I came across a Nursing website recently that had in the Discussion Forums – Should Nurses Believe In Ghosts? One of the responses to the question asserted disbelief in the fact that the question was being posed to nurses who should be ‘scientifically literate’. I don’t quite know what to make of that response. If one is scientifically literate does that completely diminish their ability to believe in anything that hasn’t been proven or can’t be seen? Wow!
Nursing is filled with magical thinking, superstition, intuition and having the ability to sense impending crises. That may be what makes up a great nurse, someone who is not only book smart and can think quickly and rationally, but also can read the situation, sense the changes in the patient before they show up on the monitors as numbers, and notice a different look in the eyes of their patient, long before all the scientific equipment catches up.
Any nurse will say that if someone mentions the “Q” word – for example, “It sure is quiet tonight…” things will certainly start going awry very quickly. Don’t say the “Q” word around a nurse, because they will say that they have just been jinxed and a nice, peaceful shift will become overwhelmingly chaotic. Every nurse, every floor has had their fair share of difficult patients. These are patients that for multiple reasons may be hospitalized for long periods of time because of complications and unforeseen circumstances. There is always a collective sigh of relief from the nurses the day a difficult patient is discharged to home. No one will mention their name (kind of like no one mentions Valdemort’s name on Harry Potter, except Harry), because that difficult patient will most assuredly be readmitted shortly thereafter.
Check these sites out for more nursing superstitions
Most nurses who have been practicing for any length of time, will have a strange story or two to tell regarding unusual happenings, sightings of ghosts, noises in the night or whispers in the darkened halls. There are some nurses that say there is no such thing as ghosts, but they probably haven’t ever worked nights. Most of the characters in “From Cornflakes to Eternity” are based on stories told by nurses I have worked with over the years. The names have been changed to protect their privacy (does HIPAA apply to ghosts – probably not). The Lady in Red, the Girl in the Pink Boots, Jose and Allie are all based on actual sightings and stories. Here are some websites with additional ghost stories from nurses.
I believe to be a nurse, a good nurse, requires a great deal of knowledge, a boatload of experience, intuitive skills and yes, some magical thinking. And if a nurse believes in ghosts, it doesn’t make them less scientifically literate, it just makes them more interesting. “From Cornflakes to Eternity” can be purchased on Amazon.