Don't Curse the Nurse!

Sharing support with stories & humor

Au Natural

on May 4, 2015

     “Your gown needs to be open in the back and right here is a belonging bag to put your clothes in. This blue cap… Whoa! Hold on. Let me pull the curtain and step out.”

The shirt is off and he has dropped his shorts while I was partially turned to him and pointing to the items on the bed.

     “Miss, let me just get my shoes off the floor here.”

I pulled the curtain closed a half a second before patient #2 walked by and saw my 7:00 am client from an incredibly unflattering perspective.

I don’t know what to make of the patients who see nothing unusual about disrobing before I draw the curtain. There doesn’t seem to be a thread indicating it’s a cultural thing, gender thing, or age thing. The closest I’ve come to is that it’s a surgery thing — the more surgeries they’ve had, the less they want to hear my “Welcome to Bay 4” speech.

It’s less than two minutes. It used to be three minutes long. I eliminated the “Have you had surgery here at _________ ___________ before?” I shortened the ‘It must have been difficult waking up at 4:00 am in order to get here” to “Did you sleep at all last night?”

Please understand, to me the human body is the human body. And yep, it’s true, nurses have seen a lot. But it doesn’t mean we care less about respecting privacy. And it doesn’t mean everyone in the pre-op area wants an impromptu peep show.

Word to new nurses:

Pre- op patients are rarely chatty and some don’t care about showing their wares.

Keep it short and sweet and think fast on your feet!


5 responses to “Au Natural

  1. Brooke says:

    Hahahaha, when I was in the secretary in the pre-op I had to do the speech. Yup, keep it short. I remember being at the nurses station and looking up and the gentleman in the pre-op bay in front of me had removed his blanket, and he wasn’t to shy about the way he was sitting in the bed. Some people just aren’t shy. lol

  2. Victo Dolore says:

    This sort of thing happens during physicals, too. I finish with the regular exam and tell them it is time for the gown for the pelvic and breast exam. Before the words are even out of my mouth some are standing there naked and I am rushing for the door calling, “open to the back” over my shoulder. I can’t figure it out either. There is never a clue to act as warning. :-/

  3. Yikes! I hate those gowns. I wish they could come up with a better design.

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