Friday, 25 May 2018

Camp


" 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

67 comments:

  1. Some folk are just pricks, they can't help it, they just are!
    A woman who I had dealt with many, many times over twenty odd years, and had always had a good relationship with, discovered that I'm an atheist, and from then on refused to even speak to me!
    She can't help being an ignorant bigot I suppose! X

    ReplyDelete
  2. Of course you felt good. As you should.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Is that what is known as customer care?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent.....nursing care

      Delete
    2. I just read this again (3rd)time and I loved it even more.

      Delete
  4. My father spent most of his life pretending to be a racist, then he was assigned an African male nurse during his last weeks on Earth - the same nurse who cared for my mother before she died. He was called 'Christian' and my father ended up loving him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved this comment and this blog was sparked by your post when you stood up to that policeman.
      I could have handled the whole Meeting differently , and other similar meetings about " personality clashes" between patients relatives and staff I did certainly did deal with differently. But I was glad the interaction went as it did

      Delete
  5. I love the story but I was under the impression any patient could ask for and expect a change of care giver without even offering a reason?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps in Australia, but not here?

      Delete
    2. Kylie is right, but I think it is always vital to explore just why the change was requested . In this case I felt it right to shut the conversation down and I was quite prepared to " suffer" any consequences for doing so.

      Delete
  6. I had to stand up to someone last week. I was so angry and shaking but I said my words with dignity.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I bet that shut her up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't really remember the rest of the conversation but I know it continued albeit in a sort of polite " everything else unsaid" kind of way

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. I loved me a little more after the meeting too x

      Delete
  9. I thought she put forth her request respectfully. I thought hers was a reasonable request. I don't get it. Its something i would ask for if i didn't think the nurse was a good fit... I guess i would think that my right ....Hugs! deb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the sub text of homophobia was clear

      Delete
    2. I agree John... plus being assigned a nurse is not a dating service! If the nurse performs medically correct services, that should be all that is considered. The sex of the nurse/age/color or sexual preference is not important!!

      Delete
    3. Wow, speaking as a resident of the US, I'm gob-smacked by comments that assert the right to approve of one's "fit" with a care-taker.
      I guess I'm glad that those who live in more civilized countries than I do don't all know how incredibly grateful they should be for the health care they are given.
      But mostly, I just wonder if you are insane. Has it occurred to you that the unit has a schedule to keep of assigned nurses? It's not like firing the parlour-maid because you think she's a little too appealing to the males in the house.
      Okay, I just read down a little further to John's comment about the relationships helpful to rehab...But I still am astonished at such a request, unless the nurse is in some way actively damaging the patient.

      Delete
  10. Well done. A good slap would have worked wonders too!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good for you! It's a hospital, not a hotel! Be thankful you're getting excellent care! Nurses are overworked and stretched thin as it is, delivering the best care in a challenging, demanding environment, saving lives and keeping people alive, regardless of their own personal feelings, or the attitudes and the discriminatory behavior and ignorance of the people they are treating!


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deb
      ( above) does have a valid point, and some nurse/ patient fits don't always work.
      In most of those situations I would have looked into the dynamics of the rehab relationships.
      I just thought the subtext in this case was rather clear

      Delete
  12. Good for you.

    Maybe the husband was uncomfortable because he might have been a little "campy" too?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Good for you. I know that feeling of being authoritative on the outside but shaking like a leaf on the inside ... I once had to order a lad high on heroin to strip off ... it's a long story 😉

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:50 pm

      Sue your secret is safe with us, Allan need never know. (Or Ken).lol

      Delete
  14. While I agree it could be offensive, not knowing exactly what happened to make her husband uncomfortable , but I worked for a few years, way back when, in a Rehab Hospital .. No request or complaint or fuss was discounted or ignored or belittled.
    These were vibrant healthy men who had suddenly for a variety of reasons, lost their legs, their total way of life as they knew it ... so whatever companies or fuss they had ... it was seen to and respected . A patient should not be judged at a time like that ..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That should be no matter what 'complaints'

      Delete
  15. Good one John . . .

    ReplyDelete
  16. I once was a supervisor in hospital admissions when I got a call. It seems the patient being admitted (to one of the three huge suites in our small hospital), an uppity old bitch well-known in town, didn't want a COLORED GIRL talking to her. I told her she could choose between her or me, a Mexican. I said, 'either way, you won't be talking to anyone lily white for quite some time.' She harrumphed and let the admission progress....though I stood right there and shot daggers from my eyes.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Gee...you couldn't have found some old battle axe to look after him? He would have deserved it.

    ReplyDelete
  18. All of the little battles add up to the winning of the war, you know.
    Yes. You know.
    Good on you, John Gray.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Sad post and comments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    4. I am not being pulled into an unpleasant debate

      Delete
    5. What was unpleasant? I agreed with Rachel. I hope for all the right reasons. Alas, I had no chance to read either her or your reply.

      U

      Delete
    6. I apologise. However, I am sorry you deleted the comments but I still think it was sad, and further sad that you deleted my reply. I see Ursula has beaten me to it coming back here.

      Delete
    7. Sometimes you have to remember that this is a blog, not a forum.

      Delete
    8. Who are you speaking to? The comment that John deleted was me explaining what I meant in my very short original comment.

      Delete
    9. Rachel, hi. Sue made an interesting point re difference between blogs and forums. Though I have no idea what that might be, bar technicalities. From what I gather, having done a little bit of online "research", forums actively invite discussions, diverse opinions; whereas, or so it appears, (some) blogs don't. I'll pick up on the subject on my blog sometime in the next few days. Hope you'll join me then, with your own opinion on and experience of blogging - the good, the bad, the ugly, the funny and the downright ridiculous.

      U

      Delete
  20. You did well girlfriend. Mother is back in hospital and looking forward to catching up with her handsome long haired Flip nurse. I wouldn't mind catching up with him either. He is just so delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  21. When my unconscious mother was to be transported to the hospital for the last time, the ambulance attendants were large, dark (maybe Samoan) men. My father (a bigot of the first order)asked for a different crew for her. The doctor was present and told my father that NO change would be made. I was so happy my father wasn’t accomodated.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Nothing false about that.

    ReplyDelete
  23. When I worked in Hospitals decades ago - it was always the 'camp' nurses and wardsmen who did their job thoroughly with a great sense of humour. They were par to none.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  24. You said the right thing.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Well said you. I hope these days will be well and truly in the past before too long.

    ReplyDelete
  26. How often the phrase "feeling uncomfortable" is followed by some sort of blatant prejudice....

    ReplyDelete
  27. good for you for not caving to her intolerance. perhaps they had a learning experience.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Heh, heh. I would have loved to have seen her expression.

    My mother was about to be sent the OR for a twisted small intestine when my dad met the Indian surgeon. Dad checked her out and rescheduled the surgery for the next day. Prejudice?

    ReplyDelete
  29. All the nurses (and doctors) we've had contact with lately - and there have been quite a lot of them - have been unfailingly courteous, polite, friendly, helpful and kind. Regardless of their sex/colour/age/orientation (I wouldn't know or care about that). Our NHS, despite being under enormous pressures, is brilliant and we have no complaints at all. Good on you John, especially if you were quaking in your boots, prejudice should not be tolerated.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Personality conflict is one thing, but any kind of prejudice is not. It sounds like you handled it calmly and professionally, although if it was me I'd have been boiling with rage inside!

    ReplyDelete
  31. How those times we must suck it up and dole it out remain with us.

    ReplyDelete
  32. It doesn’t matter what colour your skin is , what gender , whether you are married , single , fancy free ....... or whatever .....all that matters is that you treat your patient with dignity , empathy and respect .

    ReplyDelete
  33. Spot on John- ridiculous woman x

    ReplyDelete
  34. My grandmother used to be incredibly racist [and quite vocal about it too]. Then she had cancer and had black nurses. Once she'd got to know them and realised that we're all just humans she did a complete about turn thank goodness. Arilx

    ReplyDelete
  35. Oh my goodness I can relate. My adopted son is very flamboyant and wears makeup and heels although to me he just seems exactly himself. One day one of the women who works at a neighbouring business told me that she didn't really care to be served by him. I took great delight in claiming him as my son and that shut her up! Most of the dear old ducks who come in adore him - he gives excellent customer service and treats them all like the most important person in the world, and they often comment that they miss him when he isn't there.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Good for you & well said!

    ReplyDelete
  37. I love this post.

    LX

    ReplyDelete
  38. Great article..I am looking so forward to your blogcomment and
    I love your page on your post.. That is so pretty..
    ดูหนัง

    ReplyDelete

I love all comments Except abusive ones from arseholes