As a nurse in a big and prestigious university hospital in our country and who has been in the nursing profession for almost two decades, I have already experienced dealing with all sorts of patients. The following incident is the most memorable of all my experiences because everytime it crosses my mind, I could not help but keep laughing...
It occurred while I was on a night shift (10pm-6am). I was the charge nurse then so I was the one making rounds to check and monitor the patients even while asleep.
At 2am, I quietly entered the dimly lit room of an 80-year-old patient (who was severely dehydrated) to check on the level of her IV fluid. Obviously, she was awoken when I entered the room as I had to unlock the door (the companion locked it) to get in. As soon as the patient saw me, she exclaimed "Oh, my god! Oh, my god! There's a ghost! There's a white lady!" (As the name implies, a white lady is a ghost wearing a white dress, who is out to scare people [though not necessarily harm them] and whose feet do not touch the ground). "White ladies" are quite popular characters in our folk tales here in our country.
I said softly "Mrs. David, I'm your nurse. I'll just check your blood pressure." (We know for a fact that severe dehydration can sometimes cause confusion, especially among elderly patients). But she replied screaming "Oh, no! The white lady is talking to me!" This time I was already controlling myself so as not to burst into laughter:chuckle...By the way, I am a fair-skinned woman and I wear my hair long. Our nursing uniform
is a below-the-knee pure white dress.
"There's a ghost in my room! There's a ghost in my room!" She continued screaming until her companion was awoken and turned the lights on. "Mama, Mama! Calm down. She's not a ghost. She's a nurse." "Really?! She is a nurse?" the patient asked. "I thought you were really a ghost because your white uniform would look like it was floating in the air in the dark!" I smiled at her and touched her hand. I noticed that she was really nervous. She was in fact, trembling. So I reached for a glass of water and made her drink it to help her calm down. The patient was not really suffering from hypertension but when I took her BP, it was 200/100.
I quickly referred her to the medical resident and was laughing so hard as I narrated to him what happened. And after checking on the patient, he jokingly told me "This was all your fault, Ma'am..."
I was relieved when the patient's BP normalized after 30 minutes
This incident quickly spread in the whole nursing service department of the hospital and this made them give me the monicker "white lady." As for me, I am not at all bothered being known or called as such for as long as deep in my heart, I am not out to scare people but to spread tender loving kindness among all men and women, young and old alike, who are and will still be under my care.