Confessions of a Nurse

By ABC News

Apr 30, 2012 10:40am
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ABC News’ Susie Whitley and Sara Holmberg report:


Last week “20/20″ brought you true confessions from waiters, salesmen, a porn star and more…but do you ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at hospitals and medical offices?

Theresa Brown is a former English professor and currently works as an oncology nurse. Her passion for nursing compelled her to write a book called “Critical Care.” The book is testimony that nurses are first responders and healers and Brown writes honestly about her first year on the hospital floor. With great compassion and a disarming sense of humor, she shares the trials and triumphs of her patients and comes to realize that caring for a patient means much more than simply treating a disease. She also recently shared with ABC News unspoken confessions of her hard-working peers.

Here are a couple of common confessions that Theresa Brown told us about:

  • Here’s one way to get back at a downright mean doctor on the night shift: “When on call, instead of leaving your number for a doctor to page you, nurses might leave the number of Pizza Hut or Jo’s Bar or even a sexually transmitted disease clinic,” Brown said.
  • Nurses will not come right out and say your doctor is incompetent, but if a nurse says “You have the right to a second opinion,” that can be code for “I don’t like your doctor” or “I don’t trust your doctor,” according to Brown.

To get more revealing confessions from the world of medicine, “Confessions of a Surgeon” by Dr Paul Ruggieri and for more tidbits from Theresa Brown look out for her monthly column in The New York Times.

See more confessions on the latest full episode of “20/20.”

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