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Top 10 Reasons You KNOW You’re a Nurse

Top 10 Reasons You KNOW You’re a Nurse

Sean Dent | Scrubs Magazine

1. You wash your hands before you use the bathroom.

Isn’t microbiology a wonderful thing? My microbiology class scared the be-jeezus outta me. After that class I never looked at another public bathroom, restaurant, or salad bar the same. Things I notice about the ‘cleanliness’ of society leaves me speechless sometimes. If they only knew what they were really touching.

2. You know the smell of different diarrhea to identify it.

Can you say C-diff? And on that note you can also differentiate different disease processes or infections simply by their smell. Ever smelled GI bleed? How about pseudomonas?

3. You check the caller ID on your day off to see if anyone from the hospital is trying to call and ask you to work.

You’re lying if you’ve never done this.

4. Discussing bodily fluids over a gourmet meal seems perfectly normal to you.

I’m married to a nurse, so we speak freely all the time during our conversations. We have to ‘check’ ourselves – or be told to ‘check’ our topic of conversations when we have family gatherings. It’s not pretty.

5. Every time someone asks you for a pen you can find at least 4 of them on you.

Nurses and their pens. You know very well you hoard and protect your ‘good’ pen, or your ‘favorite’ pen like it’s your stethoscope. I know I’ve scolded a few secretaries, doctors and fellow nurses for havin’ some sticky fingers.

6. Your bladder can expand to the size of a Winnebago’s water tank.

Peeing? What’s that? Bathroom break? What’s that?

7. You find yourself checking out other customer’s veins in grocery waiting lines.

This may only apply to those of us in the critical care world – but you know you do it. You see someone with ‘pipe cleaners’ for veins and all you can think is ‘MAN- I could get a 16 in there’. Besides it’s a rare occasion you start an IV on ANYONE who isn’t in their 90’s and dehydrated!

8. Your finger has gone places you never thought possible.

Whether on purpose or accident we sometimes wish we didn’t share this trait.

9. You think caffeine should be available in IV form.

Oh – dare to dream.

10. You’ve used the word ‘rationale’, the phrase ‘as evidenced by’, or quoted a nursing diagnosis in everyday life.

And I thought this would stop or drop off once I was a couple years out of basic nursing school! Nah. I still do it.

What will you find in a Nurse’s pocket? Join the discussion and find out!

More on

In MD/RN: 10 Questions I’d Love to Ask Some MDs
In Student Nurse: 10 Things I Want After Graduation
In Humor: What is Your Weakness?
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  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    Nurses are freaking pen whores! And, does anyone else panic when their favorite pen turns up missing? I search forever trying to find it, and come close to accusing someone with a similar pen of stealing my pen!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 4 years ago


    ....gabrn.....#7....I don't think you just need to be in the ICU or critical care to appreciate good veins. Having worked in Acute Care Medical for eleven years, good veins have been on our "top ten wish list" daily....that and a good assistant! I had to laugh at most of the things on the list since they were so true!!!

  • Summer_07_trips_034_max50


    about 4 years ago


    After a long week of nursing school this made me laugh out loud! Thanks

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Cdiff Uhgggh. I refuse to bring anything into my house that color. I used to love butterscotch pudding. Not any more....................

  • Lake_murray_max50


    over 4 years ago


    my wife gets really annoyed when I she realizes that I'm palpating her veins

  • Bethenextstepprofile_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    I'm glad everyone like this one. :)

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Account Removed

    almost 5 years ago

    I am laughing as I comment because this is so true. I have gone through so many 12hr shifts without going to the bathroom. I do look at veins and even have made comments to strangers about them having good veins. My years as a Med-surg nurse gave me the ability to get blood from anyone---even a turnip (smile). I still love and hoard pens. It is an addiction I can give anyone a RATIONALE FOR OR AGAINST.

  • Nas14140-61_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    So true, So true.I do all of these.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 5 years ago


    OMG, have you been following me around? lol
    I do all of those things

  • Christmas__07_003_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    Very cute. I enjoyed reading this and I did find myself chuckling and saying "yes, I do that!", to almost all 10.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 5 years ago


    After 35 yrs in psych nursing I guffawed at this (and my husband, too, who was EMT/Fire Marshall).
    I'll send it to the RNs where I work. Humor and caring counts the most!! Best to all.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 5 years ago


    Holiday??? what's that- is it an off day or do I have to work? It is the best way to get out of having everybody over for a holiday meal!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 5 years ago


    I am always amazed by how a benign little conversation about insertion of g-tubes can make people gag at Thanksgiving dinner.

  • 043009_2338_00__max50


    almost 5 years ago


    your darn right, especially the part about pipe cleaner veins in the grocery store....too funny...I actually had to share this with my wife

  • December2909042_max50


    almost 5 years ago


    Ain't that the truth? I've been told several times to stop the topic of discussion.

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