We’ve all done it. Faced with a potentially awkward dinner party or a dreaded family gathering, we’ve gotten out of it by lying. Nothing major, nothing evil, just a good old fashioned white lie to spare us the psychic pain of the unwanted social obligation.
The thing is, NO ONE is in more dire and regular need of an excuse to get out of plans than your average RN, LVN, LPN or Nurse Practitioner. The unusual stresses of the nursing profession (unruly patients, the grueling hours and sleepless night shifts, the pressures of having someone’s life in your hands) could exhaust the best of us. The point is, nurses, more than most, DESERVE an excuse. Can we expect non-nurses to understand this? Of course not. Good luck finding empathy in the eyes of your accountant friend when you try to describe what it’s like to realize you are more familiar with the latest bedpan technology than the iPhone 7.
The good news is, we’ve found a way to use the ignorance of the non-nursing population to your advantage and ensure that you are never again without a good excuse to choose sleep over socializing.
Without further ado, we give you our best excuses to get out of any social obligation that only a nurse can use:
1) I’M COVERED IN URINE (AND NOT MY OWN)
People know nursing can be messy, but they aren’t interested in the details. In fact, just the mention of out of control bodily fluids can send them scattering like a vampire trying to make it home just before sunrise. Start to explain and chances are you won’t even need to finish.
2) I TREATED SEVERAL PATIENTS WITH THE FLU TODAY
Simply explain that you had extensive exposure to the flu today and, in the event you contracted it, you don’t want to give it to them. Not only will they understand, but they’ll thank you for sparing them the discomfort. Follow up the next day detailing your “symptoms” for some free sympathy.
3) I JUST WORKED MORE HOURS STRAIGHT THAN YOU WORKED ALL WEEK
Okay, maybe not THAT many. But quick mention of the “16-hour marathon shift” you just completed should be enough to get you off the hook. Telling them that you need to cover for another nurse and pull a double shift works too.
4) JUST CONFUSE THEM WITH JARGON
“We had a code yellow and my preceptor asked me to stay late because she thinks the patient will try to leave AMA and the LPN can’t administer the IV of Ativan.”
5) WE HAD A REALLY BAD CODE BROWN RIGHT AT THE END OF MY SHIFT
You say the words “code brown”, they ask “what’s that?”, you begin to explain and before you know it THEY’RE the one looking for the excuse.
6) I NEED TO STUDY
Studying isn’t just for nursing students. Continuing education is an essential part of being a nurse. New procedures, protocols, medical devices and the latest and greatest drugs are just a few things that nurses need to stay on top of. Cheerfully explain the brand new advances, how they are going to save lives and that you want to begin the online tutorials to get up to date asap. Who’s gonna argue?