Conversations with a nursing major

Living with someone typically brings interesting conversations. I saw a Buzzfeed article earlier today about 50 things you say to your roommate all the time that you’d never have the occasion to say to anyone else. Much of my conversation with Liesel revolves around meals, whether we’re talking about what we’re going to eat or talking while we’re eating about what we’re eating. Then we’ll talk about what to eat next.

It’s college. Food is one of the few enjoyable things we have time and funds for.

Many of our other conversations, however, are about our homework. Things like, “Did you know that…?” and “In my class today…” So I’ve gathered some interesting knowledge about nursing. Some of our more hilarious conversations, though, are the ones about her practical/clinical assessments and assignments.

I kid you not, these are all real conversations that have happened in the past two months.

Liesel: “Do you wanna see my syringes?” Who asks that?

Me: “No.” (picture Grumpy Cat here)

Liesel: “Fine. I’ll look at them myself.”

Liesel: “Can I palpate your stomach?”

Then she proceeded to do a full abdominal examination. “Okay, now I want you to take a sharp breath in so I can feel your liver.”

I didn’t even know where my liver was, but now she’s felt it.

Then, all those weird nurse-y techniques that help them to know if you have some sort of horrid lungs disease: “Every time I touch you, I want you to say, ’99’ or, ‘blue moon.'”

Me: “99……99…..99…..99….Blue moon….99…..99…. 69? No…. 99….”

It’s like I got stuck counting and just couldn’t quite get to 100.

We have a habit of giving each other back massages about once a week, mostly because it feels good and partly because studies show that getting a massage increases your self-efficacy. We’re all about that. This past week, Liesel learned about the lymphatic system and how to assess its health. On Friday, massages were happening, and something felt strange. Suspicion. I am not being massaged; I am being examined. “Are you assessing my lymph nodes?”


Stranger things have happened. She’s just impressed that I could tell. I’m just not impressed with her sneakiness. It’s good – she doesn’t need to be sneaky.

She’s taken every pulse I could possibly have in my body. Did you know you have a pulse in your foot? I suppose that’s obvious if you think about it, but now I know for sure. I’ve got one.

She asks me if she can take my blood pressure like it’s an enormous privilege to be able to do so and compliments me on my blood pressure.

Thank you, thank you. *Takes bow.*

Despite all her incredible medical knowledge though, we still have fun self-diagnosing on WebMD.

“Liesel, I’m dizzy. What’s wrong with me?”

Instead of trying to impress me with her real clinical knowledge, she pulls up the website.

“Have you had a child recently?”

“Not that I know of.”

“Aspirin poisoning?”


“Heat stroke.”

No response here because we’re both laughing so hard it’s silent besides gasps for air. This was on a day with negative temperatures.

All this to say, we don’t have many dull moments around here, and I will be very thoroughly assessed for heartbeats, lung sounds, and healthy lymph nodes (oh, yes, and the existence of my liver) this semester.


One thought on “Conversations with a nursing major

  1. Pingback: For Genovia | Wading in Words

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