The road to being a full-fledged nurse is riddled with life events that are too overwhelming for books and photographs to imprint and capture. Unlike birthdays and other family events, these memories are so unique that stories about how Nursing evolved as a profession are shared over family dinners, hallways, and classrooms. There is that very first day of you wearing a white uniform. You still gush over the time you finished your first hospital shift as a student. Of course, you still feel your cheeks burn whenever clients thank you for your gift of care. That time, you realized you were called for this purpose.
Moving down the memory lane, you braved months of mental challenges. You took the board exam and passed it. Your heart was swollen with pride and love after giving birth to your professional identity: a license to guide, advocate, and inspire. You are in a big ball of fire to carry the whole world on your cape.
Numerous training and job hunting after, you find out the world is much wider than the stretch your palms will allow. You gamble with high hopes and juggle the stress of landing a job, becoming financially independent and having personal savings. You write letters, give your number, and grow anxious with waiting.
Then you got hired. You work on your own, and you need to deal with your co-nurses. Suddenly, this vast world just becomes more concrete and real. It is now time to meet the 8 kinds of nurses you are going to work with:
1. The Senior High
Clad in faded scrubs and years of experience in their hands, we always have that nurse at the station who has witnessed the evolution of nursing, has nursed in other countries, and has children who are also nurses. They are the ones with class photos in black and white. Their clinical senses are so keen that they can spot what is wrong immediately just by gazing upon the patient and what more if they’d perform an assessment. They know the questions to ask and the things doctors would want to be referred. They handle the standard operating procedures that seem impossible for you to carry out with a bat of an eyelash.They may look at us pointedly and silence our giggles from time to time, but they are an excellent source of wealth of experience and must-know nursing wisdom. They love tough, but only so we learn how to be independent.
Where to find them: At the bedside of difficult patients and folks.
Rationale: they are the boss in comforting the disturbed.
2. The Phantom Nurse
If code blue is socially acceptable to use without causing chaos whenever the station is lacking staff, it is because of the phantom nurses. You think they will appear on time but the end of the shift comes and not a trace of them is on duty. By the time you are free and want to confront them, you are so tired all you want to be is in your bed.
Possible career option: star in horror movies. Acting comes out naturally. No camera tricks needed.
How to spot them: Very keen eye and probably psychic intervention.
Actual quote from a confused new nurse: “What? We have that [phantom] nurse in our unit?!”
3. The Nurse Coach
You will never miss your clinical instructor (okay, you will) that much because of nurse coaches in the area. They understand the anxiety of novice nurses because they too were once like them. They never get tired of guiding new nurses and instill to them the proper decorum while on duty. They are also the sources of nursing hacks in the area especially when resources in the station are limited. They do all of these for the love of teaching and guiding. Remember that one nurse who greets you on your first day of duty when everyone else was busy doing their tasks and chose to ignore you? Yes, that’s when you found a nurse coach!
Other names include: Nurses of Perpetual Help, Top Recipient of Tokens of Appreciation, Hoarders of Praises Without Even Trying.
4. Little Miss Chatbox
Endorsing is one vital task for nurses. We watch ourselves grow professionally through mastering the art of it. However, the Little Miss Chatbox levels up her game by sharing more. And all for the wrong reasons. Ever wonder why different units and departments know about that one patient who swears and screams at all nurses? Yes, because of the can’t-stop, won’t-stop chats of the little miss, who is not in a good relationship with The Nurse Coach and is usually silenced by The Senior High.
Here’s a diary entry of our little miss chatbox: “Today at Male Ward was awesome! I endorsed the ungrateful and smelly 60 y/o male patient to Surgery Ward today. Followed the boring endorsement process and shared some personal information just because I can. They have been warned!”
How to spot them: Close your eyes, open your ears and listen to someone talking 300 words per minute.
5. The Easy Breezy
When the toxic gets suffocating, one look at the easy breezy nurses will tell you that the shift’s going to be over. They are the ones that are smiling, poised, and not worried in the middle of a jam-packed action. Their tendencies include singing, dancing, and cracking jokes. Another feature that you will forever envy? They don’t look like they’ve done double shifts. That’s how blessed they are!
How to spot them: Always relaxed listening to Hawaiian hula music and have probably read this post.
6. The Creative Hands
Gifts come in two packages for the creative hands out there. Stations are lucky to have them on the team because they are the ones who volunteer to layout education materials, design the bulletin boards, and almost all group tasks that need creativity. Their personal notes are filled with random doodles and sketches.
How to spot them: ask pediatric clients and their family members. Kids love them for their mini art activities at the bedside.
7. The Two-Legged Ambulance
Ambulance nurses do not need a siren to be heard. Their fast and hurried gestures would tell you that they are in an emergency, which is always and often perceived by them only. They put chanted rhyming to shame because of their naturally rapid and high-pitched speech. They are the ones who can benefit most from stress management workshops.
Tip: this two-wheeled ambulance’s mechanism is that of a snowball. Stay away if you don’t want to get hit and be involved in the trouble. Her panic is contagious.
8. The Detail Maniac
Nurses are particular to details. After all, the daily involvement with lives that need saving and meticulous, caring train nurses to breathe caution in everything that involves patient care. However, there will always be nurses who are too obsessed with the idea of checking that it delays work that needs to be done immediately. Approach them with patience and promptness.
Tip: If you needed something done correctly and properly, ask the help of The Detail Maniac.
Nursing is a constant practice of growing, improving and sometimes failing at it. Deep within the comfortable shoes, stethoscopes, and scrubs are different people with different personalities who always seize every opportunity for personal and professional growth. Over the years, nurses prove to be a group of individuals who are flexible and find the heart in their field of work.
For novice nurses who are in the phase of testing waters, it is important to observe and try to get to know more of your co-nurses. At the end of the day, nurses act in groups to deliver quality and excellent nursing care.