Nurses’ Bladder

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I need to go to bathroom!If you’re a nurse working on the floor, you’re probably familiar with this term. If not, here’s a definition: Nurse’s Bladder: the training and ability to hold one’s pee for a 12 hour shift.

Is this healthy? A urologist would probably say no. But, said urologist may not have half a dozen call lights and bells ringing, grabbing for every bit of multi-tasking energy a nurse can muster. When sick patients have needs, bodily functions of caregivers often get pushed to the back burner.

A few days ago, a friend introduced me to her cousin; a med surg nurse, Julie, out of Pennsylvania. My friend told the tale of a recent trip to an amusement park with Julie…

“The other three girls in our party? It seems like we spent half the day waiting in line for the restroom. Not Julie! She told us she has a nurse’s bladder.” For every three or four bathroom breaks the rest of the group had, Julie had only one.

I wasn’t surprised…in fact, I find this is pretty common in the profession of caregiving.

nurse having a neck painTo most nurses, it probably seems like no big deal. But, I ask you…how many other jobs can you think of where one doesn’t even get to perform bodily functions for such an extended period of time? It’s hard to think of a single job outside of health care.

What’s the point of me bringing this up? Simple recognition and affirmation. Every chance I get, I’m sharing with non-health care folks just how hard professional caregivers work. And why do they do it? They (you) simply want to help. Help patients like me, help people like me. We are all indebted to those of you who put our immediate needs ahead of your own.

As always, thank you.

Happy  doctor at the doctor's office

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