He was a big man.
In the midst of a big code.
And he was in big trouble.

We needed to move him from the MRI table back onto his bed in a real quick hurry. To do this we would use a large flat plastic spatula known as a PatSlide. This rectangular slide has a friction surface on the under-side and is slippery on the top.
By placing the two beds side by side and rolling the patient onto the slide it is possible ( with a few assistants) to swoosh them across to the destination bed with a minimum of fuss.

I believe the slide was invented by a wardsman named Pat. ¬®Who, having designed this “thick semi flexible thermoplastic material with 12 longitudinal ridges on the base” ( read: sales pitch for a flat slab of plastic) that he could market as medical equipment, and thus sell for a ridiculously inflated price, retired as a multibillionaire.
No doubt.

Unfortunately the PatSlide possesses a not insubstantial aerodynamic profile, and as one of the nurses lifted it briskly from its wall hook and turned to throw it onto the bed as one would cast a fishing net, it lifted upwards on its own thermoplastic 12 ridged trajectory.
Very nearby, I was standing in my super-serious macho-code extra wide stance just as the corner of Pat’s Slide sliced up and macheted deep into the center seam of my scrub pants.
The sound was not unlike one of those machines that launches clay pigeons… firing into a vat of jello.

It occurs to me that if there is a God she must be female, for any male omnipotence would have surely encapsulated testicles in a 5cm thick vault of dense bony armour.
That, and perhaps made them in the shape of expensive little Italian shoes to attract a little more tactile attention from the opposite sex1.
But I digress.

In a moment of exquisite discomfort I had forgotten all the imperatives of managing airway, breathing and circulation.
In fact all the urgency of ABC’s had shrivelled down to an altogether more primal mnemonic:

  • Assess
  • Balls
  • Crushedness.

I was bent over like a seven , and seriously considered dropping to the ground, scrunching up into the foetal position and crying like a baby. One of the consultants offered to call a second code for me, which seemed altogether reasonable.

Instead, after a quick glance down to check for any arterial bleeding and a tentative jiggle to check for any loose items that might be rattling around, I ratcheted myself up into my pale, pre-syncopal, I’m OK stance and got back to the big man.
For a brief moment I’d swear the overhead fluro lights flickered in a sort of omniscient snicker.

Later, once home, I was able to conduct a more thorough assessment of my ABC’s. I tried to get a little sympathy from Kelly to little avail.
I could forget the Italian leather…. for the next few nights at least it was going to be as quiet as thick ruber gumboots.
Such are the tribulations of a male nurse in the house of God.

  1. or the same sex..whatever floats your boat []

8 Responses to “proof that God is a she.”

  1. Much rolling around on the floor , laughing , when it’s somebody else . Hope everything gets better soon .

  2. A thousand prayers said in mutual sympathy. Mine was a female nurse who (I think) accidently kneed mine whilst assisting me subdue a violent self-harm patient in a ward full of screaming people. The visual world does assume many hues, doesn’t it, and even breathing becomes a life struggle!

  3. First up, I am really sorry, but I just had the biggest laugh at your unfortunate incident. Well written as always. Say hi to Kel

  4. Opps – ment to put ovaries but as mine are through with their babymaking duties I suppose overaries is much more appropriate for me.

  5. I think you may be onto something there Ian – speaking as someone with overaries that are safely tucked away from all harm – the male design may have been carelessness on her part or a well thought out, miliary-like plan for the greatest discomfort that would receive simpathy-imbeded facial expressions always accompanied by giggles, guffaws and outright laughter – whilst knowing that if she ever offered the bony protection you guys would never take her up on her offer ;D.

  6. You my friend, are a cracker. I have had this same incident…I thought I was going to pass out. I saw the light, the tunnel, and one of the girls was saying…just rub it…….AS IF the gate theory has any relevance when you are sporting a rapidly swelling scrotum. Ian, I love your description.

  7. All I can say is…LOL…followed by more LOL! But seriously – bad timing. Hope everything is okay!

  8. Ian, it’s a horrible thing to laugh at someone else’s pain, and for that I am truly sorry (but you are really very funny.) It’s a rare gift, though, to be able to get people to laugh at your own. In our line of work, I’ve found, it is also an invaluable one.

    Wishing your goods a speedy recovery…

Leave a Reply



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • impactednurse.com will soon be gone. (3)
    • Zeke said: Are you keeping an archive of this site on the nurse path site?

    • jelly said: Just work a few more hundred Sundays!

    • matgrad said: Bye Ian will miss the site but as you say everything has its day. Good luck for the future.

  • Nurses are F*cking C*nts. Verbal abuse in our workplace. (32)
    • Rose said: I have read this article and found it very relevant to me and my own experience.Unfortunately a lot of people think that it is quite OK and acceptable to take out their anger and frustration against a sometimes inadequate health system on nursing staff. I also think that gender is an issue as I often feel that female nurses are...

  • Nominate Now: Social Media Nurse of the Year. (21)
    • Belynda Abbott said: I would like to nominate 3 amazing nurses that contribute to nursing and social media in many different ways: 1. The amazing Philip Darbyshire @PDarbyshire and http://www.philipdarbyshire.co m.au/index.php?option=com_easy blog&view=entry&id=44& amp;Itemid=13&utm_source=b uffer&utm_campaign=Buff...

  • When a patient leaves with cannula in-situ. (17)
    • Andy said: Good thinking! At my hospital the Oncology staff are trained/instructed to bleed CVADs before every use regardless, to remove potential clots, discard, flush, then use. Another excuse if you need it ;)

  • bully nurse. (40)
    • G Boucle said: This is not surprising at all to me! Nurses can and do bully patients, I was on the brunt of this after a surgery with spinal fusion on 5 segments! The pain was blinding, they bickered in front of me over who would change the cath bag on the floor already filled and looking about to burst, I found this extremely upsetting....

  • The art of bleeding. Art, insult…or just plain WTF? (6)
    • Contrarian said: I have seen at least one, maybe two live performances of the Art of Bleeding (they were performing at the periphery of other attention-immersive events). Of course the nurse-slut costume is a standard image, but they turn it on its head and dissect it. So, yes, as they say, while the nurse slut draws in the viewer, the viewer is...