Wednesday, August 17, 2005

How Half the World Doth Conspire Against Me!*

It was a long week this week. Even though I got an unexpected day off, even though the patients were fairly easy. Only a few seizures, one stat CT, one no-code death.

"I won't take that patient" announced Joe. "She's bleeding. I can't stand the smell of menstrual blood."

"I won't start a Foley on her." said James. "I don't start Foleys on women."

"I don't understand why the charge gave me a fifth patient." said Vincent. "I already had four patients."

Joseph, you don't get to choose. James, I've started Foleys on your female patients for three years straight, now. Vinny, it might be because you're standing around, chatting up the internal med residents, rather than doing your charting. The charge must think you're not busy, if you can yap at blondes in the middle of the morning.

Besides, Vinny, I was carrying six people at that point. Don't bitch.

I don't know if it's PMS, or just me, or some weird concantenation of the moon and the planet Saturn, but I have NOT gotten along with the guys I work with this week. Usually, with the women, it's a short, quick, ugly bitchfest. They start it, I finish it. (I don't do the passive-aggressive thing; it annoys me.) But with the guys I work with, it goes on and on and on and on....

Case in point: I got waved off today because we were overstaffed. Male Charge Nurse says, when he calls me, "Hang around, because I might need you later." (Note: he does this every single time, to every single nurse.)

Me: "No. I am not getting paid to be on call. You either call me in now, or you call me off now. There will be none of this 'Jo, I want you to drive thirty miles through unforgiving traffic to save me from having to take a patient myself.'"

Him: "Well, I can't tell if I'll need you."

Me: "Every other charge nurse can tell. I'm going to turn off my phone and start drinking now. Have a nice day."

Or this, from an online magazine for male nurses: the female respondent to the post points out, quite reasonably, that her brother asks her for help in computer problems....then she gets accused of flaming other posters.

Guys, I love working with you. I'm thankful for your muscle when I need to move a 300-lb patient. I'm proud of your diagnostic skills and thrilled when you're able to get an emotionally traumatized patient to open up. I like having the perspective of men on the floor. I like being able to trade assignments when it turns out that the middle-aged, middle-eastern man I've been assigned to won't allow a woman to examine him. If I can't personhandle a traction setup off the end of a bed, you'll be the first ones I call to unscrew things.

But please. I don't make you bathe the stinky fifty-year-old homeless guys that come in, because I "don't do" stink. I start Foley catheters on men and women both. And I don't chat up the residents. To put it bluntly, I've carried two and three patients when I've charged, and six and seven when I haven't.
Don't make me kill you, boys.

*To be fair, this seems to be a problem only at my facility. The men I work with are whiny, a condition not seen in most male nurses. Which leads me to ask, What UP With That, Dawg?


shrimplate said...

Sometimes I think that as a male nurse I have better luck catheterizing females, more so than many women nurses. After all, over the course of my life I've probably looked around down there more than most women nurses. Not that I'm proud or anything.

One must have gratitude for one's good fortune.

Anonymous said...

TeeHee Where I trained, in NYC, the female nurses were not allowed to catheterize male patients. But, apparently, we female residents didn't have to have *our* virtue protected thusly. (For real, & not just my hospital. My dear friend never had to catheterize a male until she moved to the left coast - not that it's too difficult.)

Neither did I have anyone protect my virtue while doing intimate exams on male patients. And yet, I had to stand guard when my male partners did pelvics. (At least they didn't ask me to do THAT for them!!!)