You have probably seen those memes on the internet with a series of pictures that say "My friends think I do this, My boss thinks I do this, etc." Most of them are pretty lame, but one of my friends posted one about nurses that was spot on.
The image says "Registered Nurse" at the top, and the photo of "What my friends think I do" has a nurse wearing a surgical mask and holding up a big wad of cash. In all fairness, nurses do make decent money, but I think we all know that the work we put in to the job is greater than the money we get in return. But nevertheless, our friends outside of nursing think we are rolling in dough.
"What my boss thinks I do" shows a huge amount of cash being flushed down the toilet. How often are we told in staff meetings to let more nurses go home if our census is down, even if our patient acuity is through the roof? Or that we need to charge our patients more for the supplies that we use? Or that we need to use less supplies? Even though we are doing what is best for our patients in that moment.
"What Hollywood thinks I do" is an image of a flirtation between a handsome doctor and a nurse dressed very provocatively. I just saw a movie on TV yesterday where a nurse in a children's hospital was wearing a tight, white dress with a cap. Yeah, that's an accurate portrayal. And the part about the nurse/doctor relationship is all wrong. Each year, I get all these young female students on the lookout for cute interns or young physicians. Honey, it ain't happening! Hollywood tricked you!
"What society thinks I do" shows a nurse holding a food tray, smiling. I really don't think that the majority of people who have not been hospitalized realize that nurses do things like provide lifesaving interventions, and not just empty bedpans.
"What I think I do" shows a blurry image of a nurse running alongside a gurney, rushing a patient off to the OR, or the trauma suite. Not what I personally think I do, but lots of my nurse friends would agree with this portrayal.
"What I really do" shows a nurse looking frustrated and overwhelmed amidst a pile of paper charts stacked up to the roof. Although pretty much no place uses paper charting anymore, ain't that the truth, folks?
So kudos to the creator of this meme. It is seriously the best, most accurate one of these I've ever seen. Thanks for understanding me, and all nurses. And for making me laugh.