Ok so I have worked in the healthcare field for 6 years now. I can't believe it has been that long.
If you ask any nurse most of us will answer that we are afraid to wear our uniform out. Some will say it is because they feel dirty, and others will say it is because they want to leave their work responsibilities at work and not have to worry about if someone passes out or codes (their heart stops beating) that they will be looked to have all the answers, for fear they could get in trouble.
In my case I am only the first of the two, I feel that if someone passes out or codes it is my duty to respond, and that I am protected by the Good Samaritan Law.
My biggest fear when wearing my scrubs out is, a lot more simple than that and I always give the same answer. I very seldom wear my scrubs anywhere other than work because I am afraid of the average Joe that will stop me and say, "Are you a nurse?" Those are the 4 words no nurse ever wants to hear at the grocery store.
And I cannot believe how many times it has been asked of me.
Some have said, "You know I have had this thing on my back for such and such number of months." I always stop them right there and say, "I really can't tell you what to do, you need to ask your doctor." And if you would believe it a few times they give me dirty looks or have even called me names.
A nurse is smarter than you think, but we are not allowed to diagnose you with anything and we sure as heck are not allowed to tell you to take medicine. We can only make suggestions.
So take my advice, if you have a doubt just go ask your doctor!