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Before I was a nurse, I had occasion to be a young patient.
I had a brief but painful procedure to undergo. My nurse was named Anne. She told me that if it hurt, I should just go ahead and scream.
It was nighttime, and all the other patients on the floor were asleep. It must have been the incipient psych nurse coming out in me; I was determined that those other patients not be woken up.
“I’m not going to scream,” I said gamely.
“Well, then, here’s my hand, squeeze it really tight if you need to,” Anne said, resting her right hand in mine.
I needed to, all right. I squeezed really hard, and I screamed anyway, waking all the other patients and probably a couple of the dead down in morgue, not to mention shattering a few glass pipettes down in the lab. I also suspect that I broke a couple of small, unnamed bones in Anne’s hand; as soon as it was all over, I could see that it was already turning purple.
I remembered Anne when I was a student doing a rotation through a same-day surgery unit. They were preparing to do an I&D on a man with a badly suppurating scrotal abscess. Read more…