as a then student anxious to "perform" in real life, all those things that we had only done previously on mannequins, i was suddenly afforded the chance to insert my first foley catheter. a frequent flyer to the ed where i was doing my student externship rolled in, and as usual for him, overdosed on placidyls (ethchlorvynol, a sedative hypnotic that thankfully isn't used any more).
one of the precepting rn's asked me if i wanted to insert the foley, and of course i jumped at the chance. fearful of making any mistakes, i opened the foley kit and prepped the patient textbook letter perfect. taking the sterile catheter in hand, i aimed the well lubricated tip at the patient's urethra, ....only to find that there wasn't one. pointing the comatose man's glans left and right, tilting it forward and then backwards all were for naught, as there was no urethra found anywhere. i had been so absorbed in doing everything correctly that i had failed to really look at the condition of the man's privates before attempting the insertion. so there i was, standing there with a patient's manhood in one hand, and foley catheter in the other, and not knowing what else to do. for the first time, i looked up (with probably a panic) at my preceptor for help.
by this time the staff rn's were all beside themselves howling with laughter. one of them finally spoke up between guffaws, and shouted "...look under your fingers!" i lifted up my fingers that had been holding the man's business and realized only then that he had a severe hypospadias. the urethral opening was midway along the underside of the shaft. of course, the ed staffers all knew this, as this was one of their regulars. they just couldn't resist zinging the student, who then unwittingly obliged.