[Image from here]I haven't thought too terribly much about what kind of nurse I want to be when I grow up. I've always said that I just want to play the field before I settle down somewhere. I don't want to be one of those people who swears that every single type of sick person in the world is the most fun to take care of.
Because one semester in, and pretty much one whole clinical rotation under my belt, and I can almost say with certainty that I don't want to work with the age-ed population.
It has nothing to do with their piss or their shit, either. I can deal with that. Piss and poo is a part of life, and I have no problem managing the biproducts of these patients' bowels.
It doesn't really have anything to do with that "old person smell" either. That doesn't bother me so much. It's funky, and it makes me wretch a little, but, I can handle that. I'm a professional.
It has a little to do with the fact that they will never get any better. That they have seen their "better days" and that it's all downhill from here, for many of them. That's a tad depressing. But, even that isn't something that I get hung up on. I can forget about that. I can even resume my life when I get home and continue taking it for granted. And likely, when I am their age, and some hot shot student nurse is standing over my hospital bed, feeling a twinge of pain over the fact that my glory days are over, I'm sure I might regret that I didn't enjoy those moments of my life more. No matter how crazy, or stressful, or endless they seemed.
C'est la vie...
They can be stubborn, they can be irrational, and they can be improper, but, those are actually my favorite things about the olds.
But, the thing that gets me about them...and what will likely keep me from working with them when/if I have a choice? Is the fact that some of them are the most racist buncha mo-fo's I've ever been around!!
They have no problem saying that they're "used to having colored's take care of them" when the black lady that checked their blood sugar walks out of the room. They see no shame in butchering the Spanish expression of gratitude, "grah-see-us" with their very white Southern drawls. TO THE HALF PHILLIPINO PREGNANT CHICK, WHO JUST FINISHED A TWELVE HOUR SHIFT, SWOLLEN, AND TIRED, AND CONTRACTING, YET, NEVER BALKED ONCE AT ANSWERING THEIR EVERY BECK AND CALL ALL THE DAMNED DAY!!! And they don't think it rude to ask the lady with the badge and thick Eastern Indian accent, "You're not from around here, are ya?" Then proceed to yell, loudly, slowly, and offensively, "DOOOOO YOOOOOOOU EVEN SPEEEEAK ENG-LIIISH?"
They just leave me speechless sometimes!
They are so seasoned, and they tell great stories, they are walking history books, they have fewer teeth to brush, which I totally dig about them, and they've lived circles around my piddly ass...likely earning them the right to say whateverthehell they want.
But, damn. They can be real assholes, the olds.
But, then again, can't we all?