Nursing Reality: You gotta be kidding me?

My previous job was as a urology nurse. Let me tell you that this specialty is not for the faint-hearted. There is a lot of responsibility that goes along with this profession. As the nurse, I not only ran the department, extremely proficient in my role - but a friend to those in need. We treated you more than a patient. I think that is especially important when you seek medical attention. How many times do we go into a medical facility and feel like we are just another charge that they bill our insurance for?

Because I felt this way in the past, I made sure not to make anyone else feel this way. People do not just want to see a Urologist; they get referred. I worked with a very caring doctor, and he and I complimented each other extremely well. There were times when he had to do a procedure, and I was there to comfort our patient during and after. When a patient trusts you, it makes it a lot easier for their cooperation. I am not going to lie, there have been some patients that were so rude, but we had to discern why they were acting that way. Most of the time it was fear.

This is where compassion comes in rather than anger. Someone can come in because they started to see a tinge of blood in their urine and think it is just a routine follow up, leaving to find out they have cancer. Some people come in thinking the worst, leaving with relief, knowing it was just their anxiety kicking into high gear. Some people come in to do a procedure leaving with great results while others are feeling so scared that they avoid it altogether. Unfortunately, my father was one of these people, and by the time he did see the doctor, it was too late. Maybe, this is why I am so passionate about reiterating how important it is to listen to your body. Your body is your first clue that something is going on. It is best to check it out early than to avoid and it being too late.

There are also some situations where I was astonished at the things I had seen. There was an elderly woman probably in her 80’s that came in with her granddaughters who cared for her. Seeing how the doctor I was working with was a male, I was brought in to do a visual. It took no more than 15 seconds for me to be mortified at what I had witnessed. When the doctor and I left the room, I asked, “What in the world was that?” He responded, “that was her bladder hanging outside her vagina”. I could not believe it. From then on, anything I saw did not surprise me.

Ever seen anything that made you cringe? What have you seen that made you change to a different specialty? What have you seen that reiterated why you love your job?
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