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THE CATHETERIZATION OF NURSE CROUCH



I enjoy the 3-11 evening shift most. Hospital assignments, after a year of Emergency Medical Technician work, are an excellent change of pace.

There is always a fast scurry to get the patients fed, hand out the various medications, and then ready them for bed. (Then things really slowed down a bit and a nice cup of coffee was a real treat for me.

“Kiser, report to Medical Three Nurses Station. Medical Three Nurses Station, please,” sounded the intercom.

I sat my coffee down on the railing of the Emergency Room steps, walked over to the elevator and headed up to the third floor. As I arrived at the station, I leaned over the counter to look at the nurse’s name tag.

“Yes Mrs. Couch,” I replied, looking at her with a big smile on my face.

She looked over the top of her fancy, but ugly, rim glasses. "IT'S CROUCH," she gruffly replied, looking over the top of her fancy, rather ugly, rim glasses

“Sorry Ma’am.”

“Mrs. Haralson. Catheterization. Room 320-A,” she instructed.

“May I have the order?”

“Just walk your happy little ass down to medical supply and tell them what you need.”

Shaking my head, I turned and headed down to the basement to retrieve a sterile catheterization kit. Ten minutes later I returned to the third floor. As I passed the nurse’s station, Mrs. Crouch gave me another one of those looks women give a man when they think he is going to asked them another stupid question. I walked passed and headed to Room 320.

Upon entering the room, I saw a woman in her mid fifties who was sitting on the edge of her bed. She never took her eyes off me as I set the sterile, cloth package down on the dinner tray.

“Are you a doctor?” She asked.

“No Ma’am, just a nurse.”

“Isn’t there a female nurse who can do this?”

“I don’t think so Mrs. Haralson, but I’ll ask Nurse Crouch.”

I went back to the nurse’s station to enjoy the pleasures of nurse Crouch.

“Mrs. Haralson would rather a female nurse do the catheterization.”

“Just get back in there and do your job.”

“No one available,” I told the patient, when I had returned.

“I really feel very uncomfortable, you being a young man and all.”

“Mrs. Haralson, I have helped deliver hundreds of babies. This is just a routine for me.”

“I really don’t want to do this,” she somewhat mumbled, as she slowly lowered her head.

“Don’t worry Mrs. Haralson. I’ll find someone for you,” I told her, as I headed for the doorway. “And it will be a female.”

“THANK YOU,” she said, as I watched a smile appear on her face.

Ready for battle, I walked to the nurse’s station to face Nurse Crouch.

“Mrs. Crotch, Mrs. Haralson wants a female to perform the catheterization.”

“What did you call me?”

“Mrs. Crouch.” I replied.

Again, I received another look.

Without saying a word, she raised both her hands to her face and gave out a loud sigh.

“CAN’T YOU PERFORM EVEN A SINGLE SIMPLE TASK?” she yelled.

“Patients do have some rights. They are not prisoners.”

Taking off her glasses, she placed her head into her hands and sat there quietly.

“Maybe if you lay in bed 320-B and let me catheterize you first, that might make Mrs. Haralson a little more comfortable,” I suggested.

“Mr. Kiser, you get down to that room and you do as you were told.”

“You know Nurse Crouch; those sure are some ugly ass glasses.”

“My grandson bought me these glasses as a Christmas gift.”

“It must have been the Christmas catheter or something,” I said, as I raised my eyebrows, giving her a surprised look.

Quickly, she reached over, picked up the telephone and began dialing.

“Please send Doctor McCall and Mr. Forester to the third floor,” she instructed the operator.

‘She must have beat that boy a whole bunch of times when he was a kid for him to buy her a pair of glasses like that,’ I thought, as I turned and walked toward the waiting room at the end of the hallway, where I took a seat.

About ten minutes later the doctor and night watchman arrived. In less than a minute a very loud, almost screaming, discussion had began among the four of us.

When the smoke cleared I found myself without a job. It was strange to me how the Doctor and Mr. Forester could tell me that I had done the right thing, yet I was the one who lost in the end. For the next few years I worked strictly in private duty nursing positions. Even then, nursing was never the same to me and I finally changed professions.



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