Shonda Rhimes knows how to write a good medical drama, but even the most dedicated Grey's Anatomy fan will never fully grasp what it's like to work in healthcare. Sure, the basic responsibilities of a nurse are understood. But as someone who has actually donned a pair of scrubs for multiple grueling 12-hour shifts, you know what the job really entails.
Here are seven things that only nurses will understand.
Depending on where you work, you probably don't have a "normal" work schedule. Evening, weekend, and overnight shifts are often part of the job. You've mastered the art of resisting an eye roll whenever your friends who work from 9 to 5 complain about their busy week.
You might jump out of your seat a few times during a zombie thriller, but you won't flinch once during a gross-out scene. Blood, lesions, etc. You've seen the real stuff. Hollywood has nothing on the E.R.
Of course, you're happy to help, and your advice will be 100 percent more helpful than anything Google can provide. However, you'd be okay with it if your aunt avoided the urge to send you a picture of her rash.
It's great for treating coughs and congestion, but a couple of dabs inside of your medical mask can be a life-saver when you're dealing with the unpleasant smells that you encounter regularly on the job.
No one understands you like the person next to you in the trenches. You've been through it all together—and nurses see some crazy stuff.
Working with sick and injured patients can be draining. But nothing beats the feeling of literally saving a life.
Despite the ups and downs, the long shifts, and the stress of it all, you love what you do. Passion is the number one requirement for being a nurse.