This is perhaps the most trivial issue I've had these past few weeks but its the one that's bugging me most- perhaps because I can't decide whether I'm justified in being annoyed or whether I'm feeling guilty for having an issue with it but here goes, fancy being my sounding board?
I work on what is usually a very busy large general ICU, but has lately, bafflingly, been an overstaffed overflow of the step-down unit. I was covering a break for another nurse when he gave me a job for while he was gone. Infusion running out? Turn due? IVABX? Nope- phosphate enema prescribed 4 hours previously. I actually thought he was joking, and said as much but no he was deadly serious and he walked away. Just a little gobsmacked the female student he had working at this bedside with him and I got on with it. When he came back we politely (read: passive aggressively) discussed my issue, we didn't come to an agreement.
His view- his patient was female. He is male. I wasn't busy, therefore I should do his enema.
My view- all nursing care in the ICU is intimate, would he have another nurse do his checks and washes, catheter care and enemas for every female patient?
He had a female student working with him, he could have used that as a teaching opportunity.
It is a 'crap job' and handing it over is impolite, just not what you do if you give a rats about your colleagues.
Should I ask a male nurse to do every enema on my male patients?
And I'd have probably responded to the whole thing much better if he'd have asked me would I mind, or could you please rather than "I have a job for you..".
I don't know whether I'd have reacted differently if another nurse had asked me to do this- one I know to be conscientious and respect. I wonder if my opinion on this nurse in general is colouring my opinion. I asked two very good nurse friends one male one female their opinions and got two completely opposite responses.
Is this a gender issue I've never considered before? Am I just tired and in need of a good meal, good sleep and an interesting level 3 patient?