Some Nurse Love

The word nurse appears in at least 120 different posts on this blog (I just counted). In exactly one of those posts I took nurses (in general, as a group, which was overstating things a bit) to task for some odd behavior I’d observed.

Guess which post I’ve been hearing about, at length, from my nursing colleagues? This one, for those who haven’t already guessed. It’s peeved several of them, which I would find amusing except they’re angry way out of proportion to the offence. Humor is individual, and there’s some individuals I work with who didn’t find it humorous.

So, for the thin-skinned and those with short memories, here’s a couple of blog posts wherein I’ve demonstrated some of my feelings for my nurse colleagues:
A break, too late
My Side

I appreciate everything the nurses do for me, and they do a lot. In no particular order, nurses do/have:

  • caught allergies I missed
  • gotten that bit of history that makes things make sense
  • alerted me to a subtle finding that changes the disposition
  • talked to the family and kept them informed so they’re happy
  • ordered that lab I’d left off by accident
  • not yelled at me for the third set of added-on orders
  • reviewed my orders and found that omission that would cause a problem later
  • carried out orders they didn’t want to, because the patient needed it
  • taught me something about a medication
  • got that IV in the septic drug abuser with no veins

…and on and on.

I respect all of you.

And it’ll be a while before I write about nurses again.


  1. *sigh*

    Sorry ’bout that, from me to you, and on behalf of all the non-thin-skinned nurses out there.

  2. I second your appreciation for the nurses, and your list of ways that they help us. I would add the all-important “alerted me to the patient that I’d better come see right now because he just doesn’t look good.” I love it when they do that.

  3. I thought of your original post as an amusing thing you noticed – not sure why anyone would take offense at it, let alone get disproportionately angry.

    Having said that, though – it’s nice to hear the specific things that you appreciate about us. You can keep that stuff comin’ :) :) :)

  4. Dr. Dagny T. says:

    I heartily agree that without nurses, we docs would be in a world of hurt. A good nurse found an incarcerated hernia in an elderly patient with dementia that I am ashamed I missed (and she taught me a good lesson). I sent her a big box of chocolates after the surgery.

  5. No no no Dr Grunt, you must get right back on that horse again and write something about a nurse. (And the respect is muchos mutual.)

  6. I agree with the nurse comments above. I thought you were just sharing some anecdote and a frustration with something you’d seen in the ER. While I even responded to the post, it wasn’t out of anger by any means. Reading that didn’t make me angry at all! Sorry to hear that’s the way people reacted… Just know that probably a lot of us (nurses) also didn’t take it that way, but that would mean we also didn’t have a reason to fill up your email boxes saying so…. :O) I do like your list above pointing out things you appreciate, too! Take care. :)

  7. It’s always amazing when people take things in the totally opposite way they were intended.

  8. aww, Doc, come on. You are much better than once bitten, twice shy. Keep your nurse posts coming, even if they stir the pot.

  9. Perhaps you should see a less happy reaction:

  10. nurserica says:

    Tough situation. I see how some could have been offended, but I’ve also worked with you for about 4 years now and have started to understand your personality. I don’t believe you ment harm, just humor. You know, RNs & MDs may not always see eye to eye, especially those of us working in the ER. We (RNs, MDs, PCTs) tend to have very strong personalities and some come with a hard shell and a soft interior. So in other words feelings get hurt easily by people we respect. We can easily upset/disrespect eachother,that’s understandable our job is high stress!! But at the end of the day we should walk away still respecting eachother, and let the cycle repeat itself next shift…

    By the way, I appreciate the kuddos!!!

  11. Thanks for the kudos, but I thought the original post was funny.

    Write about nurses and we’ll put it on Change of Shift! LOL!

    Oh geeze, I just had an inspiration for a post…..I love it when that happens!

    Gotta go put it on my idea list…..

  12. It did my heart good to read the further comments after “nurse love”. It does show that we do respect and really, actually like each other as we work with one another daily. Sometimes, a few of us loose our sense of humor, as per the rant that resulted in this column, but, overall, our laughter and ribbing of each other is what helps us through our days. I would hate to see that taken away by the humorless or the “P.C. Police”, aka, The Nursing Gestapo (Yes, I know…that will probably earn a rant directed my way.)

  13. doctordel says:

    My personal favorite nursing contribution: the “Pissy Mood Smackdown.” This is one that you cannot fully appreciate while you’re on the receiving end of it, as it usually involves a very experienced and wise RN getting quite stern with you because you have been a jackass since you grumpily began your shift, have already risked three or four patient complaints because of your lousy attitude, and are in serious danger of “accidentally” sitting on a syringe of whatever happens to have been in her pocket just moments ago (“I thought you wasted that?”). After the Smackdown-if you don’t spontaneously combust-you find it remarkably easy to locate that empathy you lost somewhere between the last shift and the current one.

    These can probably be career-saving at the right time…Keep up the outstanding work.