I’ve poked fun at all sorts of people demonstrating just how special the human race can be. What about nurses? We nurses are definitely not above the laws of nature. In order for there to be an average intelligence level, statistically there has to be 50% of people at or bellow average. I’ve had the pleasure of working with individuals who tow that line, and help me feel better about myself. We all have coworkers that constantly make us question, “How do they let you work here?” or “How have you survived as long as you have?” Let’s talk about some experiences I’ve had with fellow nurses that genuinely make me terrified to go to a hospital.
I once worked with a nurse for over two years that constantly made me question how he functioned as a member of society. This guy was 51 years old, and on the first day I met Larry, he told me about two “News” websites that, when compared with each other, could predict the future. I shit you not, this guy believe he could predict the future by gathering data from http://www.beforeitsnews.com and http://www.foxnews.com. Visit both of those sites and you’ll see why this guy was insane. I used to print out articles from The Onion, and post them in the staff bathroom to see what he would do. Sure enough, I’d hear him try to discuss how “new studies show owning 75 or more cats led to healthier lungs” as if we all didn’t use the same bathroom. He once tried to convince me that 9/11 was a distraction for the largest gold heist in history. Well I’ll be damned. I had no idea people were jumping out of burning buildings to distract the world while their buddies stole $500 million in German gold from the basement. But wait, there’s more! When he found out about the Libya bombings a while back, he left work with an “emergency.” Turns out he went to his bank, withdrew all his money, and buried it in his backyard. People trust this guy with their lives!
I worked with an ancient nurse named Helen a few years ago. Helen was old as balls. She was so old her younger sister had Alzheimer’s. Woman has outlived 3 husbands, 2 children, and 7 Presidents. The Berlin Wall was built when she was in her 30’s. This woman was so slow at her job she would try to tell the doctor about a patient finding, not realizing the patient had already been examined, treated, and discharged by other nurses because Helen took too long. There were several occasions where I would ask her if her patient was OK, and she responded, “I have a patient in that room?” What!? They’ve been in there for 2 hours! Can’t blame her too much though. She learned her nursing skills from Nightingale herself, so her Civil War practice was a little outdated. She once tried to educate me on how the Iron Lung works. Wait, what? Yep, the Iron Lung. You know, that thing they stuck Polio patients in so they could breathe. Come to find out the cure for Polio wasn’t invented until she was a teenager so I guess there’s that. I honestly have no idea why she was still employed in an ER. I guess she was good at empathizing with our old ass patients when they were dealing with broken hips, incontinence, and dead friends. I don’t know.
Judy was in her early 40’s when I worked with her. She had no idea how to insert a catheter in little girls. We’re taught this skill in our very first nursing class, people. Girls have two holes when you spread those Fish Flaps. One for babies, and one for pee pee. You’ve got a 50/50 shot at getting it right. Explain to me how she got it wrong 100% of the time! I once heard Judy tell a family member that the best thing to help their obese child’s constipation was a “couple greasy McDonalds cheeseburgers.” Tell you what Judes, the next time you have a thought, save yourself the embarrassment, and just let it go. Another time I watched her attempt to use an Ambu bag, only to notice the bag was never connected to the oxygen in the wall. That’s the equivalent of calling tech support for your TV without plugging it in first.
The moral of the story is nurses are far from perfect. As intelligent, caring, and sympathetic as I am, there’s bound to be someone way worse to balance the scales.