Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Awkward moment #3 - Nursing school dropout

When I was 19 (yea like 10,000 years ago) I decided to go to nursing school. The LVN program was 12 months long and seemed like a great investment for my future, so I took the plunge. Would you believe an entire semester cost me $800!? Where did those days go!? Anyway, I'm veering ...

So the classroom part was seriously challenging, but the clinical rounds at the hospital were even more brutal. I had to "touch" people. Eww. OK, whew, I can do this, I thought. Let me just give you an example of what MY clinical experience was like.

The student nurses were assigned to patients at varying levels of health. One of mine was a 7-foot-2, 71-year-old man who could barely fit on the specially-sized bed made to fit his ginormous frame. He mumbled a lot and had a grocery list of complications. The cranky nurses didn't offer much help and just told me to go get acquainted with him and figure it out based on his preferences.

The old man looked pitiful. He didn't speak kindly and spat out orders like he was a drill Sergeant. But I did my job, determined to get a good grade. He made me feed him, first off. Then I had to shove a bed pan under him ... and empty the ocean of contents. At this point, I was ready to quit and become an accountant! But I kept going like a trooper.

Next, he demanded a bed bath. Oh great, this had become the longest day of my life. Do you have any idea how long it takes to bed-bathe a 7-foot man who can't move a muscle? You don't even want to know what happened at a "certain" point of this endeavor. At 71, let's just say this old bugger had fully functioning participles, and the white sheet that draped him soon became a tent. When he was all clean, dressed and tucked back in place, he called me back to his bedside. Oh lord, what now!

He reached his gargantuan hand out straight to my chest and grabbed my left breast and asked "what does this stripe on your uniform stand for?" I froze for a few seconds with his hand cupped onto my C-cup and wondered if I'd get arrested for knocking the shit out of him ... then I thought nahhh, that would probably require another bed pan fiasco. I gently shoved his hand back on his OWN chest, and explained it was just the style of our uniform and school colors.

Disgusted and demeaned after all that servitude, I called it a day and headed out to the nurses station to write up my notes in his chart.

I walked in on the nurses giggling and glaring at me. So I asked them what's so funny, because I sure needed a laugh after that experience. I even complimented them on being tough enough to withstand the tribulations of this line of work. With a friendly face, I waited for their response.

"You know, Mr. XYZ is fully mobile. ((hysterical laughter)) He can do EVERYTHING for himself."

Horror ...

Thanks for reading!

Stay tuned for Awkward moment #4 - "Indecent proposal"

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