Types of Nurses

Well, it’s a sad day indeed when I verbally acknowledge my own grumpiness and all of my coworkers agree! It’s a struggle to have patience… except with patients. With my patients, I give everything I have and am able to keep in mind that these are people who are loved by someone. They are fathers, mothers, sisters, friends, and sons and are dependent on us not only for medical care, but for preservation of dignity and independence. It is my goal to treat everyone like I treat my patients, but I fail…often…at least daily…sometimes hourly…
Thinking on this brought to mind the various types of nurses we have:
1. The Old Grouch: Sure, she has a lot of experience, but proceed with caution if you need to ask her anything. Approach only if her brow is unfurrowed.
2. Miss Sighs-A-Lot: She is productive and always busy. New tasks and assignments are taken on with massively exaggerated exhales of air and eye rolls. She isn’t mean, she just can’t help it.
3. The Martyr: She can frequently be heard in populated places making statements like these: “Ok, I’ll do the dressing change that no one else wants to do. Just let me take 30 seconds to shove my lunch down my throat. I wish I had time to pee.” Miraculously, she did have time all morning to conquer ten levels of Candy Crush Saga on her I-phone…
4. The Workhorse: This is the one who doesn’t take the time to pee because she is too busy doing all of her own work and most of The Martyr’s. Her patients never have to press the call light because she is always in their rooms anticipating every need.
5. The Savior: She takes her job very seriously, is smart, and wants the best for her patients. Unfortunately, her ego can get in the way as she thinks the unit cannot function without her. If you need to provide her with education on a better way to perform patient care, do so diplomatically and leave her thinking she came up with the idea. That’s a sure way to keep the peace.
6. Little Miss OCD: Her patient rooms are spotless with bandages and supplies arranged on the cart according to size…occasionally in alphabetical order. She hasn’t met a set of IV tubing she couldn’t untangle and label in record time. She NEVER leaves tasks undone for the upcoming shift; make sure you have all your ducks in a row if she follows you!
7. The Cheerleader: This one loves her job, wants everyone else to love theirs, and is consistently nice to The Old Grouch, frequently smiling at her when others slink away in fear. You’d like to be annoyed by her happiness, but you can’t…she’s too darn sweet.
8. The Professional: Nothing rattles this woman. Ever.
We work on a unit with critically ill patients whose conditions can worsen in an instant.
I was called emergently to a patient’s room. Thomas was a 32 year old man well known to us who had been admitted with post-op complications the previous night.
When I entered his room, I saw him pale and diaphoretic. His blood pressure was extremely low. As his eyes rolled back in his head, the Savior paged the physicians and started ordering blood, labs, and fluids. Thomas was bleeding internally. Rapidly.
The Workhorse and the Martyr worked quickly to obtain large IVs through which we could quickly give the life-saving blood and fluids Thomas desperately needed- they are two of our best IV starters. The Cheerleader scurried to get the code cart and raced back with it to the room. She’s fast enough to excel as a track star. The Professional and Miss-Sighs-A-Lot (both great nurses) manned the code cart, knowing which drugs were needed before the doctors even uttered the orders. Little Miss OCD was the one I wanted right beside me- we got the blood and fluids flowing into the patient as fast as possible. Within 20 minutes, Thomas was stable enough to go to surgery and have the bleed repaired. He has visited our unit several times since then, and is enjoying a productive life with his wife and two small children.
Though we may have conflicts because of our strong personalities, when emergencies arise, we come together and work as one to save a life. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

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2 thoughts on “Types of Nurses

  1. I TRULY LOVED THIS! Gives new meaning to that old adage, “It takes all kinds!” ps. I was gonna be “Little Miss OCD but I succumbed to my age instead of my neurosis for my “name!” Thank you for the nods and smiles.

  2. Thanks! Sadly, most of the time I fall into the role of the old grouch! Most of us have some kind of neurosis- perhaps a prerequisite for nursing school? The one who is the inspiration for little Miss OCD is one of my favorite coworkers 🙂

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