Five things your nurse wants you to know


Nurses work on the frontlines of healthcare. When you’re sick or in pain, a nurse is often the one doing the hands-on work to get you well. Nurses see you on your worst days, when your illness feels overwhelming and you hurt all over. They see on your best days, when your child is born or your body is declared cancer free.

Nurses rarely have time to stop and chat, but if they did, here are five things they might tell you.

  1. I’m your advocate.

As a nurse, your health and safety are my main concern. I work with all the members of your healthcare team to ensure you get the care you need when you need it. I check and then check again to guard against errors in medication and treatment. I am your voice and your cheerleader. You are my top priority.

  1. It’s ok to ask questions.

Healthcare is not always easy to understand. The processes and procedures may be uncomfortable, unfamiliar to you, and probably a little intimidating. Speak up. Ask questions. If you still don’t quite get it, keep asking until you do. Education and instruction are two of the most important aspects of my job as a nurse. I want you to be a well-informed participant in your care. It’s one of the best ways I know to get you on the road to recovery.

  1. All my patients are important.

My schedule changes constantly as the needs of my patients change. I juggle priorities all day long and sometimes that may mean you have to wait for a few minutes before I can attend to your needs. I want you to have the best care possible but the patient in the room next door may have a health emergency that just can’t wait. Please be patient.

  1. I won’t judge you.

As a nurse I’m going to ask you a lot of personal questions. Some of the topics may not be ones you’re comfortable discussing—like sexual activity or drug use—but it’s important that you answer truthfully. I’m not being nosy; your answers help guide the care you’re given. I won’t think less of you or criticize your habits if you tell me the truth. I’m not here to judge you I just want you to be healthy. 

  1. I’m a professional.

I take pride in my profession. I’ve spent countless hours studying how your body works and the different ways to keep it healthy. I’m well-educated and well-trained.

The average day for most nurses includes an ever-changing to-do list and not enough time to eat or take a bathroom break. Despite that, most nurses will tell you they wouldn’t have it any other way. If they have time.

Find a doctor

Nurses at Swedish work in partnership with your medical team to ensure you get the care you need. Search for a doctor who knows how important their role is in our provider directory.

Related resources

Nurses Week Profile: Margo Bykonen, Chief Nursing Officer

Two Swedish Hospitals Join National Nursing Skills Program

Swedish Ballard Receives Pathway to Excellence Designation

About the Author

Our philosophy for well being is looking at the holistic human experience. As such, the Swedish Wellness & Lifestyle Team is committed to shining a light on health-related topics that help you live your healthiest life. From nutrition to mindfulness to annual screenings, our team offers clinically-backed advice and tips to help you and your loved ones live life to the fullest.

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