AWKWARD but admittedly hilarious situation......


Verbosity is one of my worst traits, so I'll try to keep it short. This morning I entered the exam room to do what I always do: Take the vitals and pose the requisite questions for a new patient so the PA can perform a routine annual exam. I entered to find my male neighbor (my age, three houses down) in his poker-themed boxers (hearts, diamonds, spades and clubs) and black socks. Sorry, but black socks and boxers always remind me of one of those zany 1940's comedies where some hapless fool ends up on a building ledge in Times Square in his underwear at high noon, running from some monsters. He apparently rejected the the yellow paper gown offered by our MA, minutes earlier, as male patients often do. I left long enough for him to don he gown. He's known for 11 years that I'm a nurse but had no idea where.

He became flustered and reached for his shirt like a guy diving for the winning Powerball ticket, in order to cover himself. I made light of the whole thing but he was quite flustered by it all. Not pissed, just very embarrassed.

Bottom line is this: My husband and I, along with two other couples, have a scheduled night at the movies on Saturday night (in two days). One of the couples is the aforementioned neighbor and his wife. Seriously, do I say anything (not publicly, but privately to him)? Let it be? Not say anything unless he brings it up?

With ISIS running amok, the deficit, and the price of ground beef, this is a non-issue, but if there's something I can do to smooth it over, I'll try.

Again, sorry post is so long.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 16 years experience. 14,116 Posts

Unless he was there for STI treatment, I see nothing for him to be embarrassed about, and nothing for you to need to smooth over.

ArmaniX, MSN, APRN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 9 years experience. 339 Posts

Never bring it up, unless he makes the choice to tall about it.


565 Posts

Everyones personalities are different, but I cant see why a grown man would be embarrassed about being seen in boxers.

A hemorrhoid exam or hernia check whole different ballpark, but something like this not a big deal at all.

Of course some people are very sensitive...


38,332 Posts

Good that you are sensitive to his feelings. I would not bring it up unless he does. What he chooses to say, or not say, will indicate his comfort with the situation by then.

AnnieOaklyRN, BSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in ED, Pedi Vasc access, Paramedic serving 6 towns. 2,577 Posts

You cannot mention anything to him in public, as that would be a violation of his right to privacy.

You may want to talk to him privately, but that is your choice.


blondy2061h, MSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology. Has 15 years experience. 1 Article; 4,094 Posts

Yeah, I read this post like 4 times looking for the part that was embarrassing. Being in boxer's at the doctor's office doesn't seem like it to me. If he was super modest, doesn't seem like he would refuse the gown? How is that different than being seen in swim trunks. I wouldn't bring it up. Let it rest in peace.

heron, ASN, RN

Specializes in Hospice. Has 50 years experience. 2,894 Posts

I agree with previous posts to keep mum unless he brings it up himself.

On the rare occasions that I've had friends or acquaintances as patients, I've found it helpful to acknowledge that the situation is awkward and let them know very clearly that confidentiality is sacrosanct - even from my, or his, SO. If possible (and it may not be) I'll offer to find other staff to care for him if it would make him more comfortable.


Specializes in Oncology; medical specialty website. 5,978 Posts

Perhaps he was embarrassed to be in his boxers in front of his neighbor. I wouldn't bring it up at all.

Adele_Michal7, ASN, RN

Specializes in Pediatric. Has 5 years experience. 893 Posts

Total non issue.


52 Posts

Perhaps he was embarrassed to be in his boxers in front of his neighbor. I wouldn't bring it up at all.

Yes, undoubtedly he was embarrassed because he knew me. He remained flustered until he left. He's a good friend and our kids car pool to senior class at high school. I know it's a non-issue for me; hopefully they'll be no fallout. I was embarrassed for him at yesterday, and tried to make light of it, but perhaps that made it worse for him. I'm not saying anything unless he broaches the subject.


Has 25 years experience. 12,646 Posts

If he was super embarrassed then he wouldn't have worn those boxers in the first place. Sounds like a fun guy, right?

I agree with everyone else, it never happened unless he says something.