The Male DR Nurse
Being an intern is a challenging experience. We have to rotate unto several wards and sections in order to be able to fully appreciate all the fields of the Nursing profession. And what really was very upsetting on my end was being assigned at the delivery room. Well, I'm a male and sometimes, pregnant women feel awkward when the "xy" chromosomed human being joins this special section.
The dreadful day came, I can still imagine that very moment when our instructor announced my name being listed as one of those who will have their duty inside the delivery room. "Mr. Stuart, you'll be reporting this Thursday at the delivery room. Ms. Smith, Ms. Jones and Ms. Roberts will join you as well!"
In order to save myself from being nervous on my first day, I went to the place ahead of time. I was wearing my scrubs but still, my hands were cold and my heart is pounding like crazy. I just can't seem to relax.
My instructor called our names. "Stuart, Patrick?!". Silence. "Again?! Stuart, Patrick?!" "Oh my! Ma'am, I am very sorry, Present!"
My thoughts were flying.
I keep on telling myself that this feeling shall pass soon. The instructor introduced herself. "I am Ms. Cindy Periwinkle, and I will be assisting you here in the delivery room. You will be graded according to your skills, knowledge, and the application of your related learning experience."
We were distributed all throughout the section to maximize our workforce. I was assigned at the pre-natal area. As I walked along the aisle of the reception area, I noticed a woman around her late 30's. She was brown-skinned, with thin hair, dry lips, and bulging eyes.
I looked at her tummy and I roughly estimated that she's on her due date. She looked at me with a curious look and I sat down in front of my assigned seat. I looked at her chart. It says G4P3 and I was not wrong, she's approaching her due date.
My instructor brought here inside the examination area. While I was writing down something on the logbook, I heard my instructor calling my name. "Patrick! Wear your mask, cap, and sterile gloves!"
My heart started to throb. Lub-dub. Lub-dub. I started to become nervous again. I entered the room and voila. I saw the woman on the examination table with legs spread apart revealing her privates. She looked at me again with this curious stare.
My instructor called my attention and said, "I'm going to teach you how to do the internal exam to assess how many cm the cervix had dilated. You first need to spread the labia with your thumb and little finger and then slowly insert your index and middle finger."
It felt so uncomfortable and due to my overwhelming anxiety at that moment, what I did was to immediately insert my index and middle finger and it did enter the vagina without that much trouble.
My instructor told me that it was wrong and I have to do it again. So, I removed my gloves and put on a new set of sterile gloves. I slowly spread the labia but it kept on going back to its previous position. I can't seem to perfect it.
Next thing I knew was slowly forcing my fingers deep into the vagina to feel the cervix. My instructor told me, "You will feel something hard. It feels like touching your ears.
Pretending that I felt it to end this misery as soon as possible, I said, "Yeah! It's there. Wow. Amazing!" She then asked me, "How many cm?" And because I was upset, I shouted, "Umm. 20 cm" I can see my instructor was about to burst in laughter but she didn't to be professional.
"No, she has a 6 cm dilatation and she will be giving birth for the next 24-48 hours. I felt that I turned red that moment and said "Oh! I'm, I'm sssorry Ma'am, T-TTThanks for the information!"
I went out and rested for a while outside to relax. I saw the full-term pregnant woman and she was smiling and her eyes looked funny. I returned a smile and I believe I blushed at that moment.Last edit by Joe V on Jan 9, '15
Nov 19, '08 by Nelly45I can imagine you blanching, now I think you got used to it. I think you would have felt more comfortable if you worked as a nurse assistant before your clinical. All in all you made it!!
nelly.Dec 2, '08 by jaclibraThat was a very uncomfortable moment:chuckle, but I asssure you, most of us have experienced that in one way or another. Just move on and learn from it. Good luck and be a good nurse! Thanks for sharing. God Bless.Dec 13, '08 by kmrmom42I am curious as to where this was that you were asked to wear a mask and cap to do a vaginal exam? You don't even REALLY need sterile gloves (what is sterile about a vagina?) but we usually do use them in case the Mom might be ruptured.
I also hope that your instructor didn't REALLY say that a G4P3 who was 6 cm dilated would be "giving birth for the next 24 to 48 hours". Even if that was a typo and you meant giving birth IN the next 24 to 48 hours, that would still be a ridiculous thing to say. Either your memory is flawed or your story is.Dec 21, '08 by UnchainedFeverOur instructors in 1985 wouldn't even allow our male students into the delivery room. We all felt that this was sexist and a disservice to these fine students. The patients would not have minded. I'm glad to hear that this is changing, Thanks for the update.Last edit by UnchainedFever on Dec 21, '08 : Reason: mispelled wordDec 22, '08 by C. ThinkingI am a male nursing student scheduled to graduate May '09. I was extremely nervous during the whole course of OB clinicals. Alot of uncomfortable moments came about. BUT, ourdoes not allow students to perform vaginal exams due to liability reasons....THANK GOD! lol. I am not sure I would have made it this far if so. Good going.Dec 22, '08 by UnchainedFeverGood for you at this point...
Now... imagine yourself in a small country hospital that only has one or 2 nurses in the ER and the doc is asleep...Here comes an imminent delivery..... YOU MUST LEARN this stuff...Don't be grateful that you have avoided this situation in school. It will come back to bite ya in the butt. Trust me....
Just sayin'Dec 22, '08 by organichombre, MSNROFLMAO I've not heard a better male nurse in ob gyn story ever! Congratulation dude and good luck!Dec 22, '08 by Michelleroth1I felt the same way during mine and my mother was a DR Nurse for thirty some years so I had plenty of forewarning. Still I loved working with cranky mommies and screaming babies but not till the second day in my rotation LOL when I calmed down. My end goal is to be a Midwife. It is always better the next dayDec 23, '08 by mannurse65Thats good! On my OB rotation, I stood by uselessly while one of the hospitals ED docs went
through labor, which really helped break the ice when we started working together in the ED
a couple of years later.
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