Nurses Reveal 10 Things They Wish They Could Tell Patients, But Can’t

Nurses are artists of caring, compassion, and filtering a tactful delivery of information. In NursesLabs, nurse Rozzette Cabrera describes how patients often feel most comfortable opening up to nurses because of such reasons. Have you ever wondered what nurses would tell patients if that filter wasn’t a job necessity? It’s time for a nurse to reveals on the top 10 things nurses would say if they could. 

Nurses Reveal 10 Things They Wish They Could Tell Patients, But Can't

What Would Your Nurse Really Say Without A Professional Filter? 

Mastery of technical knowledge is important for a nurse, but bedside manner is how those skills are applied. This broad term describes a nurse’s professional attitude, communication, and treatment of a patient. It’s basically that professional filter preventing a nurse from giving difficult patients reality doses like these: 

1. It’s A Hospital, Not A Hotel 

Some patients have a sense of entitlement that surpasses reasonable care expectations. You have free cable, lumpy beds, and a hot breakfast at a hospital. That must make staff maids, bellhops, couriers, and such, right? No. 

Nurses and doctors alike would like to tell you that hospitals aren’t hotels. Prioritize being discharged healthier, not feeling like you’ve been on vacation. 

2. You Aren’t Always The Priority

Emergency room patients often feel care should be first come, first served. Unlike immediate care centers and clinics, service doesn’t work that way in emergency rooms. 

Your headache or flu symptoms just aren’t a priority when someone else is bleeding everywhere or otherwise dying. Emergency room nurses use triage to prioritize patient care and transfer based on severity, not the arrival. 

3. There’s A Translation Behind: “Get A Second Opinion.” 

Nurses can’t tell you a doctor is wrong, inept, a jerk, or has discipline issues. The big nurse reveal is “the second opinion” translates to the nurse wouldn’t let that doctor do that to them. 

4. It’s Not Okay That You Were Tardy Or MIA 

Nurses only have around 37 percent of their shifts for direct patient care. The rest goes to documentation, coordination, and other tasks. 

Tardiness and failing to be where you should deplete the time nurses can give other patients. It extends their already long work hours and heavy stress levels. It increases their workload with workarounds. It also increases the risk of errors in their rush to make up lost time. 

5. Just Answer My Questions 

Family albums and stories from last year’s trip to Brazil only slow your nurse down from her objective. The nurse only gets a few minutes to collect your medical history and current health for the awaiting doctor. 

Know what medications you take. Stick to why you’re there and any medical history that’s applicable. Just answer the nurse’s questions concisely and factually. You and everyone else is seen more efficiently when you keep the chitchat to a minimum. 

6. Treat Me Like A Human 

Nursing is a profession already prone to burnout from long hours and heavy workloads. Don’t make the statistics worse by being an unruly, rude, or verbally abusive patient. You being there, your diagnosis, and/or your treatment isn’t the nurse’s fault. 

7. Your Smartphone Doesn’t Have A Degree 

Knowledge empowers patients to make informed decisions. It also makes a lot of patients think they know more than the professionals. This nurse reveal is not to use internet research to tell them how to do their job. 

8. The Call Light Really Does Work 

Have you ever heard a kid yell out “mom” in the store? Every mom in the place is looking in all directions for the source, right? Walk down a hospital hall. You’ll likely hear at least one person yelling out, “nurse!” 

Call light systems work to tell nurses what nurse is needed where. It works much better than randomly screaming and making every nurse look in every direction. 

9. Your Insider Connection Doesn’t Matter

Some patients think they’ll get a reward for name-dropping administrators and doctors they know. The truth is that nurses don’t care who you’re related to or know. Each patient is treated with the same measure as the next. 

10. You Don’t Need That Medication 

Some patients demand to have their sleep interrupted each time pain meds are due. Other patients complain of unbearable pain one minute and are doing sprints down the hall the next. While nurses think it, their job is to administer prescribed medications, not judge a patient’s need for it. 

Have these nursing insider thoughts enlightened your perspective as a patient? The bottom line here is nurses embody caring and compassion, but they’re humans just like you. They have time and patience limitations that should be respected. Just because your nurse can’t tell you as much, it doesn’t mean they’re not thinking it.