Nursing school is a glorious existence between life and death.
Through nursing school, we learn that time management is key, showers are earned, sleep is a gift and 99 percent of our nightmares feature not passing the NCLEX.
School is our life, the library is our home and the hospital is our home away from home.
Though this way of living isn't glamorous or easy, we wouldn't want to do anything else.
As nursing students, we receive a lot of repetitive questions from patients, friends and family.
Some questions are welcomed, while others are not-so-welcomed.
So, if you really want to rub a nursing student the wrong way (bless you), or if you want to help out a nursing student (bless you), here are seven questions to either ask or avoid (pick your poison):
1. "How was your day?"
For 99 percent of the time, you will regret asking this question. Our answers will go one of two ways:
One: *Silence* (Please keep in mind we aren't trying to be rude, but we were up before the sun was.)
Two: Well, at the beginning of my shift, I gave about four bed baths. Two of the patients had just been given laxatives, so that was explosive.
I gave Hannah's patient an enema since she was prepping another patient for surgery.
I had a patient rip out his IV and throw it across the room.
Right before my shift ended, a patient had another case of diarrhea.
But, it wasn't nearly as bad as yesterday's case; it was more solidified and uniform in color.
2. "Why aren't you married?"
I haven't showered in five days, and you wonder why I'm not married?
The closest I've been to dating is when my 64-year-old patient told me her grandson is available, but lives four states away.
So if you want to count that, I'd appreciate it.
3. "Did you get hit by a train?"
Alright, I know I don't look "up to par" at the moment, but this is my new normal.
Yes, the bags under my eyes looks like my baby browns went on a shopping spree.
Yes, there is enough oil in my hair to fry bacon, but you don't hear me complaining.
I own this look, and I rock this look.
I am also very good at closing my eyes when I pass mirrors.
4. "Do you have any horror stories?"
Uh yes, waking up at 2:30 am this morning was a horror.
Existing at a level where coffee no longer affects me is terrifying.
Oh, you mean in a hospital?
Sorry, I can't tell you that because of HIPAA.
5. "Hey, I've had a headache and stuffy nose since Tuesday. You're a nurse, so what should I do?"
I'm a nursing student, so I'm still learning and am not licensed or qualified to diagnose you.
That being said, you probably just have a sinus infection.
Go grab some Vicks and OJ, and take a day off.
If it's not better by Friday, then I'm probably wrong, so just go to the doctor.
6. "Do you want to go out tonight?"
What is this "going out" you speak of?
7. "Why don't you just go to medical school?"
Let's get technical, shall we?
A nurse and a doctor are 100 percent polar opposites, something a lot of people don't understand.
Nursing is health-promotion based rather than patient-diagnosis based, which is more doctoral.
This being said, doctors aren't heartless, and nurses aren't doctors' slaves.
We focus on different aspects of patient care that together provide a holistic care plan.
So no, I don't want to go to medical school because I know my calling, and it's to be a nurse.
Though we constantly share the gross things we see at the dinner table, take Snapchats of ourselves during 12-hour shifts and complain about the amount of sleep we don't get, we absolutely love our major.
We wouldn't go through the hardships of nursing school if we didn't.
Blood, sweat, tears and about 10 years of our lives are taken during nursing school, and it's worth it.
So, to all my fellow nursing students: We've got this.
Now take up your stethoscopes and your books that cost you an arm, a leg or a soul to get, and go to work.
We have lives to save and lessons to learn.