The other night at dinner I met a bunch of my partners friends who I've never met. I introduced myself and what I do and where I work and was immediately asked to tell some recent disgusting OR stories.
Now with my good friends (most of who are nurses that I trust) I'm happy to disgust them with some of the worst things I've seen over the years (without giving away any personal info, it's all general stuff) but to a complete stranger? I was really taken aback at the time and my response to him was that I didn't really want to discuss work. My partner still thinks I'm being rude even after explaining to him:
I didn't think it was professional to start talking about patients in this way. I'm not saying that nurses should carry on like angels etc but I don't like the idea of exploiting someone's illness as a source of humour. Tell me if I'm being boring here but would you want the OR nurse who cared for your mother whose colostomy bag exploded covering the OR staff with poo after the operation to have this used as a joke? I don't think so.
This is a small city and everyone seems to know one another. I already said I worked at X hospital in the OR. What if a friend or relative put two and two together? There could be repercussions. They could meet up with someone else and say 'I met this nurse called Scrubby who works at X hospital who said that the other day this patient with a coke bottle stuck up his bottom had to have it surgically removed'. This person may know the patient or worse could be connected with the nurses board or hospital administration. I could end up in court over this.
So do I need to loosen up? How do you respond if you're asked to disclose stuff like this to people you don't know? After reading so many nurses posts here on allnurses over the years about confidentiality and professional conduct I've become more aware of how important it is not to step over the line.