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Unfiltered Story #258886

, , | Unfiltered | May 22, 2022

For a little background: at the time of this story I was a 22 year old female, five foot two inches on my tiptoes, and medically obese, which caused a whole host of mental issues. I wasn’t horrifically overweight, but I was a size 14/16UK. I was a Theatre Healthcare Assistant at my local hospital. These theatres handled elective operations, both inpatient stays and day cases. There are two theatres in the building. One down at the far end of the hospital, solely for day case surgeries, and one up on the second floor for elective and day case.

Because it was around Christmastime, and I was scheduled to work on the theatre reception at that time, it fell to me to decorate the staff room, and install and decorate the artificial tree in the foyer. As I said, I was tiny, and this five foot tree was fighting to outgrow me as I decorated it, I swear. Due to the size and weight of it, I couldn’t lift it up to decorate the bottomed, then the top, and then lift it into place.

So I sat on the floor to decorate the lower portions.

Now, it should be mentioned that I have had this job for almost a year now, having transferred from another local hospital, where the surgeons know me. Those who I just met in this hospital also know me, and I’ve never had any problems with any of them, bar one orthopedic surgeon, but that’s neither here nor there.

So, I’m sitting in this high traffic area, for staff and patients alike, trying to brighten the place up. I kneel and lean to fix a bauble on the branch when I hear a voice behind me say:

???: “You know, you look so sexy on your hands and knees like that.”

I’m shocked for three reasons. One, I didn’t know there was anyone behind me. Two, the comment itself made my skin feel cold and icky. Three, I didn’t recognise the voice.

No one gains access to the department without an electronic keycard, or by being escorted on by a staff member. Which means this was a staff member.

I turn around and immediately recognise today’s attending gynaecological registrar. A man who spends his day around women in a vulnerable state.

Naturally, I’m in a state of shock, and don’t get chance to report this to my line manager before she leaves. This is the first thing I do the following Monday, and I input a clinical complaint report.

Almost immediately, I receive an email from the Head of Gynaecological Services across the whole hospital trust, ensuring it will be looked into, asking if I had a good support network, and ensuring he would help in any way he could if i needed it. This same surgeon had offered to put on a self defence lecture for the nurses so we would be safe on nights, wherever we were.

Nothing came from the investigation, but that personal email that apologised for the event, and offered me a lifeline if i needed it has always stuck with me. I still have the email, to remind me that not all humanity is bad, and not all surgeons have bad bedside manner.

And that some, just some, surgeons don’t just care about the patient. Or the nurse. But even the little people that barely blip on the radar. [Surgeon] wherever you are, I hope you get every blessing.

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