Nursing V. Medicine


So I was trotting along in cyberspace, googling the differences between going to med school and nursing school, and I came across an interesting thread on (which I am a member of). I read some extremely profound answers from both physicians and nurses alike. And then, I find this gem:

Quote from FeeFiFoFum

I’m not sure if someone has already mention this or not, but I will go ahead and state it. I’m sorry if this offends you, but this is my opinion.

Most people that are going to or have gone to nursing school aren’t capable of getting into and/or getting through medical school. By in large, most people would be going to medical school if they had the option. This is a blow to our egos (I’m an RN), and it’s hard to admit, but it’s true. The level of difficulty between the two aren’t even comparable. Of course there are some really smart nurses out there, but most aren’t really physician material.

I’m really, really, really sorry if this offends you, but it’s just my opinion and I am answering the original question. I’m a nurse and there’s no way I could ever get the top grades in the classes that a medical school requires from its’ students.

A lot of this “well, I chose nursing because I like people interaction….or…. i like the hours better…. or…. i like to treat the person and not the disease” is a lot of what we have all convinced ourselves of. Of course there are exceptions but generally i don’t think that’s the honest case at all….

There are “ditzy” medical school students but under that they have the genetic makeup to absorb and regurgitate complex material, which is difficult for most people to do.

also wanted to add, *thinking* you could get through medical school is vastly different than *actually* getting through medical school.

What kind of ass-backward, backwater shit is this?!? Pardon the language but is this person seriously this down on herself and her profession?!?! Luckily for us, someone put her in her place with this amazing response:

This is the most asinine thing I’ve ever read. I had the grades to go to medical school. I was top of my class in both my chemistry and physics series. I chose to go into nursing because nurses are bad-ass. They are the Marine Corps equivalent of the medical field. They are knee-deep and see it all. Sure we can’t diagnose, but that doesn’t keep our “puny” brains and “weak” intellect from understanding complex pathophysiology and identifying status trends fast enough to rival most physicians. I’ve seen physicians snub nurses and watch them chase their tails; and I have also seen physicians rely on their nurse’s experienced judgment and succeed.

It must suck to be you; not being able to have pride in the medical institution’s largest force. By the way, I loved your “genetic” theory on intelligence. I love how career success and aptitude is narrowed down by my cellular ability absorb and retain knowledge.

Lastly, I do love the hours. Three days a week, four days off and 100k/year with all I can eat overtime is beautiful. Oh, and I do love to treat the person, because I value relationships more than I value my ability to problem solve–that doesn’t mean I can’t problem solve. I leave that stuff to wrenching on my hot rods. I can take apart a 60’s Camaro and put it back together in just a few weeks, does that mean I’m genetically built to work on cars? No it means I enjoy it!

Has it ever occurred to you that human beings gravitate towards occupations they ENJOY?

I can’t believe I wasted 10 minutes typing this.

To any and all the nurses out there, it is people like FeeFiFoFum who do a disservice to us and everything we stand for by simply implying that we are essentially failed doctors. I believe we ARE smart enough (maybe not FeeFiFoFum) to pursue med school if we have the PASSION for it. We may not take 3 national board exams to get our license but to become an RN and pass OUR boards, you need to be able to critically think.

I’ve had the misfortune of working with some DOCTORS who FAIL to treat our patients. Time after time the NURSING staff has had to “suggest” labs, CT’s, cultures… etc. all because the doctor was either: 1. not thinking critically or 2. LAZY. I’ve had to hand-hold physicians who have been doing this for YEARS. And it is EXTREMELY hard to do your job when you’re doing BOTH jobs. But nurses do it all the time. They teach residents AND the doctors themselves.

Doctors can learn a thing or two from us, so I’m pretty sure that means we CAN survive med school. We CAN biologically absorb and regurgitate a large body of knowledge. We CAN treat the disease as well as the person. We are NURSES.


The Joys of Growing Up as a Thick GIRL in Filipino-American Culture

The weirdest thing happened to me today. My roommate/friend/co-worker called me “muscular”. We were talking about how we couldn’t understand how there could be severely overweight nurses. Before you jump on me, we’re not being “weight-ists” but just making a simple observation that nursing is a lot of physical and hard labor… It’s a job that requires dexterity and often times, speed. I mentioned to her that I’m not the “skinniest” tool in the shed but I am strong. [Side Note: I like to lift/strength train and run.]

So that’s when she hit me with the “M” word. Muscular.

Growing up in a primarily Filipino household, I was called “fat” and every other condescending derivative of it not because I was indeed “fat” but because I was “not skinny”. My aunts, and yes, even my own mother would make degrading comments like: “Wow, does your mom not feed you at home?” Or “Look at your cousins, they’re so skinny.” Or my favorite: “Are you pregnant?!” You name it, I’ve heard it all. I will take time to dissect these statements as follows:

1. Yes my mom feeds me. She cooked a lot of unhealthy food growing up. I ate. I cleaned my plate and then some because as a little girl, I was told that I couldn’t leave the table until I cleared my plate. And so began my unhealthy relationship with food. My mom would feed me because I was hungry. Then tell me I’m getting fat. I think there was a lack of education on a “healthy” relationship with food and nutrition. This compiled with a projection of insecurities of others onto myself did not do me justice either.

2. Yes my “cousins” are thin but then again they are full Filipino. I on the other hand, have the lovely fortune of also inheriting the curves of Mexico and El Salvador (from my father’s side). These nationalities are KNOWN to have a little but more of a robust figure. I didn’t know this growing up… In fact I didn’t know this at all, until recently. So I grew up with the idea in my mind that I was an anomaly, my body was something to be ashamed of.

3. No, I was not pregnant then nor have I ever been pregnant nor was I planning on becoming pregnant right out of high school. I gained what most people refer to as “happy fat”. I was in full swing of “falling in love” with my high school/college sweetheart. So I gained more weight. Big deal. What I couldn’t believe was that all of a sudden in the mind of my mother, I was bearing a child.

Flashback to present day, I am dating someone new and I have new friends. These people have instilled in me a sense of pride in my size rather than disdain. My significant other cannot, for the life of him, understand why anyone would call me anything but “beautiful”.

Insecurities and awkward relationship with my body aside, I cannot imagine when this whole self-deprecating attitude began and why the negativity won out over the compliments from strangers. Why did I place such a high value on the negative comments of my family instead of fostering appreciation and love? I’m not sure but I’m working to reverse the damage and conquer this train of thought that I am inadequate because I don’t look like society’s golden girl.

I’m built differently than I was when I was in elementary school or high school or hell, even college. My body has changed with each passing chapter of my life… But I believe it’s so that I can adapt to the new challenges that lie ahead. I would like to think that my body is as “muscular” as my fortitude and determination. I don’t mind this new description. In fact, I welcome it because it is a testament to my ambition and strength. I think I can work with that.


One Physician’s Tribute to All Nurses



You make me look good,
…..and I forget your name.

You comfort my patient and their family,
…..and go home late to YOUR family.

You help my student do the right thing,
…..and I never say “thank you”.

You remind me of my duty,
…..and I yell at you for overstepping your bounds.

You spend much time saying “yes”
…..when you’d rather say “no”.

You find a wrong order,
…..and you call to correct it before the patient is harmed.

You stand at the bedside of a dying child,
…..and share the parents’ grief.

You watch helplessly while society fails time and again to prevent child abuse,
…..while your heart breaks to see these helpless children in so much pain.

    You get kicked, punched and bitten by patients of many ages.
    You clean up poop, puke and mucus.
    You clean wounds and empty drains and bedpans.
    You face infectious diseases, and handle unknown diagnoses with grace and fortitude.
    We argue with you when you are wrong, but rarely acknowledge when you are right.

The world thinks a doctor cured their loved one–we may have written an order, or prescribed a treatment, but you carried it out, explained it to the patient, made sure the necessary “stuff” was available in the home, fixed the transportation issue, and advocated for what our patient needed.

All this,
…..and yet you return to work every day, for another round of names forgotten, absent thanks, and unsung miracles.
All this,
…..and yet you still care.

You work so hard, sometimes you eat chips instead of lunch, so you can start that really hard i.v.

You and your predecessors have taught me so much
…..for all the times that I may have forgotten your name, forgot to say “thank you” or griped at you in frustration….

I want you to know I trust you, I need you, I care for you deeply and I appreciate you every moment of every day, even when I forget to show it.

We celebrate the nurses who work so closely with us, who improve our patients’ outcomes, and who truly do make us look good.

Because you are always there.

Thank you.

“Put the Financial Aid in the Bag”

Put the Financial Aid in the Bag

The link above is a TED Talk I recently saw about the lie that is financial aid and the institution of higher education. Having spent $100,000+ on my bachelors degree in nursing that sat in my closet for 3 years as the most expensive and unused piece of paper I’ve ever purchased… PUT THE FINANCIAL AID IN THE BAG. As someone who wants to go to grad school. PUT THE MONEY IN THE BAG.

Lecture Hall shouldn’t feel like the cotton fields. I will not let you rob the food out of the stomachs of my future children. Please just put the money in the bag… I just want to go to school.

The REAL Deal with Life After Nursing School


You see them all the time when you’re flipping through the tv channels. Commercials advertising for hopefuls and people who just don’t know what they want to do with their lives. They promise jobs immediately after graduation. They speak of an insatiable demand for nurses. Well… My experience was quite different than what they made it out to be on tv.

Nursing (BSN) school full-time (17 units), work study after clinicals, and a part-time job on the weekends burned me OUT. So, like all burned out rejects go, I slacked off my NCLEX. Used Kaplan the first time, HATED it. Used Hurst the second time, loved it but didn’t focus on infection control. Excell the third time, PASSED. LOVED it. Now that it took me almost a year and a half and a lot of money later, I had my license. Now what. I spent a little (a lot) more money to get my certs (BLS, ACLS, PALS, and NRP). Literally ONE YEAR AND 8 MONTHS LATER, I FINALLY land a job. At a hospital. In the sticks. Literally.

At this hospital, they hired me per diem but worked me full-time. Didn’t give me a proper new grad orientation. “Orientation” lasted 4 weeks if that, then I was thrown out with the wolves. They finally gave me full-time status with PTO but made me sign a paper that says I “was offered health insurance but I declined at this time.” On top of that, they’re so concerned about the bottom line that they EXPECTED me to re-use tubing that’s been sitting unused for two days on a central line. NO!!!! Ethics?!?!?!

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE what I do but this market is a SHAM. I wish commercials would tell these nursing hopefuls the REALITY of this job market and that you will put yourself in about $100,000+ in debt for BSN nursing school and wait approximately 2 years to get a job. You will fill out so many deferment/forebearance forms because your three part-time (non-nursing) jobs won’t cut it. BE REAL. THIS is reality.