Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The day the ER nurses ganged up on me

I swear I was being good. Really, I was! Honest!

But still, they hunted me down and cornered me, like an angry, bloodthirsty pack of shewolves avenging the death of their young. Or something like that.

Tonight, during a ER shadowing shift, I was sitting unsuspectingly at a computer (I don't know how else to sit), looking up the difference between ringworm lesions and lyme disease target lesions. You know, minding my own business. I thought I heard some nurses off in the distance saying something like "student" or "medical student"... but I brushed it off and ignored it. I went back to my googling.

And then it happened.

I felt a massive shadow coming up behind me.

I turned around... in time to see half the ER nursing staff approaching me in a pack akin (great word) to a pack of shewolves (yes that word is worth the repeated reference).

I hadn't done anything wrong (other than written a certain blog post several weeks ago which shall remain unnamed here) but I figured I was screwed.

I felt like those folks must feel when the infamous Sumdude - a.k.a. 'some dude' - jumps them without warning, rhyme, or reason. By the way, for those who don't know, Sumdud is an emergency medicine phenom (another great word) documented by paramedics, respiratory therapists, nurses, and doctors alike.

Anyways, they surrounded me, towering over me - only because I was sitting down - and shone a light in my face. And thus they began their brainwashing session.

"Be nice to nurses!" they said. "Nurses know best." The skinny one in the back of the herd adjusted the giant, whirling spiral which I can only assume was meant to hypnotize me into oblivion. "And nurses love coffee - bring your nurses coffee."

I shifted uncomfortably. Their tactics were working. I was feeling their efforts to convince me were working. I nodded my agreement in an attempt to signal to them that the giant stainless steel probe they were holding just inches from my face wouldn't be necessary.

Okay, I was wrong about the light, the whirling spiral, and the probe. But a group of nurses did corral me today, and did tell me to be kind to nurses. They were mostly joking, but obviously there is a certain level of seriousness to their comments - I'd be dumb to assume that these nurses haven't been cruelly treated by a doctor at one time or another - though the doctors I was working with today were outstanding.

Fortunately I was able to explain to them the same thing I said in that other, previously mentioned but unnamed post, that I've been told all this already by my nursing friends and my nurse mother.

I wish this story had a more dramatic ending, but that was it, really; my comments seemed to appease them. The rabid pack broke apart, most of the nurses wandering off into the meds room, still laughing about their indoctrination method, and sharing stories of nursing back in the days when nurses used to stand up when doctors entered the room and mustard poultices and turpentine were common treatment methods, and I went back to my Tinea corporis and Borrelia burgdorferi.


Allen said...

You got off lightly.


?An 8 letter check? How much spam do you get?

Vitum Medicinus said...

Lightly, eh? Oh dear!

(Just deleted some today...)

Paramed said...

Unfortunately, nurses take all of that pent up aggression (from their "mistreatment") and take it out on everyone including doctors. Can't explain it, but it happens.

Anonymous said...

After seeing the picture associated with your post, I thought this was the story of you being smacked by some nutsy nurse using her stethoscope as a very, very dangerous weapon.. I'm glad for you it turned out differently :p

Excellent blog by the way, I've been lurking around for a while and have always appreciated the quality and the humor of your posts. Keep it up !!