A Dear Abbey letter. What is your take?

  1. I would like to hear your opinions regarding this situation from a letter taken from Dear Abbey. Do you agree with Abbey? Or should the nurse have done something differently?

    DEAR ABBY: While sitting with my husband in the hospital following his surgery, a nurse entered his room. We all chatted while she took his pulse, etc., when -- without warning -- she removed his covers to check the surgery site and totally exposed his genitals.

    I was shocked and embarrassed, and have trouble ridding myself of the image of my naked husband lying there in front of another woman. I wish the nurse had given me the chance to leave the room.

    Is there something wrong with me for having so much trouble with this? What can I do to avoid this in the future? -- RED-FACED IN EUGENE, ORE.

    DEAR RED-FACED: On a scale of 10, I'd say you are probably an 8 on the "uptight" scale. You seem to have forgotten that the woman in the room with you was not a lap dancer, but a health-care professional performing her duties. Your husband was her patient, and in her eyes, was probably as sexless as a CPR dummy. To avoid embarrassment in the future, leave the room when the nurse enters
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  2. 162 Comments

  3. by   Harleygirl
    Yikes.
    I think Abbey will probably get swamped with mail from nurses. Wow.
  4. by   caroladybelle
    Different strokes for different folks? Some people just have issues.

    I try to ascertain levels of "privacy'" before uncovering a patient. But then I also grew up in a home where my father would have never been seen without a shirt and trousers (no just shorts). When I went to a college with coed dorms, my eyes were really openned.

    My favorite "Abby" letter is the response letter from a hospice nurse that was justifying the use of cell phones in restaurants. People complained that the conversations on the cell phone in restaurants were rude. The excuse was that she needed to have instant accessibility while on call in case of patient emergencies, and might need to get "in depth" information, while at dinner.

    Hello, HIPAA violation, anyone???????

    If she is getting in depth information and giving advice over a cell in restaurant, not only are the other diners hearing this, cell phones and wireless are not really secure lines.
    Last edit by caroladybelle on Nov 27, '05
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    She was embarrassed to see her own husband naked? The lights must always be off during lovemaking then. That was my first thought. :chuckle

    U;on further pondering however, I guess we do forget sometimes about modesty - I always try to do my assessments w/o family members there, especially if it means uncovering private areas. Even the surgery site is a private thing. Not everyone is comfortable showing off their incision.

    I think the wife IS probably a bit uptight but at the same time I think the nurse could have preserved her patient's privacy.

    Funny story though in a way.

    steph
  6. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from caroladybelle
    Different strokes for different folks? Some people just have issues.

    My favorite "Abby" letter is the response letter from a hospice nurse that was justifying the use of cell phones in restaurants. People complained that the conversations on the cell phone in restaurants were rude. The excuse was that she needed to have instant accessibility while on call in case of patient emergencies, and might need to get "in depth" information, while at dinner.

    Hello, HIPAA violation, anyone???????

    If she is getting in depth information and giving advice over a cell in restaurant, not only are the other diners hearing this, cell phones and wireless are not really secure lines.
    Besides that, you can put your phone on vibration and then GO OUTSIDE TO TALK.

    This really does irritate me . . . . .talking loudly on the phone while people around you are trying to dine.

    steph
  7. by   nurse4theplanet
    bawaaaaaaahaaahahahaha! I LOVE Abbey's comment.

    This lady sounds a little prudish. But then again, like Abbey said...my patients are as sexless as a CPR dummy! HOW TRUE! Maybe this woman doesn't understand what a day in the life of a nurse is like.

    I try and be careful to keep my pt covered as much as possible and ask families to leave the room if I have to expose the genitalia. But sometimes they want to stay and sometimes things just fall out unexpectedly. I don't really understand this lady's embarassment. It is HER husband! And it was a nurse! Who has probably seen more genitals than most people see in a lifetime.
  8. by   CoffeeRTC
    I would have warned the pt....I need to check your incision, etc. I'd probably ask the wife/ pt if they would want a look at it too. That should be a cue to the wife.
  9. by   prmenrs
    Doesn't say what kind of surgery it was. Unless it was a circumcision, nurse didn't need to expose him THAT much, IMHO.
  10. by   hospitalstaph
    Quote from asoldierswife05
    bawaaaaaaahaaahahahaha! I LOVE Abbey's comment.

    This lady sounds a little prudish. But then again, like Abbey said...my patients are as sexless as a CPR dummy! HOW TRUE! Maybe this woman doesn't understand what a day in the life of a nurse is like.

    I try and be careful to keep my pt covered as much as possible and ask families to leave the room if I have to expose the genitalia. But sometimes they want to stay and sometimes things just fall out unexpectedly. I don't really understand this lady's embarassment. It is HER husband! And it was a nurse! Who has probably seen more genitals than most people see in a lifetime.
    I find this Dr Abby letter so interesting. I know that some "non-medical" people would be disturbed by the incision but her own hubby's genitalia, you have got to be kidding me. Heck after my hubands subtotal colectomy with ileostomy, I spend a lot of time in his room checking out the foley and rectal tube, along with the stoma and incision. For a week I had my own personal oberservation lab My husband didn't care and I learned a lot. I have not even started clinincals and I can change an ostomy bag.

    This lady sounded really uptight! Let's face it male genitalia is really not made for looking at but this was a medical setting, not a bar.

    Tracy
  11. by   Ms.Hobbes
    Quote from michelle126
    I would have warned the pt....I need to check your incision, etc. I'd probably ask the wife/ pt if they would want a look at it too. That should be a cue to the wife.
    I would be interested to know where his incision was...I try not to expose a pt. to much and then say I am going to take a look at the incision. The wife though must be somewhat uptight to be so offended at seeing her husbands genitalia that it would drive her to write a letter to Dear Abby. As nurses we are usually more like robots and I am sure this nurse did not purposely mean to embarass his wife.
  12. by   Faeriewand
    Quote from caroladybelle

    My favorite "Abby" letter is the response letter from a hospice nurse that was justifying the use of cell phones in restaurants. People complained that the conversations on the cell phone in restaurants were rude. The excuse was that she needed to have instant accessibility while on call in case of patient emergencies, and might need to get "in depth" information, while at dinner.

    Hello, HIPAA violation, anyone???????

    If she is getting in depth information and giving advice over a cell in restaurant, not only are the other diners hearing this, cell phones and wireless are not really secure lines.
    I read that Dear Abbey letter also! Yeah no matter how important her phone call is no one in the resturant wants to hear her conversation! I didn't even consider HIPPA violation. :chuckle
  13. by   Bipley
    Quote from L&Dsomeday
    Let's face it male genitalia is really not made for looking at but this was a medical setting, not a bar.
    LOL... very true!
  14. by   SharonH, RN
    How bizarre. Her problems seems to be that her husband was seen by another woman. Sometimes people can be so silly. I guess she viewed him as her property or something.

    This reminds me of the time that I was admitting a patient and as I was assessing his bowel sounds, his wife started picking lint out of his navel and chided him for not being cleaner. She was embarassed for me to see that.

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