" May I have a word?"
This phrase seems such an innocent one doesn't it? But when a patient's next of kin says it with her head around your office door, you know that something awkward is about to happen.
I motioned for the relative to come into my office and I got up and closed the door.
"What can I do for you" I said in my best charge nurse voice
The woman was in her fifties , well dressed and confident
" I'd like to see if we can change my husband's primary nurse?" the woman stated, a polite smile on her face.
Now her husband, had been only recently admitted to the ward following spinal surgery and unlike most of the patients on the Ward he had the luxury of walking out of the unit on his own two legs.
His allocated nurse was an experienced gentle Filipino nurse called Stan.
Stan was as camp as Christmas.
The relative cut to the chase immediately
"my husband feels somewhat uncomfortable having such a flamboyant carer" she said bluntly
I smiled a big smile
A BIG BIG FALSE smile
My reply went something like this
" Your husband has been allocated a talented , well experienced nurse to over see his care, , he has been admitted to a centre of excellence and has even been given a room of his own. We have a long waiting list for admissions here and your husband got a bed without too many problems,
I'm sorry I'm not changing any of his nursing care"
I was shaking like a leaf inside
But ..........it felt........ Soooooooo goooooooood