April 20, 2015

A nurse said: "We all play a game called Interesting Things I Have Found in Obese People’s Rolls of Fat."

"So far I’m sitting in third with a fork, second place is an ICU nurse who found a TV remote, and the winner is an ER nurse who found a tuna fish sandwich."

Quoted in a WaPo article called "Nurses make fun of their dying patients. That’s okay," by Alexandra Robbins, who has a book called, "The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles With the Heroes of the Hospital."

Robbins says:
I learned that some units have a dedicated “butt box” for items retrieved from patients’ rectums — glass perfume bottles, an entire apple, etc. — though after Indiana nurses pulled out a G.I. Joe, the real unfortunate hero assumed pride of place in the nurses’ station.
Her point is that usually the jokes are about "situations and symptoms"...
But even when patients do become subjects of derogatory humor, we shouldn’t rush to criticize medical professionals for using it. Bioethicist Katie Watson suggests that kind of humor may result when health-care providers feel powerless to heal. “Derisive joking does the unspoken work of reframing physicians as blameless for their inability to help,” she wrote in 2011 in the Hastings Center Report....

Humor has a place in hospitals, even if it’s dark, even if it’s derogatory — as long as it isn’t cruel.... Humor is a way for nurses to empower themselves and to unite with one another, determined and defiant, against disease and injury...
... and rolls of fat.

26 comments:

mccullough said...

As long as they don't say it to the patients faces, this isn't a problem. And there's nothing wrong with men talking about women's tits and asses as long as they don't ogle

Ignorance is Bliss said...

What is this world coming to? My mother taught me to always put on clean underwear and always remove foreign objects from my rectum before going out in the morning. If I'd had fat rolls I'm sure she'd have suggested that I clean those out as well.

Laslo Spatula said...

Hopefully the GI Joe in question was the Scuba GI Joe."


I am Laslo.

Zeb Quinn said...

I've been married to a nurse for 41 years. Nurse humor is very much like military foxhole humor. Situations encountered are so grim, dark humor is necessary just to cope.

EMD said...

Misery is the source of comedy.

That's why is Heaven isn't funny.

Sebastian said...

" items retrieved from patients’ rectums"

Is that covered by the ACA?

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Garage has been taking advantage of his Obamacare I see.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Sebastian said...
" items retrieved from patients’ rectums"

Is that covered by the ACA?


No, however the insertions are not only covered, they're mandatory.

Rusty said...

I found a diet book in one of my rolls of fat.

Paul said...

I practically grew up around nurses. My mother worked in ICUs for years, and I learned how to read EKGs by the time I was four.

From this I can say that humor is absolutely necessary to avoid becoming burnt out in that profession. Doctors have the authority, and patients are not always compliant with instructions, so it can feel like it all falls on nurses to handle the fallout as best they can.

Another lesson: No matter how embarrassing you may think your medical issue might be, trust me that experienced nursing staff have known something even worse, and with worse excuses.

Achilles said...

My wife is a nurse. You can't find a mean or derisive bone in her body. But when you see the same people coming in repeatedly for the same health issues you realize that hospitals are not what they are supposed to be now.

Most people going to hospitals have and take zero responsibility for their health. The nurses see the same obese/alcoholic/druggies over and over and over. They do a better job of dealing with that than I would.

Coupe said...

Crematoriums wince at people with fat rolls. The amount of gas it takes, often puts them at a higher utility rate.

Mr Peters tells the tale of one lady who was so big that...

Where I stopped listening, and could only think of a nice BBQ pork sandwich and some onion rings. Thumping my belly...

~ Gordon Pasha said...

Dr Bergman dealt with this phenomenon for medical students in the late 1970s. It was required (but unofficial) reading for young house officers at that time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_House_of_God

dreams said...

Nurses, they have my respect, I wouldn't want their job, bedside commodes and bedpans to deal with.

walter said...

dreams,
That's why nurses have CNAs...

walter said...

But..is this what's happening in the co-sleeping deaths in Milwaukee?

James Pawlak said...

My wife really appreciated joke, even at the hour she died of ALS.

Life is funny, accept that fact.

lgv said...

Cops, soldiers, people who clean cars and many more have analogous games I'm sure. Even in the grocery store I worked as a teen we had the "What aisle is the _____/do you carry _______" game. People would ask for weird stuff that isn't found in a grocery store.

BTW, nurses also have the same deal with doctors because, believe it or not, not all doctors are actually good at what they do. Certain doctors get not-so-nice nicknames.

walter said...

..and a lot of Nurses are on power trips.

DrMaturin said...

During my pathology residency the dieners (autopsy assistants) kept a collection of all the items removed from rectums, since they all had to pass through the Pathology Department for formal identification and documentation. They were very proud of it. Shot glasses, coils of wire, broom handles, you name it.

The Drill SGT said...

I assume they run the 'butt box' items through the autoclave first?

Bryan C said...

"From this I can say that humor is absolutely necessary to avoid becoming burnt out in that profession."

I tend to think this is true of every profession.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Bryan C said...

I tend to think this is true of every profession.

It would be rather humorous if it was true of comedians. Which is getting way too meta...

Rockport Conservative said...

My family, and others I am sure, have always called this gallows humor.

lgv said...

I tend to think this is true of every profession.

It would be rather humorous if it was true of comedians. Which is getting way too meta...

Ding, ding. We have a winner. Nice one Ignorance.

robother said...

I understand that for collectors, the GI Tract Joe is one of the hardest to find.