"So my friend is in the hospital, can you tell me all the juicy details?"
Um, no… doesn't stop people from asking, though. Jolene Wilder, RN, unequivocally says no, nurses cannot tell you details about patients in the hospital. There's this little thing called HIPAA that prohibits (by way of federal law) disbursement of patient information, and even if HIPAA didn't exist, would you really want someone telling your friends your medical deets?
"I have a high pain tolerance."
"Really?" wonders Lisa Dukes, MSN, RN, CEN, CPEN, TCRN, an ER/trauma nurse. When she hears patients claim they have a high pain tolerance, she says (totally in her head), "No one does. Everyone just thinks they do." So leave your brag about pain tolerance at home; nobody will believe you anyway.
"That must be so hard! I couldn't do what you do."
Jamie, who works as a pediatric cardiac intensive care nurse, says that whenever she tells people about her job, they express the above. She says, "Um… that's why I do it and you don't. Yes, it's hard, but I love it and that's why I do it." While it seems harmless, it can get old hearing that your job somehow makes your total existence more difficult than other people's. More straightforward words of praise or admiration can accomplish the same goal.