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pre op jitters

Nurses   (1,034 Views 21 Comments)
by czap czap (New Member) New Member Nurse

78 Visitors; 3 Posts

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I had an uncomfortable situation in pre op. anyone else experienced this. I was recently transferred to pre op. i am not a young nurse so thought i could handle everything.  recently had a high anxiety patient who was treated with kid gloves. spouse was allowed in pre op and even in recovery when he woke up.  he was there for inguinal hernia surgery. i went into his room and explained that i had to shave his pubic area. he asked why when the incision was way above that area.  they were both very nice people but do not like spouses in the room during pre op.  i explained that i would be shaving his pubic are and then taping his penis to the opposite side.  he was fine with that.  i then asked his wife to step out of the room and he told me no she is staying.  I was taken aback and said to him i just want you to be comfortable. he stated he was comfortable with his wife there and then his wife said seems to me the only one uncomfortable here is you.  went to my charge nurse and told her i was not comfortable touching a males genitals with his wife there.  she went in and told them they would shave him in the or.  they just shook their heads but were fine.  like i said they were very niv=ce people.  is there something wrong with me that i am not comfortable touching male genitals with the spouse present. i am supposed to be a professional and this time made me feel like i cant handle it.  any advise would be appreciated

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DextersDisciple has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN.

3,483 Visitors; 229 Posts

I’m sorry but why would this make you uncomfortable? If the man didn’t feel comfortable with his wife seeing His genitals then they probably shouldn’t be married. 

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not.done.yet has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

4 Followers; 43,790 Visitors; 5,400 Posts

What the what? My dear, she is far more familiar with that area of his body than you will ever be. Why on earth would that make you uncomfortable? This is something you will need to investigate about yourself. Your manipulation of his penis wasn't sexual but some part of your brain must have felt it was, I guess? I can't think of why this would bother you.

In the future, please use proper capitalization and punctuation to facilitate being able to real what you write.

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2,016 Visitors; 334 Posts

Maybe there is.  Most nurses see it as just another body part, no different than an ear or toe.

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Pepper The Cat has 33 years experience and specializes in Gerontology.

1 Follower; 24,365 Visitors; 1,693 Posts

So this guy was so nervous that he was given special permission to have a support person with him. And then you wanted to remove his support because you were uncomfortable? Not cool.

 

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9 Followers; 22,871 Visitors; 3,024 Posts

Within this profession we do have a history of telling people things like this all the time, though - either that we have some noble purpose of maintaining the patient's privacy or that it's to make the patient comfortable, or even worse things such as having one's LO present is a HIPAA violation. It all usually comes back to facility (perceived liability) or nurse (being uncomfortable) reasons that we have done these things.  I've usually taken the tack that if pt/LO are comfortable with it, then 🤷🏽‍♀️ okay.

OTOH, the fact is that some things, for some people, can be awkward to perform with onlookers; especially things that are less conducive to keeping a sheet positioned for basic bodily privacy. I really don't see a reason to not acknowledge that people can be professionals and still feel a little awkward at times. It would probably be better to accept this than to imply that something is amiss with someone's professionalism or personal nature.

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kp2016 has 20 years experience.

3,108 Visitors; 207 Posts

You might want to look if your hospital has a policy on chaperons. Most hospitals I’ve worked have posted signs stating that any patient receiving an intimate procedure or exam is entitled to have a chaperone present. This is normally a staff member of the same gender as the patient but in this situation I would have respected the patients request to have his wife present as the chaperone while his groin area was clipped. I assume your facility uses clippers and you didn’t actually “shave” anything!

If you feel uncomfortable shaving the groin of a male patient please have someone else do it rather than force your patient to feel uncomfortable by removing their support person. 

 

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not.done.yet has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

4 Followers; 43,790 Visitors; 5,400 Posts

14 hours ago, JKL33 said:

Within this profession we do have a history of telling people things like this all the time, though - either that we have some noble purpose of maintaining the patient's privacy or that it's to make the patient comfortable, or even worse things such as having one's LO present is a HIPAA violation. It all usually comes back to facility (perceived liability) or nurse (being uncomfortable) reasons that we have done these things.  I've usually taken the tack that if pt/LO are comfortable with it, then 🤷🏽‍♀️ okay.

OTOH, the fact is that some things, for some people, can be awkward to perform with onlookers; especially things that are less conducive to keeping a sheet positioned for basic bodily privacy. I really don't see a reason to not acknowledge that people can be professionals and still feel a little awkward at times. It would probably be better to accept this than to imply that something is amiss with someone's professionalism or personal nature.

I don't completely disagree, but this went beyond "a little awkward" and into the OP wanting to remove the patient's support from the room in order to facilitate herself. That is the part that crossed a line into unprofessional and a personal failing. If she was that uncomfortable she herself should have left and found someone who didn't have the level of moral conflict that she was, not asked the patient to accommodate her.

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9 Followers; 22,871 Visitors; 3,024 Posts

2 hours ago, not.done.yet said:

If she was that uncomfortable she herself should have left and found someone who didn't have the level of moral conflict that she was, not asked the patient to accommodate her.

I feel you are mischaracterizing this, though. I don't think the feeling itself represents a moral conflict, unprofessionalism, or a personal failing. This is not like a scenario where a nurse causes a problem because of their own judgment of someone's personal being/life/lifestyle. This is totally different. I didn't want to get all descriptive before, so I erased my example, but here it is now: I find it very awkward to be observed using the maneuvering and, uh..."grip" necessary to catheterize a certain body part when it is regressed into surrounding tissue. 😂 I am 100% aware that it is a medical/nursing procedure and it most certainly doesn't make me personally conjure up any leisure activities - - but I do know that most of the time when this body part is being manipulated by someone other than its owner, it isn't because it is being catheterized!! And everyone else in society knows this, too. It isn't some big secret - - and that's what makes me feel awkward. I'm feel more awkward about what they might be thinking than what I'm thinking.

It's so obvious that it makes me chuckle just writing all of this. It's kind of comical if you think about it. But 🤷🏽‍♀️. That's how I feel. There's just no need for anyone to get sanctimonious about my feeling that way.

I do agree that we have to strive to see these things differently and respond differently, regardless of all the rest of it. It has never made any sense to ask intimate LOs of the patient to leave in order to maintain the patient's comfort or privacy. LOs who do feel uncomfortable or know that the patient will feel uncomfortable routinely excuse themselves the minute they feel awkward about something. We just need to adjust and not have undue angst about it.

We can advise our peers without the constant overtones of nurses having to be superhuman.

 

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1 Follower; 44,483 Visitors; 3,038 Posts

Where did you work prior to pre-op?   

I don't know, it's old age, or what...but I  am not perfectly comfortable with touching penis's of wide awake alert patients.  (Honestly I think they are yucky 😂).   It does take a mental kick to myself to get a grip, (ha ha, get a grip), and be professional.  I'm quite happy when the CNA says she'll do the pre-op preps.

Anyhow don't make a mountain out of a molehill.   You are going to be more nervous next time you need to prep a male for hernia surgery.  

If he and his wife both agreed to her staying  let her.  Your innocuous comment that you just wanted him to be comfortable seems harmless to me.  The wife's reaction seems way over the top!

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78 Visitors; 3 Posts

I want to thank all who have given me advise. I will explain further. First to who asked question about whether clippers were used, in this instance no. The shaving would have involved me  handling his penis and moving it, handling his scrotum and moving it. That being said, I think my trouble was that I have shaved males before but no one was there.  Two times the males got erections when I touched them.  I thought I was very professional and telling them to not be embarrassed its a natural thing.  I did not feel comfortable that this patient might get an erection from my touch in front of his wife. I am now re thinking nursing alll together as this case has really affected me.

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Orion81RN has 5 years experience.

7,311 Visitors; 676 Posts

37 minutes ago, czap said:

 I am now re thinking nursing alll together as this case has really affected me.

What in the world?!

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