When I walk into a patient's room to take a medical history I consider myself fairly bullet-proof. Really. There's virtually nothing they can tell me that will shock me. IV drug use? Check. Domestic violence? Right. Transexual? No problem. This whole information gathering routine is just part of the job, and I would never in a million years hold someone's medical or psych status against them...in any way.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
But there is a widespread affliction that does get to me. It's the TMI Syndrome - Too Much Information. Some people seem to think that they can tell nurses anything - anything at all - even (or especially) when it has nothing to do with their medical status. That's a stethoscope around my neck folks, not a clerical collar. Please do not feel like you need to fill me in on aspects of your life that are better left to confessionals or on-line chat rooms. Seriously. I've washed my ears until there's almost nothing left.
I'm sure it's the stuff of family legend that the baby you've brought in with a fever was conceived in the restroom at a Coldplay concert. Or that Grampa takes to his workshop every night after dinner because Grandma doesn't allow "those" magazines in the house. I don't really want the full explanation of the tattoo we discovered doing a pelvic exam, and why would you want a guy who needed direction arrows anyway? Too. Much. Information.
I had a gal last week who was in for a urinary tract infection. As I was discharging her the boyfriend walked in with their four kids, ages about three to ten. I try to be non-judgemental, but these people needed baths. And shampoo. And teeth. I ran through her instructions while all her visitors listened. Finish your antibiotics, no caffeine, no spicy foods...she kept nodding her head in understanding. But when I got to the part about no sexual intercourse until the antibiotics were gone, she laughed and said "Tell that to Mr. Four Times A Day over there". And the boyfriend and the kids all laughed and nodded.
There's no shower in the world that can wash away that moment.