Friday, July 15, 2011

from the "wildly inappropriate moments in nursing" files

Two nurses and I are bathing a patient--a 23-year-old girl with acute liver failure due to drinking a pint of vodka a day since age 15. She is in bed, yellow as a Simpsons character, and on the wrong end of the coma scale. I am holding her up on her side so that Nurse 1 can scrub her back. Nurse 2 is emptying her rectal tube drainage bag into a measuring container.

Nurse 2: I kind of want to go to Nearby Pub tonight. You working tomorrow?
Nurse 1: Yeeeeah. Sorry.
Nurse 2: Just for a little bit?
Nurse 1: Ok, sure. I guess a drink won't kill me.

Eye contact is made. Jaws drop. I turn my face away from the patient because I am trying to suppress that particular kind of laughter that comes on in awkward situations and it is not working. We go about the remainder of the bath in silence.

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