I feel so embarrased and feel like harrased...

  1. Hello fellow nurse sisters

    I feel so embarrased to share this story, but I can't stop thinking.

    I was helping a young male patient to take a shower. He was washing himself, and I was just helping his back, but suddenly he grabbed the towel, covered the area, and told me that he has something. I didn't see or realize anything until he told me so.

    I just told him that it's okay and will bring a male nurse to help. I left the shower and brought the male nurse to finish the job. I took care of him until the end of my shift.

    I know that it was out of his control, and he was apologetic, but I feel like I got harrased somehow and can't stop thinking about my behavior. I try to be nice and sweet to my patients, but I don't do anything special to male patients. I'm not sure and kinda feel down...

    Any thoughts or sharing???
  2. Visit neeke816 profile page

    About neeke816

    Joined: Dec '09; Posts: 22; Likes: 1


  3. by   Mommy&RN
    So your patient got an erection, is that right? He covered himself and you left the room, how do you feel harrased?
  4. by   Nccity2002
    Quote from Mommy&RN
    So your patient got an erection, is that right? He covered himself and you left the room, how do you feel harrased?
    I was wondering, too...
    Did he make a pass at you, a comment, a gesture??
    I do not mean to be harsh, but if he did not, then you will need to develop a tougher skin, because as a bedside nurse, I assure you, you will encounter similar situations in the future.

    Take Care.
    Last edit by Nccity2002 on Jan 15, '12 : Reason: .
  5. by   not.done.yet
    Yeeeahhhh.....um...No. Not harassed at all. The poor guy was embarassed it sounds like and wanted you to not only not see it but wanted you to leave. How does that make you harassed??
  6. by   xoemmylouox
    I have to say when I worked in Urology I saw more than my fair share of erections.. Believe me, most of the men were more embarassed than I was. He did not harass you. He was embarassed to. This will happen. You will have to learn to deal with it.
  7. by   dishes
    Men can have reflexogenic and psychogenic erections, a man can experience a reflexogenic erection in response to touch when washing himself, or a psychogenic erection in response to erotic thought. When a patient experiences a reflexogenic erection (as was the case in the situation you describe), reassure him that it is a reflex response and is nothing to be embarressed about. Either carry on with what you are doing or ask the patient if they would like to be left alone for a moment. There is no need to send a male nurse in to take care of a patient who has experienced a reflexogenic erection. Once you become better informed about sexual health, you will feel more comfortable in these situations.
    Last edit by dishes on Jan 15, '12 : Reason: correction
  8. by   DixieRedHead
    You need to realize that as a nurse you will have to deal with all bodily functions. Some voluntary, some not. You should act professionally, not take it personally. You were not even close to being harrassed.
  9. by   Sparrowhawk
    Girlie, the man was more embarressed then you..harrasing would *not* be covering up and making a pass at you. You have to act like penises don't exist when you're a nurse...you unfortunately cannot be a blushing flower. When ya put in a catheter, ya gotta grab hold of it, you can't think that you're the cause of it...like the other nurse said, it was an accident, just like when a man gets an erection in the morning...just..happens sometimes. I woul dhave just plowed through, he probably felt bad he embarresed you enough to have to get a male nurse. I would have just said, "I'm sorry, we're almost done" Or "I'm sorry, we're done anyway I'll leave you a moment and get your clothes ready" and just ended the shower a bit short.

    it's not because he's a male and you're a female, he could have gotten an erection if a man was washing him down too. Has nothing to do with the fact you're a girl and you "did something special"

    Besides the fact you left a patient, however stable, in the shower alone......
  10. by   NoviceRN10
    Harrassed, no way. Men get erections if the wind blows, I commend the patient for covering himself and letting you know he was uncomfortable.
  11. by   caliotter3
    The way you described it, sounds the opposite, like he tried to establish modesty, rather than harass you. I can assure you, you would understand the difference, had he really attempted to harass you.
  12. by   Sun0408
    Really not following how you were harassed.. Is english your second language?? Maybe you are confused as to what harassed means.. I am sure he was more embarrassed.
  13. by   Guttercat
    Poor fellow. That's embarrassing for young men/boys. Trick is to just be professional and put his mind at ease by carrying on. I would have said something like "no worries, it happens to around 50% of the population" and kept going.

    Honey, get over it. They do that.
    Last edit by sirI on Jan 15, '12 : Reason: edited for TOS
  14. by   Meriwhen
    I had that happen to me with one of my patients, except that the patient was high and pretty much out of it, and so probably wasn't even aware of it. It happens, and often it happens without any control on the patient's part.

    I just proceeded at usual and chalked it up to being part of the territory of nursing care. The male tech that was assisting me was more uncomfortable and embarrassed than I was, as though he felt he had to protect my honor