In our decades of research – both before and after the seminal book, “America’s Dumbest Doctors” – we leaned heavily on the guidance and opinions of nurses nationwide. After all, it is this cadre of medical pros who function in the trenches of health care reality, and what they know could educate an entire society . . . if only we would listen:
10. TV Medical Shows – You watch them for drama – we see them as comedies. 90% of the medical heroics on screen are performed by nurses – not doctors.
9. Stop Whining – We already know that the noisiest patients are the least serious. It’s the quiet ones we worry about.
8. Questioning My Experience – Don’t ask if we’ve ever done the procedure before. Our answer will always be yes, even if we haven’t.
7. Saving You From a Bad Doctor – We do everything we can to correct physicians’ mistakes – but only after they leave the room. In their presence, your safety comes second to our continued employment. You heard it here first.
6. Drugs, Drugs, Drugs – Don’t talk to us while we’re drawing up your IV meds. That’s not the time to be social. Med errors kill 250 of you people everyday. Really.
5. Residents Running Amok – Whatever you do, stay the hell away from a teaching hospital in July. That’s when the newbie-docs show up, and they are seriously clueless.
4. Who’s Grubbier Than a 3rd-Grader? – The cooties leaping off your doctor’s hands, lab coat and stethoscope could kill kittens on a lawn. We don’t even wear our work shoes in our own houses.
3. CPR is Soooo Overrated – We honestly cringe at the thought of breaking your ribs if and when your heart stops beating. Especially because we already know it won’t save you anyway.
2. Stayin’ Alive – Our job is to keep your doctor from killing you. Trust us: with some of these arrogant twits, you’d be safer in a foxhole in Afghanistan, because,
1. You’re in the Danger Zone Now – No matter how much we like you, we’ll never tell you your doctor is incompetent. The best you’ll get from us is, “You’re entitled to a second opinion.” That’s nurse-speak for, “Watch out. This one watches looney tunes at breakfast.”
Which is why our favorite people on earth are nurses.
Stay safe out there.
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