How to spot a Student Nurse

It’s a Saturday. You sit at a coffee shop, just spending the day with your friends and enjoying the weekend when you spot a group of people in white uniform just a few table from yours. You’re a bit amazed that they, even on a weekend, are still studying while all others are relaxing. They seem to be arguing with one another, and from afar, you can hear some medical words thrown in the argument. Clearly, they are from the healthcare field, but which division, specifically? Are they med students? Hmm, maybe nursing students? Yes, they seem a bit too young to be med students, so they might be nursing students. Intrigued, you take a sip from your coffee while contemplating the signs which will give you proof of your guess. But how can you really spot a student nurse?

He/she has more books than shoes

Step into a nursing student’s room and you’ll find tons of health related books all piled up! For one to become a Registered nurse, he/she must first possess the required amount of knowledge about patient care and nursing concepts. So to make sure that he/she meets this requirement, it is important to read and read and read. The more knowledge stored, the better.

Constantly worries that he/she might have certain diseases learned in school

“My back is always hurting, I might have kidney disease.” “Oh my gosh, I got exposed in the clinical area earlier with a TB patient, I might have contacted TB!” “My throat hurts, I have fever, I cough nonstop. Oh no, I might have SARS!” Yes, these are just some statements you might hear from a student nurse. Upon knowing different signs and symptoms of certain diseases, we tend to assume and get paranoid that we, too, might be experiencing one.

No social life anymore

“Social life? What social life? I’d rather work on my NCPs and drug studies.” Being enrolled in nursing school means being bombarded with dozens of requirements and a long to-do-list. So yes, while others may enjoy some chill time, nursing students would usually prefer spending the night studying for the next exam, or better yet, to sleep.

Watches nurses on TV hospital dramas and comment through every episode about how wrong it is or that would never happen in real life

“How can she even speak with an ET tube?” Yup, you will be attacked with comments like these when you watch a movie involving a hospital scene, with a nurse or a nursing student. Are you up for it?

Constantly takes everyone’s vital signs/diagnosing people

So your girlfriend is acting kind of sweet and she’s holding your hand, little do you know that she’s actually trying to find your pulse and counting it. And hey, who could ever forget the fact that she is always the #1 on speed dial for family members who are not feeling well and want their BPs and other vital signs measured?

Skips an awesome party just to study for next week’s exam

Again, as per student nurse’s motto: studies over social life.

“You have really nice veins,” he/she says

Yeah, it’s kind of creepy, but that’s just the way it is for nurses and nursing students. Most notice another’s veins first before their looks. Oh how nice it would be to insert an IV on that vein. Okay, again, creepy.

Constantly using medical jargon, whether necessary or not

“I had a really toxic day.” “I’m so hungry, I think I might syncope.” “I saw my crush today. He’s so cute! He almost gave me premature ventricular contractions”.

Takes coffee intravenously

Kidding! Coffee is life for nursing students. It is a need. It is everything. You’d see nursing students gulf down a cup as if it’s water. How would you even study 10 chapters if you don’t have your all-time best friend –coffee? Right? Okay, right.

Becomes a bit obsessive compulsive when it comes to washing their hands

They even carry their own sanitizers. Because prevention is always better than cure! Always.

Has a collection of white shoes

“So, which pair of shoes should I wear today? The white one? Or the whiter one?”

Guilty of practicing writing his/her name with an RN at the end of it

Open a nursing student’s notebook and at the back of it you will find, not a page with hearts surrounding the name of their crush, but a page filled with their names with an RN affixed to it. Who wouldn’t get excited with ending nursing school and to finally work on your dream job? Or hey, what about a post-it note like “Hey, BFF, thanks for letting me borrow your book! I owe you pizza! Love, your BFF, Lea Alberts, RN”?

Liane Clores, RN MAN

Currently an Intensive Care Unit nurse, pursuing a degree in Master of Arts in Nursing Major in Nursing Service Administration. Has been a contributor of Student Nurses Quarterly, Vox Populi, The Hillside Echo and the Voice of Nightingale publications. Other experience include: Medical-Surgical, Pediatric, Obstetric, Emergency and Recovery Room Nursing.

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