I used to talk to nurses who brought their pets into the clinic as fellow educated medical professionals. I can’t do that anymore. What happened? Over the last few years the people who declare themselves to be nurses have started to really scare me. Many have deep misunderstandings of basic science and medical principles and are very willing to double down on their ignorance when you try to correct them. They aren’t afraid to whip out, “I’m a nurse!” like it is an unbeatable trump card.
It has gotten so bad that my boss told me that if he is ever unconscious I’m not allowed to let the ambulance take him to the hospital a few minutes away because we’ve talked to too many nurses who work there. We tested his commitment recently when he had to go to the ER (driving himself) after he got sliced by a dog. I casually asked if he was going to the ER down the street. He yelled, “Absolutely not!” and reminded me that I knew his rule and then drove half an hour to an ER where we didn’t know anyone.
I have a relative who is a senior nurse and who is a hardcore MAGA anti-vaxxer. She had COVID so she can’t quite deny that it exists but I think she really wants to.
A Few of My Nurse Stories
I had a guy who claimed to be nurse in an ER. He refused to let us run bloodwork on his sick cat because he knows that bloodwork is something that doctors do just to pad the bill. You can’t get any information of value from it. (I know that bloodwork is sometimes run when it isn’t 100% necessary but you definitely get valuable info – especially in a species that can’t describe what’s wrong.)
Recently a woman who said she was a nurse tried to come in the clinic wearing a MESH MASK. Yes, a mask made of holes. My boss stopped her and offered her an appropriate mask. She declined. She said that she didn’t feel comfortable around us because we had vaccinated staff in the building. Vaccinated people are shedding spike proteins that attack unvaccinated people, don’t you know. (I wish.)
She waited outside while we treated her dog. She also volunteered the info that she was now an unemployed nurse because her doctor
wasn’t dealing with her nonsense fired her for not getting vaccinated.
My question is, if she thought that she was in danger of being attacked by spike proteins wouldn’t she logically want to wear a mask to protect herself?
I had another lady that week tell me that she thought her dog was pregnant because a boy dog “got inside her” at the dog park. But that was ok because “a lady at the dog park” told her what to do. (People at the dog park are the ultimate source of all dog knowledge. Vets can’t compete. I’m not sure if I get smarter when I go to the dog park or if my degree cancels out the benefits of being a lady at the dog park.) She told her to go get a pregnancy test from the Dollar Store and test her dog. It came back negative so she knew she was ok.
I tend to let extreme stupid go past without engaging too much but I couldn’t let that go. I said that human pregnancy tests measure a human-specific hormone so even if her dog was pregnant it would read negative. She looked at me, tapped the exam table for emphasis, and said, “No, no, no, no, no! You don’t understand. The lady that told me this was a nurse!”
I muttered, “Of course she was” and walked away. Muttering and walking away takes up a lot of my time these days. I considered trying, “So what? I’m a doctor” to see if that would make any difference but I knew in my soul that it wouldn’t.
I’m listening to a book called Voices from the Pandemic. It actually reminds me of the format of World War Z. It has the same feel of a book that doesn’t tell you what happened because if you are reading it, you lived through it. It just tells you how people dealt with the virus.
Anyway, there is a story in here that has had me furious for a few days. A nurse in a Detroit hospital talks about getting overwhelmed in the ER. They had too many patients at once. A lot of their nursing staff was sick or quarantined. Patients were dying because they couldn’t get meds to them in time because they were dealing with dying patients in other rooms. It was horrible. But I think what this woman did about it was even worse.
One day her whole night shift refused to clock in unless they got more help. They just sat themselves down in the break room and refused to go out on the floor.
Now I could understand not wanting to work in that environment because it was overwhelming and not safe for your physical or mental health. But these people staged a work stoppage because they wanted management to bring in more nurses. From where? Were they stacked in the back with the paper towels?
She even says that nurses who came to try to help (Guess management was trying to get you help…) but who weren’t used to working ER or critical care didn’t help much. EVERY ER IN THE WORLD was getting slammed. Where were they expected to find trained ER nurses that weren’t already busy, sick, or dead?
Think about this. These people refused to work because they said that it wasn’t safe for the patients.
Did the patients go away when they refused to work? NO.
The day shift nurses stayed to cover the patients even though they had already worked a 12 hour shift. Did that make patients safer? NO.
Was that fair to those nurses who were feeling the same things? NO.
And then, when their management couldn’t produce nurses from the magical nurse store IN A FEW HOURS, they quit. Just walked out.
So they protested because there wasn’t enough nurses to cover the ER for minimal patient safety and then made the problem exponentially worse by quitting en masse. She had the nerve to try to frame this as standing up for patients’ best interest. How many people died that night because of her little protest? How many other nurses got pushed past their breaking point because they suddenly had to cover for her? I’ve been cussing this woman in my mind every time I think about it.
You don’t leave your patients to die just to make a point. If protest and complaining is the appropriate thing to do, you do it on your off time when it doesn’t cost lives.