I was thinking about this really awkward situation that happened to me a couple years ago and I thought it'd be funny if you all shared your most awkward moments in your nursing career.
Without a doubt, here's mine:
I'm a male CNA at a long term care facility, and I walked in at around 8 o'clock one evening, to a woman's room who we will call Betty. Her call light was on, and as I shut it off, she explained to me that she was ready to get in bed, however, she didn't want me (because I'm a man) to help her, she wanted her female CNA, Stephen.
(Right now you're probably having the same reaction I did).
Not quite understanding what she meant, I asked her again who her CNA was for the night.
"You know," she says, "Stephen. She's that large, black woman who comes in and sings to me every night."
Now, we did have a CNA named Stephen, and he was working that night. And yes... he is larger... and yeah... I do believe he likes to sing... buuuuuut... he
is most definitely not a she.
Now in hindsight, I can think of about a thousand ways in which I could've handled this situation better. In hindsight. I however went with the knee-jerk.
"Betty... Stephen is a man."
"No no, you're not thinking of the right person. Stephen is a woman. She takes care of me every night"
"Betty, when was the last time you heard of a woman being named 'Stephen'?"
"This can't be right. Do you mean Stephen? The CNA who takes care of me
She's not getting it. And at this point, she's so darn convinced that he's
that I'm starting to rack my brain like, "Do we really have a woman named Stephen working here!?!" So after re-convincing myself that I'm not crazy, I must have said something that finally got through to Betty that Stephen was a man. IMMEDIATELY however, I regretted the entire conversation I just had with her. I still remember...
"Are you kidding me?!
" she says. Betty's got this look of sadness and disgust all over her face. This little old woman who was so modest and private that she never would let a male worker see her naked, and who loved this 'woman' CNA so much, just had these things dashed before her, by me. And at this crescendo of opinion reorientation and awkward silence, guess who walks in?
"HI Betty!!!!" Stephen bounds in with his eccentric voice and noticeably feminine mannerisms.
I squeak from the corner, "Oh hey Stephen! uh.. hehe.. uh..."
Stephen, noticing something in the aura of the room is a little off, inquires what's up.
I look down at Betty. She has this unsure, confused look on her face. I watch in horrid, awkward silence as she looks up at Stephen... then looks at me... then looks back at Stephen. Suddenly, a slight smile peels across her face.
As she looks at Stephen, she references me and says, "He's been pulling my leg!" and starts laughing.
Stephen, unaware of what's going on, politely joins in with her laughter. Like a compliment of the Grinch (who thought up a lie and thought it up quick), I saw my salvation in a way to omit the truth... and omit it up quick! I released that pent up awkward energy into a big laugh, patted Betty on the back, said something like, "Oh Betty, you're fun to joke with," and walked my butt out of that room so fast I left smoke.
Honestly it could have been a lot worse.
So what's your awkward story?
Going up to a patient and calling them "sir" several times before the patient said "I'm MRS lastname".
I KNEW she was a female, but my mouth/brain kept saying Sir!
Last edit by JDZ344 on May 14, '14