23 Things People Always Get Completely Wrong About Nurses

Because a nursing job is not a consolation prize for dropping out of medical school.

We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what the most common misconceptions about nurses are. They had a lot to say.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

1. First of all, “Why didn’t you just become a doctor? You’re too smart to be a nurse” is a rude thing to say.

Wall Street Journal Live

Submitted by SadiaK.

2. And no, people can’t just apply for nursing licenses before being educated and rigorously trained.

20th Century Fox

Submitted by jennah4377addc7.

3. Because nursing is not about wiping butts all day.

Shironosov / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Submitted by MariliseB

4. And nurses are not just there for their ability to “nurture” and “mother” patients; they’re there to use science and critical thinking to save lives.

PBS

Submitted by hellokitty914 and edwyer94.

5. Which is why it’s annoying when people think you’re always just following a doctor’s orders.

Getty Images/iStockphoto Dana Bartekoske

Submitted by oneloveyogi.

6. But you’d never know that from TV and movies, which almost never portray nurses accurately.

NBC / Getty Images

Submitted by angry penguin.

7. The reality is that doctors rely heavily on the knowledge and observations of nurses to make decisions about patient care.

NBC

Submitted by lexia49c9c42e3.

8. And it is often the nurses who make life and death decisions.

Submitted by andreae41060b2b6.

9. Nurses are actually more like a doctor-social worker-respiratory therapist-pharmacist-phlebotomist-physiotherapist-receptionist-X-ray technician-transporter-housekeeper-caregiver hybrid.

ThinkStock

Submitted by oneloveyogi.

10. Which is probably why they’re not actually wearing sexy nurse outfits over lingerie with stilettos on their feet.

Submitted by sandrafromparis.

11. That might also be because a huge number of nurses are men.

Submitted by preciouskittenn.

12. Who, by the way, are not all gay.

ABC

Submitted by richardd31.

So now that all that’s cleared up, there are a few more things that nurses don’t want or need to hear.

13. When nurses are “just taking blood pressure” they are simultaneously assessing a dozen things about a patient’s condition.

Submitted by shannooney.

14. It doesn’t help anyone to say that all nurses do is put on Band-Aids when they’re actually catching potentially fatal mistakes made by doctors who don’t know the patient as well.

Fox

Submitted by betty.swiecka.

15. And when people assume a home health care nurse is there to give sponge baths and clean the house, it makes it harder for them to provide care.

ThinkStock

Submitted by kimberly.riggs.18.

16. Saying nurses are so lucky to work three days a week ignores how much recovery time and rest is needed after long shifts and demanding work.

1492 Pictures

Submitted by lydia.maria.94.

17. Patients with the “I write your check” mentality that feel justified using nurses as servants make it harder for nurses to do their jobs.

Columbia Records / Via tumblr.com

Submitted by kelly.hilker.

18. That job is not being a personal drug dealer who is totally OK with going to jail just so a patient can get some OxyContin.

United Artists

Submitted by nic0lie0lie and cheries4218b4a82.

19. So if you come in and say you’re allergic to every drug except Dilaudid and that you needs lots and lots of Dilaudid, the nurse is onto you, buddy.

Warner Bros.

Submitted by cheries4218b4a82.

20. And when a nurse clearly knows the answer to your question and you say, “Can you ask the doctor?” you’re undermining their expertise and their profession.

United Artists

Submitted by lalroma.

21. But the great thing about nurses is that they don’t actually care all that much about all these misconceptions.

ThinkStock

Submitted by jonathanr49e5c50fe.

22. Because the thing they care more about than anything is saving your life.

ThinkStock

Submitted by jonathanr49e5c50fe.

23. But for those of us who are annoyed on their behalves, we are just going to leave this here.

BuzzFeed

Submitted by ashleym45a8b720b.

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