We aren’t all like that!
After two nurses mistook me for a Medic (of which I am very proud of, thank you very much) on an ambulance transfer a few weeks ago I am a bit more sensitive to the “Bitch Nurse” stereotype.
My bad nurse story?
I was attempting to suction a patient who was a non-emergency, low-aquity transfer from an outpatient cancer treatment office back to his long term care facility. This patient had thick gurgly sputum and needed his tracheosomy suctioned. The nurse who was with him all day from the LTC facility expressed her frustration regarding the difficulty in obtaining supplies at the office on a patient who she was told prior to transfer, “didn’t need suctioning.”
Sooo, as I approached the nurses station in the EMPTY office to ask for a suction catheter, the nurse, who was on the phone chatting, ignored me, “the medic,” completely. I just stood there and stared at her, amazed at her rudeness.
Sick of waiting, I ambushed another nurse who popped her head out of a closet as she was restocking. Could she find me a large bore suction catheter? Imagine my surprise when she was confused at my request. “You mean the kind to suction his trach?”
(No dip shit, I mean the one to clean out his colon! arrrrrrrrggggg)
She miraculously found me two. The largest one, of which there was only one left, she proceeded to not only open, but CONTAMINATE as we were walking towards the patient’s room.
Imagine my shocked voice as I stated, “That’s Sterile!”
“I know it is sterile! I only touched the gloves!” was her immediate and incorrect reply.
Okay, thank you for contaminating my only catheter which is about to be shoved into the lungs of my immune compromised, elderly, cancer patient who yes, indeed, has MRSA of the respiratory tract. She very quickly disappeared out of the room. God forbid she stick around and see if we needed any help.
With the patient suctioned, transferred to our stretcher and ready to go, we rolled out the door, LTC nurse in tow. After leaving the building, the two medics, nurse and I laughed about the evil looks we received upon our saying, “have a good night, thank you for the help.”
Out of curiosity, I asked the LTC nurse, who had been with the patient for 8 hours, what he was there being treated for.
“Well, I am not really sure. I wasn’t told in report. The ambulance driver did say on the way here that he had some kind of cancer, I just don’t remember where…”
Why would I think that a nurse would know a diagnosis of a patient she sat with for 8 hours? Jesus, I must be asking too much.
After dropping the patient off, I apologized to the incredible medics I was with.
It was the first time I was utterly embarrassed to be a nurse.
Believe it or not, we aren’t all like that.