Pet Peeves Only Nurses Would Understand

pet peeves

Yes, we love our job. Yes, we’re compassionate beings. Yes, we like caring for our patients. And yes, we love being nurses. However, there are just certain instances in the clinical area that test our patience and irritate us. Every single nurse has at least one pet peeve that gets into his/her nerves no matter how small or insignificant it may seem to others outside the health care profession. These pet peeves have a certain way of awakening the beast inside our usually calm and patient selves (kidding!) that only nurses would understand. Let’s find out some of them.

When people you know think of you as an open pharmacology book/pharmacy

                “Hey, I have this health condition, what should I take?” “Can you write a prescription for me?” “Can you get this drug for me? For free?” Okay, hold it! We nurses may know a lot of things about medications, thus the reason why friends and acquaintances often approach us when it comes to these matters, but it doesn’t mean we know everything about them. We don’t have all the answers to your questions. And oh, being a nurse doesn’t really mean having a lifetime supply of free meds.

10/10 pain scale with a smile

                So, a patient calls you, complains that he has a 10/10 pain scale and once you get out of the room, you hear him laughing and talking animatedly with his friends. Uhm.  Are You  Really  Sure  You’re  A  10? =)

When you lose your pen

                In a place where pens are as essential as stethoscopes, it is important that you have you hands on one at all times. However, there’s a problem. One minute it’s in your pocket, the next it’s gone. Like, where’d it go? It must be in some pocket somewhere.

When parents use nurses to threaten kids

                Probably the main reason why pediatric patients are scared whenever they see nurses anywhere, making direct nursing care and interaction with pedia clients a bit complicated and extra challenging.

Whiny co-nurses

                We all have that one wo-worker who complains about everything. They create a negative aura in the workplace that makes bedside care a lot more interesting and something to look forward to. People like the whiner complain about almost everything that they often end up not completing a single task, which also means that they ask for your help before the shift ends.

 When a patient thinks he owns you

                “Get me this, do that”. There are just patients who mistake the hospital for a hotel and us their servants, their slaves. They make us do things that are waaaay out of our job description. While there are those who ask for forgivable requests, there are also those with unrealistic demands. Uhm, excuse me, ma’am/sir, but we also have other patients with way urgent needs that we need to cater to.

When relatives/friends think that being a nurse and a doctor is the same

                Your distant cousin approaches you in a family gathering, floods you with a tons of questions, relays all signs and symptoms they have and expect you to diagnose them, tell them which meds to take and which diagnostic exams to undergo, right on the spot. How. To. Respond.

Tangled cords and cables

                So, you’re having a bad day and a really toxic duty shift. There are still a lot of tasks that need to be accomplished, patient needs to cater to, doctors’ orders to carry out and all these cords and cables decide to get all wild and tangled? Okay, great. Just great.

                These little things may make us seem whiny. They may not seem like a big deal to others, but hey, we’re not overreacting, they really do get under our skin. Everyone has their own pet peeve at work, what’s yours?


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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