Small but Terrible — Nurses… Does Height Matter??

Does height matter?

When I was about to enter college life, I was asked by the admitting officer in the Nursing Department what my height was. Of all questions, this was the least I was prepared for because I was really ready for any questions regarding any  subject or related to my grades when I was in high school.  I told her I was not sure if it was 4’11 or 5′ feet tall. He asked me to stand next to the electric stand fan, and it was good I was taller than the fan so I made it into that University.  Since then, I graduated and passed the board exam but still, questions lingered on if I can do the work as a Nurse because of being small,  saying “WHAT if” my patients soon are large foreigners?.

Now, I have been a nurse for more than 4 years and I’m proud to say that height indeed doesn’t matter.  My co-workers really appreciate the things I can do despite being  “cute in height”.  If someone says to me “you’re too small”,  I reply:  “no, I’m not! you just seem taller than me.”

In emergency cases in the hospital, I can quickly find my way  in or out especially when the space was too crowded.  I’m very flexible in many ways, I can run as fast as I can and can lead my co-nurses in difficult situations.  With my height, I can make someone happy especially when my patient is geriatric, since they see me as a little cutie nurse.

Yes! I’m small– but I’m Terrible!

© 2011, Filipino Nurses. All rights reserved. DISCLAIMER: The accuracy of all articles contained in this website are the responsibility of their respective authors. All articles are for informational purposes only and are NOT intended to replace the advice of a doctor. The owner of this site disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on these information. If you have any health-related questions, please consult your physician. If you feel ill, please seek medical attention immediately.

Other posts you may be interested in:

About Filipino Nurses Community 216 Articles
This article was submitted by the Filipino Nurses community. All articles are views of their respective authors and not necessarily of Filipino Nurses'. All commentaries, letters or opinions submitted by the Filipino Nurses community are presented here unedited, except for formatting and minor typographical corrections.
  • katkat G

    “you’re too small”, I reply: “no, I’m not! you just seem taller than me.”

    nyahahha nice one 🙂
    miss cute in height 🙂

  • Scott Dean

    Having been a patient in n ICU with “small” nurses (I’m a big guy) it doesn’t matter for squat how tall he or she is; can he or she make me feel better is the important aspect to me. And thank you to the “small” nurses who did make me feel better.

  • P______

    I’m also small…
    Most of the instructors told me that height is might in nursing…
    But that doesn’t discourage me…
    Instead I set it as a challenge…
    And told myself….
    “I’m small but I walk tall”…….
    (It is said by a speaker of one of the seminars I attended, she’s also small but well motivated by her height)

  • regie

    I never really understood much about the height requirement in some universities, as if this will adversely affect someone’s capacity to effectively work as a nurse, or a small person might have an impaired sense of judgement. My aunt who is a nurse is only 5’1″, but when she took her boards (many years ago) she ranked as one of the top 10 board passers. For two and a half decades now, she works in the US in ICU, PACU, and Telemetry Unit in a hospital with 600 bed capacity.

  • Johny

    height does matter, how can u reach the I.V stand? if u are small? how can u help turning patients to bed if u cannot reach them in the other side of the bed?

    • Kaye Gonzales

      I never experienced having problem with I.V, kahit saan mo siya i-puwesto o ibitin there’s a lot of resources you may find to help you =))., Kaya nga Nursing is an Art, maraming paraan kung panu mo reposition ang patient., kahit Q15 mo pa ang turning! =))

      • nudles shanghai

        im 4’8 and first time q ngvoluntir s hosptl..1st wik plng aq naupset tlga aq kc ndi q maabot ung iv tntawanan aq nung watcher ng patient…ndi q alm ggwin q…:( naiyak tlga aq s bhy pgdtng q…:(

        • Kaye Gonzales

          Hei Nudles.

          Cheer Up!! don’t be upset,. di ka nag-iisa, marami tayong nakakaranas ng ganyan.. take it as a challenge,. pagtawanan o murahin man tayo remember, kelangan nila tayo.. Next time na pagtawanan ka eh ipasuyo mo sa kanya na siya un maglagay nun IV… make them usefull too… Okey!!

    • Muffin

      It’s just a matter of using your common sense if you have one! Things were made to make use of it in a way you can adjust the way you want it. You don’t need to be the tallest nurse/ person, it is how you think on ways on how to deal in a certain type of situation.

      • nes

        i agree, i am 5’1 a nurse too. pag flexible ka walang prob sa pag-change ng IV or pag-check ng level. ano ginagawa ng knob ng stand to lower it or ng foot stool?lol! sa OR medyo nahirapan ako sometimes di ko makita ung pinapakita ng surgeon esp if marami kau surrounding the sister is shorter than me, 4’11 cguro but she’s a nurse din, from Saudi to UK, wala cyang prob with that.

  • h

    To Johnny,

    The height of IV poles can be adjusted. You can tilt it if the one you’re using doesn’t have any height adjustor. You can also used foot stools.

    How much height do you exactly have to have if you are just to grab your patient’s shoulder and bent leg towards you? You don’t need to reach to the ‘other side’ when you are turning your patients, unless the patient is on a queen size bed, which never happens.

    I’m 5’0 and I can perfectly reposition my 6’5″ patients on my own, thank you.

  • subzer0

    height doesn’t matter as long as you know how to not let your height matter when it comes to doing your job. “h” got it right. you can tilt the IV pole to one side if it doesn’t have an adjuster (I’m 5’3″ but there are still IV poles in existence that are just not friendly to us average Asians), and there is also a reason why we have been taught body mechanics in nursing school (we’re not supposed to reach from across the patient, remember?). 😉

  • Mr.Yoso

    It’s because I’m small it doesn’t mean I’m incompetent.

  • Muffin

    Height hasn’t been an issue for me. I’m only 4″11 but it doesn’t mean I can’t give quality care to my patient. There are many ways and techniques on how to care for “tall/big” patients, like proper lifting and manual handling without hurting your back. It’s a matter of how you use the available resources and how skilled and knowlegeable a person is. Don’t judge or underestimate small people, we can do more than what you think of.

  • cynthia yang-ed

    Before entering the college of nursing, we were given a questionnaire with almost 25 questions. All my answers passed except one…”we are sorry to disqualify you for the following reasons”…and that was my HEIGHT. Well, I didn’t lost hope, there are many schools of nursing .. but to my surprise, i saw one almost same as my height who was accepted… then i came to know she has “ninong”.

  • jessica

    very happy that I found this topic!! I am almost 5′ tall and wanna
    study to be a nurse in Australia. Height is one of my worry one. And it’s kept making me sorrow since highschool time. I was wonder how to deal with patients and co worker if I study in Australia. I dont know if the Western people does concern about the Height like Asian does or not!

    Thanks Kaye , you have given me inspiration and confident on what I want to do!
    I will try my best to study and become a motivate nurse as other small nurse do!!
    oh and one more matter, I am 31 and just started to study at university. Is it a problem if I will be graduated
    the age of 36??

    • Kaye

      hi jessica.. nothing to worry whatever age you’ll be graduate, your still young at age of 36. I remembered, i had a classmate before and at age of 54(she) and 47(He) they graduated. And take note they’d passed the board exam right after the graduation.. Just Remember, Nursing will take a lot of patient.. Learn it by heart.. GOODLUCK and GODBLESS!! go! go!

  • jessica

    thanks Kaya!! you have given full of inspiration now! I’ll try hard!! and I wonder if the study works are so hard for me or not!! my major was bussiness and I am Vietmamese! could you give me some study abt nursing class! such as home works or biology or chemistry for referent !!! thanks alot!!!
    my facebook : [email protected]. Or email me at: [email protected].
    very nice to add friends all! to know and exchange cultures as well as life living.