If you are still a nurse at heart...
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Top ten things retired nurses can’t let go of
#10 The antibiotic stash
Who cares if the Keflex is so old that it has probably morphed from an antibiotic into a whole new category of drug? If we’re feeling feverish, we’ll self-diagnose and take our chances.
#9 Emergency set of white undergarments and hosiery
If you’ve ever been caught wearing lime green panties under uniform whites like I have, no explanation is necessary.
#8 Manual sphygmomanometer
If there is ever a natural disaster or nuclear holocaust and batteries are hard to come by, we will still be ready, willing, and able to take blood pressures.
See #8 above. You just never know when you may have to auscultate again.
#6 Drug Company pen collection
Anyone who didn’t know us and saw our pen collection would assume that we were clinically depressed, hypertensive, diabetic, nasally congested, bald, constipated, and unable to get it up. And we don’t care. We’re not giving up a single pen.
#5 Nursing School textbooks
OK, so our original Taber’s predates the existence of HIV, insulin pumps, and HIPAA. We can still use it to look up how to say ‘what color is your stool’ in eight or nine foreign languages.
#4 Bulb syringe and graduated cylinder
Nothing like it for basting the Thanksgiving turkey.
#3 Bunches of latex gloves in laundry room, kitchen, garage, bathroom, car, tool box, glove compartment, wherever
Rust never sleeps. Neither do MRSA, VRSA, C. Dif, Staph, Strep, etc. They are like the Lex Luthors to our Superman. The world could come to an end if we let our guard down even for an instant.
#2 White bobby pins
They are hard to come by these days, and we wouldn’t want to be caught dead using the black ones to secure our nursing school cap in the event of a photo op.
And the number one thing retired nurse can’t let go of… Giveaways from Nurses’ Days gone by
Lanyards. Canvas bags. Key chains. Water Bottles. T shirts. The least a grateful institution could do. Why do we cling to them like we do? Are they, perhaps, ways to make tangible the appreciation that patients could only convey to us in fleeting words, glances, smiles, or tears…the appreciation that made it all worthwhile?