Nurse parents are some of the best parents!
1. They worry. They really know how to worry about the strangest things because they’ve seen some pretty weird stuff at work. They will worry about pregnancy before you hit puberty, while you’re still watching Smurf cartoons. They will worry about death from choking and car accidents and any kind of accident. They just know that anything can happen.
2. They don’t worry. On the other hand, they don’t worry about stuff that they maybe should worry about. If you’re bleeding, you need to put a little pressure on it and it’ll be okay. If you have an allergic reaction, they’ll be giving you Benadryl and they won’t worry unless your throat is closing up.
3. They don’t react to hysteria. No matter how kind of crazy you act, they will not show a reaction. They’ve dealt with a much different kind of crazy at work, and it takes a lot to make them react. But once they do…
4. They get hysteric. Watch out!! They can totally bring on the hysteria once they’ve been pushed too far. It’s probably a combination of stress, lack of sleep, and exhaustion that accumulates to don’t mess with me!
5. They miss ½ of school functions, after-school activities, and parties. Because healthcare providers have to work the weekends! And holidays! And school functions are usually during the day…when people are working!
6. They talk about weird things at dinner. No conversation is off limits. As soon as they have a captive audience, they let it all out. They want to tell you about every weird/cool/gross thing they saw at work. And they are not deterred by your facial expressions or lack of interest.
7. They won’t let you touch them with scrubs on after work. It’s almost as if they think those scrubs are radioactive to anyone not wearing them. They may take off their shoes before they walk into the house and they will probably strip down as soon as they walk through the door.
8. They aren’t afraid of germs. They know that a healthy immune system is developed by the slow introduction of germs. So they probably won’t stop their children from picking something up and putting in their mouths unless it’s visibly dirty.
9. They’re very afraid of germs. But then again, they will think of the worst-case scenario for any ailment and then proceed to rationalize it away (or self-diagnose themselves). Is it a cold? It could be a cold. It might be Swine Flu. I hope it’s not TB. I haven’t been anywhere crowded. Oh well, I’ll wait to schedule an appointment with an actual doctor. It’s not like it’s Typhoid Fever…right?!?
10. They know how to multitask. If there’s one thing a nurse can do well, it’s multitask! They can listen to you tell a story and simultaneously be scoping out the room, assessing their surroundings, and making their next move in their head.
11. They can prioritize. They may miss a soccer game, but they won’t miss a tournament. They know how to prioritize and they can delegate to make sure they get any job done. Working four 12 hour shifts this week? They will coordinate to ensure everyone still eats, clothes are still washing, and homework is still done. BAM! And that’s how it’s done.