Quote from GardenDove
I guess I'm more talking about the discomfort of knowing all this stuff. For instance, the mother of a girl my daughter plays with was my pt. I know that she is on 2 antidepressants and has a psyche history because I read it in her H&P. She loved me as a nurse, but I'm not as comfortable sending my daughter to play at her house now.
I'm small town too, and I know exactly what you mean.
We know a lot of stuff about a lot of people we'd just really rather not know.
It's almost a "loss of innocence" thing.
I rarely have any difficulty in keeping things to myself (my husband says I'm "secretive" anyway). Sometimes my husband has a hard time with it- we'll see someone somewhere and he'll ask "Where do you know that person from?" and when I say something like "Oh, I just do" he gets peeved with me. I've explained over and over that I cannot tell him even that someone is or has been a patient but he tends to take it personally. Then again, he's one of these people who can be characterized as a "babbling brook:" if it crosses the brain it comes out the mouth.
One of the difficult things for me is knowing how to react to people in public. I usually smile, nod, and keep going. I don't want them to think I'm unfriendly, but if I stopped to chat, then that person might get asked about me- and I don't want them to have to explain that to whoever they are with if they don't want to. If the patient approaches me and starts a conversation, that is fine. (Or, like my [former, not current] pastor's wife, announces to a kitchen full of people that I had just done her pap smear that week!!
You'd have to know her, though.)