Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Be A Nurse

My friend N who puts the N in ANR is a nurse too. She hails from Ohio but is a Bowling Green grad and not a Buckeye grad so I have to give her a pass for that. I first met her about 10 years ago when I went to work in a rather large urology practice.

Now, as you can imagine, there aren't too many things you'd need a urologist for. We could include prostate enlargement, prostate cancer, urinary tract problems and cancer, kidney stones, vasectomies, male infertility and ED. What's that? Why that would be erectile dysfunction and unless you've been living in a cave and missing all the Viagra commercials out there, I don't need to explain what that is. We'll talk about how Pfizer has ruined one of my favorite Elvis songs on a different post.

So given this laundry list of what kind of nurse this lovely but straight-laced Ohio woman could be, what would be your guess? Ding. Ding. You'd be right only if you guessed an erectile dysfunction nurse. When I worked with her, I was a clinical research nurse. I had my fair share of ED clinical trials and therefore ED patients, but nothing like what N did.

This woman is amazing and over the years, has made that practice a boatload of money. She of course makes a nurse's wage because why pay her what she's really worth when she is JAN (just a nurse)? For the remainder of this post, we are going to refer to N as Jan.

Within this large practice, Jan has built her own clientele. Patients adore her and will wait to see her-she delivers what they want. An erection. Within her exam rooms are some of the most horrific things-if you are a male with ED. We'll start with a rigiscan. Oh hell, being a girl kind of limits what I can tell you about being a patient with ED. You can read all about that here. Suffice it to say that a rigiscan measures an erection while you sleep. At the ANR conference on Monday over at Wolfgang Puck's restaurant, we discussed the low tech methodology of the past for performing a rigiscan. It seems you need to moisten some postage stamps and place around the appendage before you go to sleep. If you wake up and the stamps have broken the seal, voila, you da man and that myriad of ED drugs will probably work for you. If not, poor you. You need Jan.

I know what goes on in those exam rooms with Jan and it isn't what you'd think. It's worse. It involves needles. And injecting things into the appendage that even hurts me, a girl, to think about. Jan, who was going on vacation, tried to teach me her job once. Suffice it to say, it made me queasy. First, you have to fill the syringe and grab a fairly long needle to attach to it. Then you have to take hold of the appendage and inject the concoction into the base of said appendage. I failed miserably. I just couldn't do it. Jan's job was safe and there had never been coverage for her vacations in the past. Why set a precedent?

I bring all this up (excuse the pun) because I think I need a change in my career. Being a nurse is a wonderful thing because there are all sorts of jobs out there for nurses. I've been a transplant nurse, an ER (not to be confused with ED) nurse, a research nurse and an ICU nurse. I've worked in hospitals, nursing homes (ick) and private practice. They all have their benefits and drawbacks. I'm thinking hard on what I'd like to do next and I'm just not sure. My current work is quite literally back-breaking and I suffer from 2 herniated discs in my lower back. My job is hurting me. So it's time for a change and I'm just not sure what I'll do. I do know, Jan's job is safe. I won't be going after something like that.