Casting You In A Bad Way

, , | Healthy | January 15, 2019

(When I was younger, I kept breaking my arms and legs. This takes place during that period. I think that I was about six years old. I break my right leg during gym class and go to the hospital with my parents. I go through the whole process of having doctors look disbelievingly at me, because surely my leg couldn’t be broken from such a minor fall; I have extremely brittle bones. However, the x-rays confirm that my leg is indeed broken and that I will need a cast. Right after the nurse has finished putting my cast on:)

Nurse: “All done. You can go to your own doctor in six weeks to have the cast removed.”

Me: *looking at my mum* “Mum, why is it my other leg that hurts?”

(The nurse had put the cast on the wrong leg! I can’t really blame her though. it was pretty late, and she was probably tired and overworked. I was tired, too. That is probably why I didn’t speak up about it being the wrong leg sooner.)

Can’t Nurse That Gender Stereotype

, , , , | Healthy | January 14, 2019

(In Slovenia, as elsewhere, the schools to become a doctor or a nurse are different; medical faculty to become a doctor and faculty of health sciences to become a nurse and other health-related professions. I am a woman, studying to become a doctor and attending medical faculty, wearing a badge saying so when in a hospital. I can’t explain how much every time I have this conversation stresses me out.)

Patient: *always a male, sees the badge* “Oh, so you are still in school?”

Me: “Oh, yes, I’m close to finishing medicine actually.”

(We usually use “medicine” instead of “medical faculty”.)

Patient: “So you’re going to be a nurse soon?”

(Or:)

Random Person: *after finding out I’m still a student* “So what are you studying?”

Me: “Medicine, close to being done actually!”

Random Person: “Oh, so why do you want to be a nurse?”

(This always happens with men. Never women. It’s happened to me over twenty times already and I hear the same stories from other female students. I usually try to gently correct them and most are genuinely confused, but you can imagine how the conversation continues with those that are convinced women should only be nurses.)

Scarred By Your Parents

, , , , , | Healthy | February 23, 2018

(I’m a nurse. I’ve been assigned to a young girl who just had emergency surgery to save her life. She has a long incision down her stomach, which will end up as a scar. Her parents come to me about a week after the surgery, but before the wound has closed or the staples have been removed, clearly upset.)

Father: “When are we going to talk about reducing that scar?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but your daughter has barely started to heal. Let’s get her healthy before we worry about appearances.”

Father: “Excuse me? It’s bad enough she has [large birthmark]; now you’re going to add this, too?”

Mother: “What about covering it in Vitamin E oil?”

Me: “Ma’am, right now we’re worried about infections and how well she’s healing. We can talk about—”

Father: “No! You will fix her now!”

(I made up something about talking to the doctor about it and left. I truly pity this child, if that was their concern.)

You Need The Nurses To Come Back

, , , , | Healthy | February 21, 2018

(My husband is admitted to the local Veterans Administration hospital for heart problems. After hours in the ER, he finally gets a bed on the ward. His nurse comes in to introduce himself, check my husband’s vitals, retake history, and so on.)

Nurse: “Is there anything else I can get for you, sir?”

Me: *knowing what’s coming, I silently plead* “Oh, no… Not again.”

Husband: “Yes. Two weeks vacation, a raise, some sanity, and winning lottery tickets, please.”

Nurse: *dryly* “Sorry, sir. You’ll have to see the Travel and Disbursement clerk for those.”

(My husband has been replying that to ANYONE who asks him if they can get him anything — waitstaff, clerks, medical personnel, etc. — for the entire 30 years I have known him. This is the first time I have heard a really good comeback.)

Bag That One For Later

, , , , , , | Healthy | February 20, 2018

(Both the flu and a stomach bug have been going around my sister’s school and about a quarter of the population ends up sick. She ends up going to her nurse with the stomach bug after throwing up in the hallway, and my dad has just come to pick her up.)

Nurse: “Here’s a bag for the car ride home, in case you have to throw up again.”

(A random kid runs in from the hallway, grabs the bag from her hands, and throws up in it.)

Nurse: “Okay, I’ll get you another bag and throw this one away.”

(This repeated two more times with another student who was already in the nurse’s office and one of the history teachers, before my sister finally got her own bag to go home with. We’re all surprised they didn’t just quarantine the entire school at that point.)

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