Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Annoying my fellow nurses

I joined a nursing website/forum called Allnurses, in the hopes that I could share some of my nursing experiences from New Zealand to London to the rest of Europe, from the emergency room to the classroom, but there was big problem.... No one believed me. It got so bad that I can't write on the website anymore without getting loads of responses, most of them doubting what I say, or mocking in some way or another. The thing is, I feel I've led a pretty average life, especially in the workforce. I don't know a lot, although I do tend to know a little about a whole lot of things. I The website is a predominantly American website, so I wonder it that has anything to do with it. Do they do things differently over there? I must confess I can't see how they do things so much differently, I mean, people get sick the same regardless of where you are in the world. Anyway, a bit of boring post really. I'm working on another post about a disagreement with a doctor.

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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Sex and nursing

Sorry to disappoint, but when I said 'sex' I'm actually referring to gender, because I had a pretty unpleasant experience with some American nurses. I've worked in 4 countries as a nurse, and seen how uniquely similar we all are although the one place I haven't had the chance to work is American, the United States of America that is. Sadly, after my online experience with a major American nursing website, I'm not sure I want to go. All I did was start a topic, suggesting that gender does matter when doing certain procedures. In particular I suggested that it's easier, more practical and nicer for female patients, if a female nurse catheterizes them, instead of a male. As a result, I got told the following: I'm lazy I'm sexist I'm unprofessional I should not be a nurse I was stunned at the hardness of the comments, and while there comments towards me were harsh, I only hope they show kindness and compassion to their patients. Yet sometimes it's to imagine compassion from someone when you've seen their nasty side. But then, I think there's a hardness creeping into people in general, hidden in the guise of being 'professional' combined with the belief that 'I can do it all' - as if the ego is getting in the way of common sense. It's strange, but in NZ and the UK, catheterization was never a problem, and in fact most nurses and patients expected male - male, and female to female. And if a male was to catheterize a female, a female chaperone had to be in attendance anyway. What amazed me was that my American counterpart could not see this, and felt anything done another way, is simply not good enough. I'm daring to suggest that it is okay to put your gender first, because we all have our weaknesses and strengths, and it is okay to refuse to do something (although in an emergency, naturally we all do what we must) if you feel strongly against it. But what shocked me more was how many women said they'd be happy with a young male nurse doing such procedures on their 18yr old daughter, and they even said their daughter would not have a problem with it as well. If this is true, then this is a major cultural difference to the places I've worked. I've worked with teenagers for 10yrs now, and not one ever wanted to see a male gynaecologist and not one would ever let a male do such a procedure on them. Does this mean Americans are different? If the insults I received as a result of my view are any indication, then I have to wonder if Americans have lost their ability to be modest, if their nurses are too proud, and that the word 'professional' means that common sense no longer matters.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sex and porn

I asked the boys, about 40 of them, aged from 16-18 if they'd ever watched porn, and they all laughed. 'Shall I take that as a yes?' I asked, and there were further chuckles and nodding heads all round. You see, as the school nurse, I'd been asked to talk to the senior boys about 'sex and all that sort of stuff.' With such vague guidelines, I chose to talk about an area that has been coming an every increasing concern. 'Do you like it?' I asked, and no one said outright they liked it. 'Do you think it's healthy or harmful?' They all said it's harmless, because the participants were consenting adults. So I asked them what's their favorite type of porn, and the answers were varied, although how young blondes, and horny teens topped the list of favorites. 'Was that 'horny teen' legal?' I asked, and the laughter died away. They'd never thought of that before, they'd also never thought of sex-slavery, but now wasn't the right time to talk about that, as I felt they would stop listening if I started lecturing. Although Ivan, one of the Russian lads raised his hand in protest. 'But sir, I only watch MILF porn.' The room erupted, and merits of MILF porn were briefly discussed. I decided to get personal. I asked them to raise their if they wanted to get married and have kids one day, and they all raised their hands. 'So what age is it okay for your son to watch porn?' They paused, giving it serious thought, before generally deciding that around 14yrs old is good. 'And what age is it okay for your daughter to watch porn?' I was greeted with silence. No one wanted their daughter to ever watch porn, because deep inside of them, they know porn is not good, and they know it is degrading to women, regardless of consent. We talked about other things, from relationship to STD's, but only briefly, because there's only so much you can teach them in one-off, one hour session. But I wasn't there to teach, but to make them think.

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I'm now an author

It's been a long time, but I've been busy - I wrote two books and they're out now. You can love them or hate them, but you won't know until you buy them. Confessions of a male nurse - by Michael Alexander Confessions of a school nurse - by Michael Alexander Look them up on amazon or itunes. I have to confess, I don't even know how to create a link on my blog, I'm nearly computer illiterate. But I do l ike to write, and I hope you'll take a look at my work. This is me, the good, the bad and the ugly. I hope I don't come across as too ugly, but there's always a risk when you bare your soul.

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bloody Furious

I'm not naive enough to belive I can make a difference, but it's important to vent. Today's topic is not exactly nursing related, but it is health related. Although the nasty sorts of people involved do tend to make life miserable for medical people. So, here's the story: Yesteday, the school where my son is at had a serious health issue. Withing the space of an hour around 40 kids out of 120, suddenly developed fever, vomiting, and stomach cramps. Fortunatley my son was one of the ones that didn't get sick, but my wife had to go and pick her son up. There were about six ambulances, plus police cars and even several fire trucks. I found out later the firemen were looking for environmental hazards, eg gas leak among other things. When my wife picked up our son, the media were there and interviewed her. She said the school was great, and that although this is really unfortunate, she is not angry at the school. The reporters moved onto another parent. Not surprising. We all know reporters look for dirt. Anyway, day two of the incident, and it looks like the kids are going to be fine, although an investigation is still underway to determine the cause of the problem. It just so happens that we know someone on the city council. This council member spoke with some reporters and bascially said they were not going to go on the 'war path' and attack the school. The reporters didn't bother reporting this. They openly admitted they were looking for some dirt to tear the school to pieces. I'm furious, although I shouldn't be. Good news can sell. We're all sick of bad news. Actions like these just reinforce the fact that the media cannot be trusted. In fact not only can they not be trusted, but the actions demonstrated here are those of a terrible leech whose sole purpose is to thrive on misery and pain. My wife has spoken to many other mothers involved in the incident. The mothers all had the same story, they were interviewed, but the reporters left, disinterested, when the parents said nice things about the school. I'm sure one parent will say something unpleasant, and this will be all the media need, to create a bullshit story and hurt a place, a school.... a school that does a good job looking after the children and providing caring, effective teachers. Well, that's enough ranting from me. Maybe I'll start a newspaper, with the sole purpose of printing the real story, as well as some real good news.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Don't write when you're angry

But it's sometimes so therapeutic when you write when you're angry. I'm going to break my own rules and tell what happened today.

Eastern european doctor prescibes injections for a patient suffering from neck pain. The patient has had every test imaginable, and everything has come back normal. The prescription list two injections I am to administer.

I don't accept prescriptions from foreign doctors with unidentifiable medicines. The local doctor (western trained) does some research on the injections prescribed. He finds out that they are not only banned in all western countries, but they have very dangerous side effects, and that they would not help in any way. The local doctor even said that if he gave them, he would most likely lose his licence.

This is actually not unusual. What made me angry is when I politely explained to the parents that we cannot do this, that I got yelled at. The parents demanded that their child see a 'specialist' and told me that western trained nurses have a terrible reputation.

This is actually not new. I've heard this, and worse, many times. I don't know why it's bothering me so much. Perhaps what's really bothering me is that this child is going to have a potentially harmful treatment, and no one is listening.

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