When people hear I’m a healthcare worker, I am oftentimes inundated with questions not only about the nature of my work but about the nature of the “behind the scenes” at work. People constantly seek out juicy stories to repeat to their friends about this and that fling that transpired in the halls of the hospital…
“I’m sure there are lots of McSteamy’s and McDreamy’s that you work with on a daily basis.”
“With it being a teaching facility, you’re so lucky to have the constant influx of fresh meat.” (I’m not kidding, people have said this to me…)
“What really does go on between nurses and doctors in sleep rooms?”
Sorry to disappoint you all, folks, but I’m not Nurse Jackie, nor am I Meredith Grey. But I can give you a little insight to the happenings on and off hours pertaining to the “juicy” details of hospital work.
Ladies, herein often lies my morning routine going into my third shift in a row. Since it’s only been nine hours since I got home from work, I had to fit in walking the dog, dinner, quick workout, catch up on emails, sleep, shower, breakfast, walking the dog, making lunch. And I don’t have kids of my own to get ready in the morning! That does NOT leave time for primping, flawless makeup, or even a desire to do so because it’s very likely I’ll get drooled on or spit up on today- and I wouldn’t want it any other way. So do nurses go to work on the prowl looking to pick up that floundering resident that doesn’t know where the consent forms are? Well, perhaps. But in an inpatient setting amidst all of these factors, there is not time for flirting, no privacy for slipping a phone number, and at least in my pediatric hospital no mid afternoon rendezvous in the on-call room.
However, I have heard my fair share of stories of hospital romances. Here are some light-hearted tips for making these happen:
1) If a doctor catches your eye for more than one day in a row, look up the note that he wrote on the patient- you can get his full name. Next step, facebook him! Why not? I actually know someone personally who did this, and the ironic part was that the doctor did the same thing on the other end. They ended up dating. Cute.
2) The doctor you have your eye on just happens to be on call tonight. I would NEVER advocate making up fake ailments, but you really should keep an extra close eye on your patients during these on call hours. Does your patient have gas and need mylicon? Are you even slightly concerned about the patient’s blood pressure? Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone! And on call number three? “I’m so sorry to keep bothering you, am I interrupting anything?”
3) Stage a mid-hallway encounter. Perhaps an accidental nudge as you pass by. Or you nearly run him over with that bed you’re moving to the next room. Anything is an excuse to talk, right?
4) Ask a medical question. You’re both educated individuals, make him prove it. Ask him about this complicated patient you took care of last week. You just can’t figure out part of the pathophysiology (while batting your eyelashes).
As much as these are in jest, it’s important to remember that if a hospital romance is going to transpire, we are all professionals and need to act respectfully in the workplace. Although shows like Nurse Jackie and Grey’s Anatomy are fun to watch, let’s allow the actors and actresses to ruin their own reputations while we happily keep ours intact. Does anyone else have any juicy stories of their own?
For more Career Advice for Nurses pick up the latest issue of Scrubs magazine, available at a retail store near you!