Nurse's Station

Take that! How I (kind of) defeated the nurse who is out to get me


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There’s this clipboard nurse upstairs who is out to get me. She has been trying to find ANY reason to “counsel” me (this is when management meets with you and your union rep to have a nice talk about how much you suck). First, she wanted to counsel me because I was “late.” Yeah, I swiped in at 11:33 a.m. three times last month, and not 11:27 a.m. Late, my ass. Oh, and there was the time I got a complaint letter about how mean I was—from the patient who hit me.

Whatever. Oh, and there was the woman who complained that I pressed the stethoscope to her chest too hard.

Fortunately, our nurse manager is great and he runs interference, and I haven’t had to do it.

So the other day, the clipboard nurse came racing triumphantly downstairs, waving a letter and looking for me. Someone had written an email to administration about an encounter we’d had. She handed it to my manager and asked for me to be called over “because we need to talk about this—this is the THIRD letter we’ve received about GuitarGirl!”

My manager read through the email and called me over, laughing. He asked the clipboard nurse if she had read the letter all the way through. She started looking uncomfortable. He handed the email to me.

Although the letter started out rather humorlessly with “I am writing to address an incident in room [number] of your Emergency Department on 2024,” this was not a complaint. This was a letter effusively thanking me for my “Herculean efforts” (that’s a direct quote) in disimpacting a young lady’s badly impacted colon after the resident was unable to do it. The writer complimented me on my sense of humor and the way with which I put the patient and her partner at ease in a difficult, painful and embarrassing situation.

I remembered this incident. This poor young woman had been in a car accident and had undergone multiple surgeries on her leg in the last few weeks, necessitating lots of narcotic pain medications, which had backed her up something awful. I skillfully birthed a load of poop out of her butt (I remember saying, “Okay, it’s kind of like popping a big, poopy zit!”). After the initial blockage was out, a torrent of poop followed and actually flew off the stretcher and hit the wall behind the bed (fortunately the med student who was assisting me and I were well out of the way). Needless to say, it was smelly and messy, but I quickly cleaned up and put the woman and her partner at ease.

As we read the email, the manager and I started laughing—and so did the clipboard nurse. Although it seemed she was reluctant to admit that this was not a complaint, it was a good letter!

Of course, she had to find something to chastise me about: At some point in the letter, the writer quoted me as having used the word “sh*t.” She mentioned that such language isn’t appropriate in the workplace.

I can’t win.

So…do you have a good story about a nightmare coworker?

Guitar Girl RN
Guitar (and now bass)-playin' rock-and-roll emergency room RN. I pulled the trigger and now I have a public blog - Guitar Girl, RN. Scary.

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