’ve had to handle a ward of 32 terminally ill and bedridden patients with as little as one nurse on board to assist. Can you imagine how taxing that is on a human being? Cancer, meningitis, TB, strokes, epilepsy…really ill patients, 32 of them, 2 nurses. This endangers the nurse and most of all it endangers the patient.

      As you know, nurses are human beings who will err when placed under too much pressure and I’m sure you also know from your many years of experience in nursing, an error can cost a life.

      There are nurses being abused in the world and while it might seem like this blog is on a mission to destroy nursing…It’s actually trying to help it. How?

      1. It provides an outlet for burnt out nurses, they may actually perform better if they are allowed to express themselves to people who can relate to their worries.

      2. It helps those that really can’t handle it anymore, feel the courage to leave.

      3. It brings to focus the many ways that nurses are being abused and discusses how to deal with it.

      4. It helps those that are considering studying nursing, realize that it is not a game and definitely not a career you want to go into blindly or on an impulse. This helps filter out nursing school candidates that aren’t up to the challenge and leaves more room for people who actually want to do nursing for nursing and not cause they think it’s glamorous or a quick route to financial stability etc.

      This blog does try to give a balanced and fair perception of what nursing is and what it isn’t.

      Understand that nurses are always held with high regard here. Kudos to you on being a nurse and handling it so well. Your opinion is always appreciated and you’re most welcome to elaborate more on your opinions. If you still believe this blog is bringing down the nursing profession, please tell me what you feel should be avoided in future posts, we will evaluate your suggestions.

      Have a wonderful day.

      • Jill

        Thank you for providing this site. I work on a subacute unit at a rehab center…15 to 34 (happened twice)…by myself. The other half of the unit is LTC…with 30+ (also 1 nurse). My sub-acute patients dxs range from broken femurs, shoulders, hips, c-diff, VRE, hospice, respite, Alzheimers/dementia. Mix all those together and you have one hell of a day to get through while keeping them all safe from themselves &/or all the drugs we give them (some which can be counterproductive). I love (most of) my patients, but I am so tired. Been doing this 25+ years.

      • Adrialli Lyngdoh

        Thnk u fr making this site…i respect u alot fr having so much of courage to speak out unlike the rest… It has changed my life…thank u.

      • HappyWife

        I am a burned out nurse. Now suffering from depression and having to take meds to actually get myself to work. I don’t know what it is like to have any other job. I’ve done this job for the past 25 years, and worked in many specialties and various facilities. I don’t think it will ever get easier. I know for a fact that the same stressors have not changed. My health has deteriorated. This includes my back and hip pain, as well as my ability to manage my career. I’m so tired. I tried to find other work but I do not have any other qualifications. Nor can I afford returning to school. I don’t even think I have the patience for school now. I can’t wait till I am 65 so I don’t feel this pressure to work. Isn’t that sad? I want to age so I can retire. All I know is that this career has ruined my life and relationship. I really hate it and dread it. I cry every time I have to work there. Starting the night before. I’m at the end of my rope. I have lost all respect for this profession years ago. As a matter of fact I can’t recall ever liking it. I would rather order pizza’s than do this now. At least I will be a happier person. This profession is the most abusive and stressful career. I hate my life because of it!

  • Janice

    almost 20 years in nursing. on friday i worked a 12 hour shift, i didn’t get to eat my supper until 10 pm. the charge nurse knew this. other coworkers knew this. when i tried to go eat at 7, the answer was “none of us got to eat.” so that’s supposed to make it okay? i was literally aching all over and exhausted when i went home. i hate the culture of nursing. the nurse doesn’t matter at all. no one cares for the caregiver. and god forbid the caregiver should care for themselves. that is completely frowned upon. i am a photographer in progress. i have a website, i have plenty of learning material, i have plans and dreams, but many days no energy to get it done. i’m 49, i can’t imagine retiring in nursing. BUT, when i think about leaving the flexible schedule, the reliable paycheck and health/dental insurance, i cower. what a stinking conundrum.