One of the most difficult skills I had to perfect in nursing school was Pepsi Pouring 101. As new students, we began with non-carbonated beverages, namely Kool-Aid. As our skills developed past the novice level, we moved onto Ovaltine (cold). Those students showing a particular aptitude were allowed to serve their Ovaltine hot. This was before microwaves, so it was quite labor intensive. I’ll never forget the pride I felt the first time I was able to pour Pepsi for the waiting patients. A nurse’s cap and an ice, cold Pepsi…doesn’t get any better than that!
What happens when that kid on the couch who was just triaged for abdominal pain has to go for his appendectomy with a gut full of Pepsi? I guess if he aspirates it, the carbonation will keep his lungs inflated…..
I’ve discovered many stereotypes of nursing during my travels through the internet. I’ve discovered nurses as waitresses, nurses as whores (good heavens, be careful what you put in the search engine!),
and nurses as angels. My favorite is the “nurse as waitress” genre. I get teased about this at work. We have boxed lunches available for our hypoglycemia patients and the turkey sandwiches come with lettuce, tomato and condiments separate. I usually cover the table with a white towel and put the lunch together for the patient. This gets me untold good-humored grief from those who see me do this. Hey, the patients appreciate it; who wants to fumble with a bunch of packets when they’re sick? No one’s left me a tip, though.
I believe this image of nurses as waitresses are actually the result of old advertisements and the fact that in the old days, the nurses actually put the patient trays together. That was way before my time, but check out this Coke ad. These types of ads probably had a lot to do with it.
Of course, sometimes it can feel like you are a waitress as patients request that you address various needs. Every patient will ask for:
- A warm blanket. Even the ones in for ankle sprains. ERs are cold! Give everyone a blanket, even the ones who aren’t cold. They will be.
- The bathroom. Show the ambulatory ones where it is. Give a urinal to the men. Get a bedpan ready for the women – every woman will have to pee within 5 minutes of getting settled in the gurney.
- Water. If they can have it, give them a cup. If they don’t want it, they will.
- The call bell. They won’t ask for it, but make sure they have it and tell them to use it if they need anything. Just having it available tends to make them more secure and less “needy”. They also won’t be wandering the halls looking for you.
I make sure everyone is set up in the room at the time I room them. It makes the patients more comfortable from the beginning and saves a lot of running around for me.
Oh, and by the way I was a waitress at one time. There are two traits waitressing and nursing have in common. The ability to juggle many clients at once and the ability to prioritize. It was a fun job. But it just didn’t have that cap…….