Nurse Matty
Balancing life as a nurse and a TikToker
By Klein Aleardi

When many people get home from an 8-hour nursing shift, they might make some dinner or stop by the gym or say hi to their pets, but for Matthew Andrews, that’s just the beginning of his post-work routine.  

Matthew Andrews

The Ocean City native also makes videos for his 800,000 TikTok followers to entertain – and sometimes educate – as he navigates life as a nurse, an aspiring actor and a bit of a perfectionist. Andrews gave us a behind-the-camera look at how he got here and what he has planned for the future. 

Q: When did you start posting on TikTok?

I had just started working in the hospital, and Covid happened, and we were home a lot because we were in New York at the time. I had a lot of free time, because I would have 3 12-hour shifts and on my time off, my fiancée (at the time, girlfriend) suggested I try TikTok. Back then, it was a lot of people doing trends over and over again, so that’s what I did. I think my first video was with her cat, just a little joke. Maybe to a Jonas Brothers song. It was fun to do. 

Q: And people clearly loved it… 

Yeah, I would do the videos when I got home from work, so I was in my scrubs. And they just took off. I think one video had over 300,000 views and then in like 2 nights I was up to 100,000 followers. It just kept climbing and climbing. And then I didn’t want to let people down, so I was like, I need to post consecutively. At that time, there was a lot of chaos and people didn’t know what was going on, so it was a nice relief. It became not only a creative outlet but something that I liked to do after work. Sometimes I would even film before work. 

Q: Before work? As in, before a nursing shift?

It took my mind off what was going on at the time. I’m a bit of a perfectionist at times, so I would film the TikTok over and over again until I thought it was perfect. And sometimes I wouldn’t even post it. I would make a video, it would take me hours, and I wouldn’t even post it because I was afraid it wasn’t good enough. 

Q: Which are your favorite videos to make? 

I do a lot of clothing outfit transitions, those are probably my favorite. The one I’m most proud of is a transition that’s with a Megan Trainor song. I took a lot of time to make sure that I was standing in the right spot. And you know, it’s a good song. In the very beginning, I’ll be honest, every couple TikToks was a thirst trap, but I’ve kind of transitioned to where I am today. I do trends, but I also try and make them more nurse-content related. 

Q: When did you decide to become a nurse?

I broke my hip in high school, and it was amazing to me the process of going through rehabilitation and having someone to help and care for you and getting you back to your normal – as close to your normal – as possible to make your situation the best it can be. 

Q: What would you say is the biggest misconception about nursing?

The biggest misconception – I don’t run into it a lot in person, but I usually see it on social media – is a lot of people will comment that all nurses really do is clean up people. People leave that comment on TikTok quite often. And they talk about bed baths. They’ll be like, “Oh, you can give me a bed bath anytime” or “You can take care of me.” There’s so much more scope of practice to a registered nurse. For me, for instance, I start IVs all day. I have to access veins, give antibiotics, antivirals, we asses patients, we communicate with the doctors. 

Q: And you’re starting to do some acting now, right?

The commercial and acting process has been fairly new. A lot of times I do self tapes right here in my home, and I submit that either to my agent or directly to the casting company. It’s the waiting game. But every time it’s different. Anytime I go to a set, I’ll be watching the whole time, ask questions of the videographer, the directors, everybody, as much as I can – when it’s appropriate. It’s a great learning experience, and I’m growing each time. 

Q: Did you always want to act?

Around 2010 or 2011, I did go to New York and signed with a smaller agency. I did a couple auditions, the first thing I ever booked was the movie “After Earth,” with Jaden and Will Smith. 

Originally, I was just supposed to be a background person, but one of the stand-in actors couldn’t come in and they asked, “Hey, who wants to step up?” I raised my hand. M. Night Shyamalan was directing, and I spoke with him. He gave me a nickname. And I was just like, wow, I am in love with this whole process. So I tried for a bit, but the percentage of people that actually make it is so small, and I kind of took a step back and moved on with my life. Then I moved to Florida, my Instagram reels started taking off as well, and with all that growth, it kind of kicked back around, and I was like, “Wow, I’m back in it.” 

Q: What is it like working with brands?

I haven’t done too many brand deals, but I’m starting to get more. Everything I do on my social media is as real as I possibly can be. I wouldn’t post something about a brand that isn’t true to me. I’ve actually turned down things just because it would be a lie. There’s a lot of back and forth. I’m signed with Wilhelmina, so my agent follows up with questions to see if it’s legitimate. It’s really great to have people who will go to bat for you. That know what to say in terms of working with casting directors and producers. 

Q: Do you have advice for anyone who wants to pursue any of these career paths?

If it’s your passion and it’s something you see yourself doing not just every other day, not just one day a week, but it’s something you’re passionate about and it makes you happy, then continue to move forward in some aspect that pushes you closer to that goal, even if you’re doing something a little bit at a time. It’s good to have support. I always thank my family, my fiancée, my friends, as well as my followers and people who support me.  

March 2024
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