Nurse Marge might not have all the answers, but after *ahem* years as a RN in some of the nation’s toughest hospitals, she sure knows how to make up something that sounds right! We get lots of questions here at JNJ, from nurses looking for advice and guidance and Nurse Marge has graciously agreed to answer them for us.
So with that, let’s turn the floor over to Nurse Marge!
Dear Nurse Marge,
I’m a new nurse, having just graduated in December and finally landed a job. The problem is this: I’m young (23) and I look even younger than that. I mean, I get proofed to buy lottery tickets! This is turning out to be a problem: no one at the hospital is taking me seriously. Not the doctors, not the other nurses, and not even the patients! Last week, I had one of them ask me to ‘go get a grown up to take care of my Mother’!
How am I supposed to handle this?
Yours, Too Young in Three Rivers
Dear Too Young,
This is a problem? That I should have such problems! I’ve got uniforms older than you…
Seriously, the nice thing about this issue is that it’s self-resolving. You may look young now, but trust me: two years on this job, and you’re going to find yourself being offered senior citizen discounts when you go out to eat.
My advice? Take them. 10% off all these meals adds up!
If you don’t want to wait for the stress induced gray hair to mask your lack of years, here’s some tactics you can take to make your fellow nurses and the occassional doctor take you more seriously. I can’t promise this will work on every doctor, I’m a nurse, not a miracle worker!
First, it’s all about the attitude. If you want to be taken seriously, you have to act seriously. Confidence matters — a lot! Bear in mind that some of your fellow nurses were once in the same boat you are in now: we were all new nurses once. Of course, for some folks, that might mean they’ll have to stretch their mind back to the dark ages to remember that fact — but it’s true, never the less!
Second, the trick to a long career as nurse is to never miss an opportunity. When you’ve got a patient requesting a ‘grown up nurse’ — go find them one. Trust me, that’s not a patient you’re going to enjoy dealing with. Why not make them happy and hook them up with someone of more advanced years than you? Of course, if that nurse you find happens to be the one who gives you the roughest time about being the new kid on the block, well, some lessons just keep on giving, don’t they?
Simply smile, tell them the patient wants a grown up, and ‘You’re the most grown up person on the floor!” I’m sure they’ll be thrilled.
Have a question for Nurse Marge? Simply email it to her at Cindy@journalofnursingjocularity.com and our fearless editor will pass it along to her! Chances are good she’ll answer it in an upcoming column. Nurse Marge in Charge updates every Monday.
Also: Our lawyers insist that Nurse Marge’s advice and opinions are only that — advice and opinions. Use them at your own risk!