I’ve known for a long time that nurses are odd characters. However, when you’re part of that world, it all seems to feel a little… normal!
I came across a great article this week that looks at things from another perspective: being a partner of a nurse. Interesting – I guess I really haven’t thought about how strange nurses can seem to people outside the profession.
I mean, only a nurse can understand the ‘normality’ of casual discussions on grotesque / bizarre hospital presentations, surviving on little or no sleep, working back to back shifts in a near delirious state, and the curious art of 10+ straight hours of bladder control. These things are second nature to a nurse, and we understand each other pretty well… But to an outsider?
“Nurses hang out with other nurses and soon you may find that all your friends are married to nurses. The reason this happens is because in situations where nurses mingle with nonmedical folks things can get ugly.
For example, you are out to dinner with your nurse wife, another nurse couple, and two civilian couples. The nurses sit and chat, discussing fun things like bleeding bowels, open sores, how much fat was sucked out of some patient, projectile vomiting, traumatic amputations, etc., all over a nice pasta dinner.”
The nurses carry on talking as the civilian couples turn funny colors, make faces and suppress their gag reflexes (and this is if the nurses don’t have any really gross things to share like the homeless guy with maggots in his bleeding sores)!
After several dinners and gatherings like this, you will soon find your circle of friends has shrunk significantly.
Do yourself a favour and go read the article here: My Life with a Nurse: A Man’s Perspective. It’s very well written and gives great insight into the eyes of an outsider.