I have never been the most serious person at work, at least in comparison to my peers. That’s not to say that I never care, more like I’ve long ago accepted that even the most arduous tasks can be completed efficiently in conjunction with humor. The expected adulting skill: Multitasking, has a strong advocate in me. However, if one cannot multitask, one must forever hold their ever flapping gums at work. Basically, don’t drag me into monotonous bullshitting when I’m on the clock with tasks at hand, unless said bullshitting is valid, and we’re going to swim in and out of these patient rooms while frothing at the mouth with verbal diarrhea. Problem is, there is a sanctioned excuse to waste the hell out of my time; Report. What is supposed to be the exchange of pertinent patient information from one caregiver to another, often turns into my learning about a patient’s pet Lionfish they had when they were 8. Stop it.
If there is some pertinent information that can not be reasonably gleaned by combination of EMR and inspection/speaking when I enter the patient’s room, then by all means tell me. But I don’t really don’t give a fuck that you “don’t like the patient in that room.” I especially don’t care to be dragged along the sliding scale of your shitty sociopolitical opinions (If you have any at all), which of course I already knew (I’ve become a pretty good judge of these things, in order to avoid speaking to people I know are the bad kind of nasty inside, makes it easier to feign respect if they don’t speak). So of course today, on a Med/Surg floor, I’m stuck in time when a transgender patient who has clearly stated her identity as female is constantly being called “it,” or “that person,” instead. And there was no reason to mention the patient at all. When I tried to dodge the whole report thing (because as I said, it’s typically bullshit), the individual determined to her sworn duty followed me around while I was stocking glucometer supplies.
“So that patient in room–” she tried to say.
“Oh, I know homegirl, she’s cool,” I said.
“You mean that person?” she asked.
“The girl who’s been here for about a week now,” I said.
“Well, it then. It’s been asking for juice a lot,” she said.
And I’m not even working in a licensed position. I mean seriously, it makes the whole scene and expectation seem even more frivolous. I can’t imagine handing off patients to a flight medic in Iraq and taking twenty minutes to say that the motherfucker does not like those Ranch Doritos. And it’s not even shit talking about patients in general that bothers me, hell every patient who was ever disrespectful to nursing staff has earned monuments of jokes at their expense, whether people admit it or not. It’s about the principle of the whole thing, and maybe, ok maybe, my gears were grinding overtime because homegirl happened to be one of the nicer patients I’d ever met. It could be that this particular employee assumed there was something about me that would agree with her distaste. It could be the insistence that I become empathetic to a disgustingly popular world view, or that I accept that this person doesn’t accept this thing about another person. But I’m just not that nice I guess. I’m just not that accepting and I couldn’t find the empathy to be cool with it.
I could however, find the patience not to say anything. Instead I walked into a patient’s room to answer a call bell, where I knew I wouldn’t be followed.