Opinion

SSHH! I'm not really a nurse (but I won't stop you thinking otherwise)

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When I tell people I work for RCNi they assume that I’m a registered nurse. I get two reactions when I tell them I’m not. First reaction – one of disappointment. Second reaction – they don’t hear/don’t want to hear/don’t believe me and then they proceed to tell me about their bad shoulder, their child’s funny rash that won’t go away or their aunty who’s a nurse in Huddersfield and do I know her?

I feel for nurses who are off duty and looking to relax and I can just imagine the sort of questions they get when they tell people their profession. An electrician friend of mine is often invited to people’s homes for dinner and ends up spending the evening changing light fittings and plug sockets. So do nurses get people whipping out poorly limbs over the prawn cocktails?!

I’m currently having some dental work done and my dentist is convinced I am a nurse. I have corrected him several times but he still insists on making comments like 'it’s only what you inflict on your patients' as he is injecting into my face.

I feel a fraud but this has gone on so long it’s easier to just play along with his assumptions. He makes ‘jokes’ that I don’t really get but we have a camaraderie of sorts as ‘healthcare professionals’ together.

On my last visit I went to pay (trying not to gasp at the bill!) and he gave me a discount with a friendly smile. I thanked him for his kindness but as I was leaving I heard the unwelcome words: 'One moment Miss Smith - can I just get you to look at this – it’s been troubling me for a while…'

About the author

Kelly Smith is an advertising executive at RCNi