When someone uses the phrase “typical student”, it’s fair to say that they are probably not referring to your typical nursing student. Nursing students are renowned for being a bit…er… different; and we mean that in a good way.
How can you tell if you’re in the presence of a nursing student? We’ve been there, done the research, and have come up with this comprehensive list of how nursing students are different from your average college or university student.
Nursing students know that reflection isn’t just something that you see in the mirror – and the thought of it makes us cringe
“Reflective practice” is quite the quite the buzzword these days in the field of nursing. While most students might think of reflective practice as what they do every morning while putting on their makeup or shaving, nursing students know that when the words reflective practice are uttered, there is likely the threat of an essay or research paper in the not-so-distant future.
Nursing students would rather work-through their own ailments rather than to go the doctor
It’s not that we don’t know we’re sick, it’s just that we make really, really terrible patients. Whether we’re a bit off because we have just forgotten to drink any water during our shift (again), or we are fighting-off that cold virus that the entire class has had, we’re used to being on the other side of the patient-nurse relationship, and we are not comfortable being in the role of the patient. We will continue to work through ailments that would stop lesser humans in their tracks.
A nursing student will never have uttered the phrase “I couldn’t get to sleep last night”
Between clinical placements, classes, study groups, trips to the library, writing papers, and trying to memorize all of the various parts of the body and what they do, all a nursing students have to do is remain in the same position for more than two or three minutes, and it’s lights out. Because of our crazy clinical schedules, sleep can overtake us at any time of the day or night, and in any place or position, which often leads to some awkward situations in class, on dates, or at dinner parties.
Nursing students will have mentally cataloged your shortness of breath while you were shopping in the produce aisle
You may be used to your own wheezy chest, thinking you would just nip-in to do the shopping on your way to your appointment…having to stop every 10 feet or so to catch your breath, but we nursing students can hear you coming a mile away, and the alarm bells are going off in our heads. You need a nebulizer. You need a steroid. You need oxygen, STAT. It may look like we’re trying to find that one ripe avocado in the pile, but trust us, we’re watching you, and we’re worried.
We have seventeen kinds of medical tape in our medicine cabinets, but no Band-Aids
Nursing students often come home from their clinical day with all manner of wild and wonderful things in their pockets: alcohol wipes, an assortment of tape, sample hand sanitizers from the drug rep lunch…you name it, we’ve brought it home. But if you’re looking for something as simple as a Band Aid or a Tylenol…well, I’m afraid that’s just a little too normal for us.
Nursing students have all listened to their own chests or hearts with a stethoscope when feeling a bit under the weather
Look, we know all about the dangers of self-diagnosis, but we just can’t help ourselves. Sure, it’s probably just a cold, or maybe those palpitations are from that fourth cup of cappuccino that you had before class (that you knew you didn’t need but had anyway…) but why not just give it a listen, just to be sure? It’s not like we don’t need the practice. Plus, we might be secretly dying, which we totally don’t have time for right now.
By the end of nursing school, nursing students can read just about any handwriting there is
Funny, we always thought it was a myth too – that thing about doctors not being able to write legibly if their lives depended on it. Well, patient’s lives do depend on it, which is why there are nurses. While in our nursing school clinical rotations, we will have learned to read even the most illegible of chicken scratches, and more importantly, either translate them for the rest of the team, or better yet, demand clarification from the writer.
If you’re a nursing student, make sure to check out our list of must-have nursing student essentials. If you need a little NurseFuel to get you through, maybe these motivational quotes for nursing students will do the trick.