Beyond, "Can I get a little help in here?!" there is only one other phrase that strikes terror in the hearts of nurses everywhere:
"You should talk to PurpleRN. She's a nurse!"
I was at a party this past weekend and heard the words careen out of a friend's mouth, hitting my good-time-spirit like lead weights. Before I had the chance to avoid eye contact and slip away, I was pulled into the conversation.
Friend: "This guy here is afraid of having surgery."
Me: "Oh? What surgery are you having?"
Guy: "I'm not having surgery."
Me: "Um.... okay..... Then how did this come up?"
Friend: "Tell her about your brother."
Guy: "When my brother was a kid, he had appendicitis and had to have emergency surgery cuz it burst"
Me: "Uh huh....."
G: "So now I'm really worried I'll get appendicitis and have to have surgery."
Me: (Why am I talking to this guy instead of having fun? *sigh*) "I'm guessing he had stomach pains for a few days and your parents didn't take him seriously until it was too late. Generally appendices don't burst without warning.
G: "Yeah, I do remember that happening."
At this point I hoped that our conversation was over, but for the next 20 or so minutes (felt like F O R E V E R) I had to reassure him that no, he was not likely to get appendicitis, that it was even less likely it would burst, educated him about "rebound tenderness" as a classic sign, told him that *if* he had appendicitis and it wasn't an emergency, he could likely request a spinal block rather than general anaesthesia if that was one of his concerns for surgery (at which point I had to explain what a spinal block was...) and I think I'm *finally* done with this guy when he asks again "So you don't think I'll get appendicitis?"
"No. It's not very likely. Judging by your hair color (it was grey) I'd say if you were concerned about something happening to your intestines, I'd get a colon cancer screening."
"People with grey hair are more likely to get colon cancer?"
[facepalm] "......no. You're supposed to get a scope done at age 50 to check for colon cancer."
"Ohhhh.... so you think I'm going to get colon cancer?"
At this point I was interrupted by someone wanting to know if I'd like a drink.
Yes. Yes I did.