Saturday, 17 March 2012

All sorts of nursey stuff...

When I spotted this "link up"...... I knew I had to join Anna and Renee as I have so many "Memories of a New Nurse". (I have oh-so-many!).

Me (on Right) ... Graduation Day!!
Me... innocent nursing in the nurses home
I completed my nursing training in 1996 before it was offered as a degree up here in Northland.  So I graduated with a Diploma of Comprehensive Nursing, and then after a year out, they offered the degree progamme, so I did a "bridging" year and came out with a Bachelor of Health Science degree, with a Nursing focus.

These are the "dome front" uniforms!
Anyway back when I was first "let loose" on the general public, and was a "REAL" nurse in an acute Medical ward, I was keen to get in there, eager to learn, and desperate to get some real working stains on my horrible white nurses uniform (this was before scrubs were standard....)... the kind that you just HAD to wear a petticoat under as they were so darn see-through!  They had pathetic little domes that ran from your neck to your the full length of the dress.   They were terrible when patients were in a panic, or were unsteady and "grabby"... or had dementia.  Why?  Because one good grab and tug and they were off you in the same fashion as those stripper guys who whip off their trousers with one good yank!! (Not that I've seen this in person *innocent face*....but I have seen the Full Monty and such haha).
yay scrubs!

Yes...God Bless the person who thought scrubs would be a great way to go!

Another memory as a new Grad, is when I had a patient who died.  So I talked away to her as I prepped her and got her ready to go off to the Mortuary.  Everyone was busy, so I didn't have a hand to wash her etc.  I needed to roll her towards me slightly, just to get her dressed etc.. however as I leant over her and then pulled her to me, the scariest sound escaped her mouth...  (well in hindsight it wasn't REALLY scary... it was just air being expelled .... but at that time it was the scariest thing ever!!) and I got such a fright that I let go of her, and thankfully...never dropped her off the bed!  Man oh man.... I'll never forget that!

I remember the first time I ever had to "sift out" a patients dentures from a bowl full of vomit.....  yummy! Now I have a pretty strong stomach, but that almost had me gagging.... lol

I remember being absolutely stumped when a patient was going on about needing a hand to wash "Nancy"...... I was beginning to think she must be going a bit "doo-lally"..... until she motioned and pointed "down there"........(yeah yeah YOU know where!!)....  I have to admit that was the one and only time EVER , that I've heard that part of a womans anatomy referred to as a "Nancy"....................... LMAO!

I remember being horrified that I was SERIOUSLY going to have to go in and tell my patient (who I have to tell you was a very LARGE and HAIRY member of one of New Zealands most notorious gangs!!!)... that I was going to have to shave his perineal/anal area prior to his hemorrhoidectomy.  (I was filling in at a private hospital at the time.........and so... they didn't have the usual razors that we used at Base Hospital...they had flash fandango blimmen electric shavers....  )  So... I just bit the bullet and entered the room where this guy and his wife were waiting.... I held up the shaver turned it on so it was humming... and sung "guess who's gonna have a shaving now?? You are .. You are... "  Well... his wife collapsed with laughter, and although he went from his usual brown complexion to pale white.....he managed a half-hearted smile!!.  I learnt that day that sometimes (with some people) comedy and laughter helps a GREAT deal!!  While I was "doing the job at hand" he managed a bit of humour himself and said... "Hey...bonus is, if you slip or stuff up.... I won't need to go to would have done the surgery for me!!"  hahaha... whew... was I glad to get that over with!   ;)

One of my "not so nice" memories, is when I first started on a new ward placement, just before graduating, and I happened to be on with "Hell RN" (she had a reputation).  She had been there years... knew her stuff, was a good RN etc.. however she absolutely HATED having Students or new grads on during "her shifts"  (another thing she was known for).  Anyway this particular shift, I was having trouble working out some readings on the bladder scanner, and she happened to pass by , so I asked her if she could come and just give me a little help......................... All hell broke loose!
She told me point blank what she thought of anyone who was new to "her ward" and continually "asked questions" and "held her up from her patients"........... it just went on and on.... I think I was on the brink of tears, but I held my ground.  As she turned to walk out of the room...I said..... "Hey....... Hey.. come back here".  (I was NOT going to cry in front of this cow!).... I just went for it..  "Nurses like YOU are the reason new nurses make mistakes.  You scare the crap out of them, you're nasty and nothing but a bully....  (Man .. I was on a roll and I was gonna just go for it and take the bollocking when I had finished). .... I am NOT going to be intimidated by you, just because you are an expert RN, I am going to continue to ask questions and LEARN....... I want to be SAFE so I ask Questions.  (and for my Finale)... YOU were a new grad sometime..... I hope nobody treated YOU like crap, and I know that when I am experienced, I am going to make a pact to nurture and train and teach new students and new Grads, and even other junior RNs, because we should look after each other!"  and I was so fired up at that stage that there was not a tear in sight, and I could have taken on the world!!!    I marched up the corridor.... and then thought.. "Oh darn... I forgot the bladder I have to go back in the room...arrrghhh!!!"   hahahahahaha...
Well do you know...that "cow" of an RN softened... she became approachable.... and after a year or so, we actually became really good friends.  Neither of us spoke of the incident ever again though!! hahaha.

Anyway....I have tons of memories, but I will leave it there as it's 2.04am and I need to get some rest, have a big gig tomorrow night, so I won't be getting much sleep then!! ;)


  1. Juanita!! I love this post! :) Thank you so much for linking up. I think the linky tool we used is also down at the moment so whenever it comes back up I'll go ahead and link your post for you. Your pictures to go along with the stories are priceless!! I love finding new nurse bloggers! I think Anna and I are going to make this a monthly link up on the first Tuesday of each month and I hope you'll join in!

    And I noticed you don't have your email attached to your blogger account so people can reply to your comments... here is a link that is simple and shows you how to add it!

    1. thanks for that.. will go and try top change it now!

  2. WOW, you calling that nurse out? hardcore! I would've never had the guts to do that as a student! haha, the shaving bit made me laugh. :) I'm going to have to do that next time I go in to prep a patient for the cath lab.
    (Thanks for linking up!)

  3. for obvious reasons I like this post. scubs make me look fat!

    1. Not even ow!! You would look gorgeous in your scrubs....come on I reckon you should link in with your stories... :) xx

  4. Bahahaha!!! These are Hilarious!!! I must say, im so proud of you for sticking up to your 'nasty nurse'!! I wish i'd been that brave!!! Looking forward to seeing next months link up!!! :)

  5. Nurses are so amazing! We just had the best nurses in Auckland hospital oncology ward, they were so gentle/ nice/ helpful/ smiley. It made the whole experience so much easier for my Mom.

    1. Oh I'm glad you had a good experience ;) When I used to have Chemo at Auckland hospital I too have FANTASTIC nurses, that's the reason I chose nursing as a career when I was well enough to study!! ;) xx

  6. Hahahaha. i saw "nursery stuff" in your heading.....

    gosh, that RN was a pain in the arse..... until you gave her a kick up the arse. Hahahaha.

    arse is not a bad word, is it?

    Great nursey stories - do you know though, that you have the best eyes ever!!?? (adhd maybe my middle name.)

    1. Hahaha... no Arse is an anatomical word isn't it??lol not at all bad!! hahah.

      Aww thanks for the "eyes" comment! (They're my very own!) xx

  7. Oh I loooooved that story about you and the scary RN nurse!! Would have loved to be a fly on the wall that day!

    1. Oh man... she was scary but I thought... "No way man! you need to pull your head in!" ((I was terrified when I did it though...))

  8. Your stories remind why I became the teacher and my two sister did the "nursy" thing. xx Lucky there are lovely peeps like yourself to take care of sick ones. xx

  9. hahaha, wow, what a crazy job nursing is!
    Good on you for taking on the scary RN - put her in her place, aye?? So right in everything you said, too.
    I used to flat with a nurse and she used to always gross us out with her terrible nursey stories... cast iron stomachs, that's what you nurses seem to have!!
    Great post Neetz!


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