Starting with number 10….
No surprises here. Have you ever known a group of nurses who knew nothing about food? On every unit I have ever worked, my fellow nurses and murses can throw together a better potluck, pitch-in or Sunday night dinner than my own family. Not only that, but nurses can make these events happen in hours. For example: The charge nurse realizes its Nurse X’s last day today, Nurse Y’s 30th birthday or “celebrate your manager day” at 0700 and by 1200 there is basically a soirée in the break room. Nurses get it done and do it right.
By god, nurses love animals. If allotted the time, money and space most nurses will have a farm full of animals and love them like their own children. I’ve known nurses to rescue kittens hiding under their cars in the parking garage, risk their lives to move turtles from the middle of the road to the edge and plan on adopting one dog, but come home with three. We all have to be able to exist on the funny farm to do this job, so why not just start one?
Nurses are lovers of not only animals, but also children. They typically have multiples and are “more the merrier” types. Even if nurses do not have biological children, have no fear; they are undoubtedly the “mothers” to neighbors, nieces, nephews and any child who needs to be loved. In fact, the universe knows that nurses love kids because nurses are spontaneously impregnated with twins and triplets more than any other profession (this was determined by my own research, of course.) Nurse love is truly special.
Yea, I said it. Nurses love those 80s-90s era hair ties like a fat kid loves cake. It used to be, when I saw a nurse in a scrunchie, I asked myself why? But then I realized nurses are just simply brilliant. They will not let an outdated fashion trend stop them from using something out of absolute utility. Let’s face it ladies, nothing holds our hair in a perfect bun or pony without damaging it like a scrunchie. We all know, free flowing hair at work is a venus fly trap for poop, blood, trach loogies and tube feed blowouts, so PRAISE the SCRUNCHIE.
People get tattoos typically to concrete their past or presents selves and also as a means to define and understand their past identities. In a world of constant change, tattoos provide a sense of stability, predictability, and permanence (something many nurses do not have in their high-stress jobs). This article from the Atlantic discusses the reasoning behind tattoos beautifully:
“We define who we are by the elements that stick with us—people, stories, places, memories—and we measure ourselves in relation to them, patching the highlights together into what sociologists call a “personal myth.” These myths make sense of often-turbulent lives, integrating our ‘remembered past, perceived present, and anticipated future…’ Some people use institutions such as religion, work, and family to create this myth. Others use material objects like houses and cars to define it.”
Nurses, especially millennial nurses, use tattoos. Tattoos provide some sort of concrete positivity and reason that we need to cope with the misunderstood complexity of our jobs. So, don’t be afraid to Instagram your awesome nurse tattoo with my hash tag (#nurseabnormalities). Trust me, we will all get each other.
Nurses know how to PAR-TAY. We really do not get out much, but when there is a group of nurses together, watch out. Normally, a decent amount of planning goes in to a “nurses night out.” A night out means we have to buy an outfit (scrubs will not work), do our hair, nails and makeup, then get a babysitter to watch the herd at home. When the liquor starts flowing, months of nurse abnormalities and sexual frustrations release. Stand back commoners, someone let the nurses loose.
Coffee for nurses is existential. When I started working on a unit that did not provide free coffee for their nurses, I knew the healthcare world was falling apart. Coffee signifies community. It gives nurses an opportunity to share conversation and camaraderie amongst themselves and all other staff members. Coffee promotes teambuilding. Not only this, but coffee is fundamental simply for energy. Healthcare employees are exhausted and coffee contributes to our morning, afternoon and evening pick-me-ups. Coffee + Nurses = Peace, Love and Harmony.
Although we may all joke about our annoying patients, all in all, our patients drive us to continue working. Despite all of the political bullshit nurses deal with on a daily basis, being able to care for people in their worst and best days is a gift. A string of bad shifts can be reversed when a patient or family member thanks you for your care and tells you that you have changed their life. Nurses experience vulnerability in its rawest form with their patients, which is an oddity in today’s society. These stripped down emotions draw nurses and patients closer. So, nurses love their patients and bottom line, it’s the reason we go to work every day.
Nurses are art pharts in one way or another. It is not rare to have nurse buddies who scrapbook, cook, paint or refinish furniture amongst other things. This creative instinct goes a little deeper. In a world moving toward standardized care, the nurse has always realized that each patient is an individual and it is a creative brain that can tailor care to benefit each individual patient. This is why veteran nurses can rig ANYTHING. They worked during a time when they had to be creative because resources were more unavailable. Nurses are even credited with the knowledge behind the rotoprone bed and the fecal management system. Let’s face it, nurses can do anything.
Okay, now lets get sentimental. Yes, there are issues with bullying in nursing, but all issues aside, we love each other. Nurses can start a job and have 50 new friends within weeks. I’m not talking about haphazard friends. I’m talking about the type of friends who pester you with “get-well” phone calls when you’re sick, make sure you do not pay a cent for your party on your 32nd, 48th, and 61st birthdays and always have your back during work and in life. The highly emotional environment of healthcare breeds these close connections and attracts the same type of unique individuals. I’ve said it countless times, but nursing units are families and my job as a nurse has given me the privilege of working with the best people I have ever known.