Sunday, July 31, 2011

The perils of changing the subject

My patient was quite the talker.

This can be a problem when I have a narrow window in which to see all my patients and get vital signs, pass medications, listen to hearts and lungs, and put out fires. Talkers, while fun to be around, slow me down.

Thus, I have been carefully honing the art of integrating conversation with necessary nursing tasks. We chat while I chart on the computer, put pills in little paper cups, check oxygen levels, and hunt around for the ever-elusive pulses in their feet.

This time it backfired.

Patient: Talk talk talk talk talk talk talk

Me: Oh yeah? Uh huh, uh huh. Take a deep breath for me.

Patient: Talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk

Me: No way! What's your pain level at from 0-10?

Patient: Talk talk talk...I have a huge movie collection at home.

Me: Wow, you must really like movies. When was your last bowel movement?

Patient: This morning. A big one.


Patient: I'd say you could fill up that wall by the window and this wall next to me with it.


Me: Um, your bowel movement?

Patient: NO! My movie collection!

Me: [Rendered speechless by giggling]

Me: [Composure regained] Sorry, you changed the subject on me!

Patient: No, I think you were the one that changed the subject.


Note to readers: If you don't know what a bowel movement is, you can learn more about it here.


  1. Hahaha. That is such a funny story. You're right though...that would be a pretty big bowel movement.

  2. this is hilarious, Camber. I haven't looked at your blog in such a long time! I have so much catching up to do! I love that your blog always makes me laugh. thanks for the giggles. :)

  3. Haha! Oh my goodness, this made me laugh! Sick. I can see you trying to imagine a BM that big and getting way confused. ;) thanks for sharing! Oh the joys of nursing

  4. Oh. My. Goodness. I can't believe I had to wait two months for my blog list to update so I could read that. Seriously, I doubled over with giggles.