Tuesday, July 3, 2007

too much information

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.




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.

10 comments:

Jen said...

*shudder* This proves, again, why I was never meant for the medical field. It's bad enough when a DJ has a "Play Misty For Me" moment, but I don't think I could deal with the TMI and the bodily fluids.

Akelamalu said...

Oh boy, way too much information. Have you tried putting your hands over your ears and singing la,la,la, la, la?

my two cents said...

God, you are funny...You always can break that stressful moment in every day for me, THANKS!

Mya said...

Yuck. That's going to keep me awake now.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Imagine how I feel. I could use another shower just re-reading it.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Eughhh.

I don't know what else to say...

RC, you are a saint.

Did you spray air freshener after they left?

I think I need to.

Happy in the Abyss said...

What the Hell? It's like watching Britney Spears on Hee Haw.

pursegirl said...

The only consolation in that situation is that I'm sure at some point you thought, "This is totally going in my blog!"
Funny how many people balk at spilling their guts to those they should (ie, Social Workers) and readily spill to medical types. If I ever go into straight counseling, I'm wearing scrubs and carrying a syringe.

Jen said...

Okay, you're tagged in a new meme, this one is a Wikipedia birthday thing. Check my entry for details. No pressure to particpate!

Dumdad said...

I just couldn't do your job. As I said in an earlier comment, nurses need to be paid more. Much more.