Week 12: Are you a real nurse?

I’ve got a number of topics floating around in my head. A few on faith and compassion, one on my upcoming return cross-country trip with my fam, and a few on travel nursing specific topics. I mention for two reasons. 1) is I don’t want this blog to be any different from who I am in real life. I’m honest and evolving as a person so I hope this site is reflective of that. 2) a few topics may be uncomfortable, but worth offering my perspective on. I refuse to dodge that even if it’s not well received. I’ll be thoughtful and sensitive, but no less honest. 

3 shifts remain. The last week or two of my contract always garners the same response. People are surprised as though it totally crept up on them.

“Wednesday is your last day? Already??”

I guess it does creep up when you’re not watching. I pay attention to the days closely so when it’s time to go, I’m gone. I know that sounds bad, but remember I’m super antsy. I can love some place and still be ready to go! It does make me a little happy when people say they’ll miss me. It makes me feel like I’ve given a good impression of travel nurses, how we have awesome work ethic, and can seriously go with the flow. The hope is I’ve left a good enough impression they’ll ask me back some day in the future. I guess I’ve succeeded in that if Nantucket is taking me back? Maybe I’ll succeed here, too

Anyway, to the title of this post! I’m sure every nurse gets those comments that make them roll their eyes. Here are a couple of comments I’ve received or heard lately that have made my narrow my eyes.

  • If you’ve missed an IV start in the last 5 years, you’re not sticking my daughter
  • So, are you a real nurse (when she stated she’d had travelers taking care of her before)
  • How long have you been a nurse? (Said the moment I walked into triage just after I introduced myself)

I understand people don’t understand how nursing works let alone travel nursing, but you can’t be so slow that you can’t grasp how your comment could possibly offend someone. IV starts are a technical skill. Being out of practice means you miss a few, but once you do them enough it comes back. To tell someone they can’t start your daughters IV if they’ve missed at any times means you’re daughter ain’t gonna have a soul to start her IV.

The are you a real nurse doesn’t bother me as much as baffles me. I can give you a quick run down of my credentials and years of practice if that lends validity? But what does that have to do with my ability to care for you if I’ve shown no indication of a lack of competence?

I’m sensitive, I guess. I don’t feel like nurses deserve questions like that unless warranted. We don’t seem to garner the same immediate respect as physicians, and I’ve yet to ascertain why when we are such a trusted profession. The disconnect is confusing.

Shoot! I was aiming for funny and this turned a bit maudlin.

The task set before us is to show we are good clinicians. That only comes through caring. Sometimes that also comes through ignoring ignorant comments or chalking them up to not having been said in malice.

To becoming better “real”, I mean, travel nurses!

Travel on, road warrior


2 thoughts on “Week 12: Are you a real nurse?

  1. Wow! I would never say something like that, I don’t understand what would make someone think…. I guess they don’t think…about saying a comment like those. I generally start with “sorry, my veins suck” and laud praises on anyone who doesn’t have a hard time lol


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