Naked with Nurses

da vinci Someone asked me what nurses think about when their patients undress. For the most part, we’re thinking, “damnit, when’s my coffee break?” We never really look for anything on your body except abnormalities, scars, bruises etc. Basically, if you look like the picture in the anatomy and physiology book, then there is nothing to see and we eagerly move along. For female nurses, dealing with naked women is a breeze, naked men proved awkward and challenging at first, but even they begin to blend with the background when you have enough experience.

Then there are the freakishly obese, absurdly skinny and deformed people. When you see these types, you are inclined to gasp (on the inside) especially if you are a new nurse, but you understand the underlying conditions that influence the shape of their bodies and you concentrate on treating the underlying causes, rather than making judgements about the person.

The patients that really work nurses up, are those that persistently do things they shouldn’t do, worsening their ailment and those that refuse to do their share but it’s their bad habits that come under fire (not the shape of their body).

I had an obese prisoner patient that would lie in bed eating all day and all night. There’d be crumbs and pieces of food all around her. She used to eat so much I was wondering how they managed to get a handcuff around her big ankles only to find that it was a special cuff designed for larger people. I am far from skinny and I know the battle of the bulge only too well, but she wasn’t even trying to improve herself even a little bit. She’d get her family to sneak in fatty snacks and litres of soda. She didn’t like bathing much and didn’t mind being seen with food hanging out her mouth or stuck to her hair. Despite this, I did not judge her for being obese. I understood that there may be underlying conditions aggravating her weight problem and it may not have been her fault totally, but those facts didn’t make it any less challenging cleaning up after her. She would crap on the bed and I felt like I needed a car jack just to lift her butt cheeks apart so that I could wipe her clean. When you’re in the moment trying to manoeuvre a supersized woman, you’re not thinking happy thoughts, you’re thinking “fuck my life” but when the painful part is over, your thoughts have shifted to the next dreadful task in line and you’re laughing and joking around with the patient again as normal. Well that’s what it felt like for me. Nursing doesn’t allow you to keep your mind on any one event for a long time. You have a million things on your mind and most of the time you’re just verbally abusing the clock, waiting for it to hit 6:45.

To answer the question simply, for me, it was never about how sexy or unsexy a person is, I just didn’t think that way. Most nurses don’t think that way. So you can feel totally comfortable being naked in front of a nurse, chances are she is not even seeing you naked. You look just as normal as a clothed person and if you are extremely obese or extremely skinny, we’re not going to linger on it for too long, if at all, except of course to educate you on how to improve your health but a body is a body is a body.

Seeing so many naked people has its side effects on nurses though. While people often say you can never see too many naked people, I have a feeling I am not the only nurse that would disagree on that sentiment. Nurses become desensitized to the sexiness of a naked body. I was walking on the beach, amused at the look of awe on my friends face as he stared at the half naked people on the beach. To me there was nothing hot about it. Basic anatomy intact – nothing special. Oh well, at least I am one of the few people who go to the beach just to be on the beach…FML…

Post to Twitter

  • The BlaBla Blog

    Don’t know how you did it. Cleaning the shitty butt of an overweight woman who is not your mother? Too much. Why was she in ‘ankle’ cuffs anyway?

  • Arkadia

    @fe1eb8eb1f41080ff5b30082e2b853f0:disqus haha! You gotta do what you gotta do..*shivers*. She was a prisoner that needed med care. We’re a public hospital but we get a lot of prisoners being escorted by guards from the nearby prison.

  • Waffle

    “I was walking on the beach, amused at the look of awe on my friends face as he stared at the half naked people on the beach.”  Boy you said it here!

    I once had to do a procedure on an “exotic dancer”… I was like, “Meh”.

    Not sure how I feel about that LOL

    • Arkadia

      The curse of a nurse…first it’s awkward and uncomfortable, then it becomes such a regular occurence, you don’t even notice that a person is naked until they ask for a gown or something to cover up with! I doubt I’d find anything interesting to see on a nude beach…unless a face is growing outside someones’ back!

  • Michelle

    Arkadia are you South African? if so, which city?

  • vigorousatheist

    I’m so sick and tired of these female nurses trying to say “we don’t look at you like that” or “we don’t care one bit if you’re nude”
    Bull. Fucking. Shit.

    Doesn’t matter what job you have, whether it’s an ER attendant or a Playgirl photographer taking 1000’s of nude male pics a day, you still like seeing nude males.
    At least nude males that are in-shape and attractive. Sure, most of the guys in the ER/hospital are obese, old & unappealing, but you know every once in a while an attractive guy comes in and you enjoy seeing him nude. Or you’re at least curious.
    You can train yourself to say “I swear! When Leonardo DiCaprio came in, i completely didn’t care what his penis looked like!”, but you’re not fooling anyone.

    Long story short, in-shape nude male bodies attract/intrigue you, it doesn’t matter what scenario it is. As long as his body isn’t severely mangled, you will be attracted to looking at his penis. You can deny it all you want, but once you stop blindly repeating stuff like “nurses don’t get attracted to nude patients” you too will notice how naive you were.

    • Arkadia

      :) Intriguing. Are you a nurse? I am not opposed to your viewpoint but the point of the article was not to stroke the egos of sexy men with nice looking members…it was to assist people with getting over the anxiety of being naked with healthcare staff…particularly for those that feel bad about their bodies. I know a few people that have so much anxiety about being naked with strangers that they’d rather let that tumor grow than get it checked.

      When it comes to the male anatomy – I’ve never once heard a nurse say to me “Wow! Did you see the penis on that guy??!” – neither have I thought it out. To be quite honest, I am more concerned with getting the awkward examination/procedure out of the way and I do try to keep my eyes on his eyes instead of on his one-eyed snake…it’s more romantic like that. 😛

      I’ve had this convo with female nurses – they call the male ward the “snake park” and they are mostly terrified, especially new nurses…the trained ones handle those things like pros. That’s not to say I can’t appreciate an attractive in-shape body. It’s not really like a porn setting though…think about it…sick people, puke, blood, crap. It’s kinda a turn off unless it’s not…if you know what I mean…

      Now if you’re gonna talk about Leonardo DiCaprio – of course his penis would be of interest to many women. Heh!

      • vigorousatheist

        Yes, and the point of my comment was to expose this laughable lie that it’s IMPOSSIBLE for a nurse to be attracted/intrigued by a nude patient.
        Lets say a 6 foot tall man with abs and a nice body came into the er, but he only had a fever so he wasn’t mangled.
        You would be sexually intrigued at his nude body, no matter how professional you think you are.
        And you know damn well you’ve masturbated at least once thinking about a certain nude male patient.
        You might not remember it (or flat out lie) but you know it happened.
        Humans are attracted to other human’s bodies.
        End. Of. Story.

        • Arkadia

          Vigorous Atheist…it’s not impossible for a nurse to be attracted to a patient – I thought we already established that I’m in agreement with you on that.

          You’re overstepping by acting as though it’s impossible for the opposite scenario to happen too and that’s a very narrow viewpoint.

          If I was ever sexually attracted to a male patient, I’d gladly admit it. I’m not shy, religious, or afraid to speak up about it. If I did develop an attraction to a patient at any point, I’d probably write a post about it because this blog is about the challenges of this profession. The good, the bad, the ugly, the confusing and the awkward. It’s meant to be an outlet to express all those things we would never normally mention.

          The comment section is here for people to contribute to the post intelligently. If you are a nurse and you’re trying to tell us that you’ve fantasized about patients, then that’s a fair contribution to the post. Instead your argument is based on arbitrary assumptions. How would you know what my sexual fantasies are? Did I date you at some point? Perhaps I rejected you at the hospital? I know what it is – your nurse girlfriend cheated on you with a patient! You can lie about it but I know it happened!

          Can you see how irrational it is to make an assumption about what a stranger has or hasn’t experienced?

          I’ll try to indulge your fantasy though. It’s a big world and there could very well be nurses everywhere just dying to hop in your pants the moment you walk through the hospital doors…because that’s all that’s on their mind right? Not the kids that need dinner when they go home, or the husband that’s oiled up and waiting on a bed of rose petals, or the really ill patient on bed 6, or the doctor that’s being uncooperative, or the cold lunch that’ll probably never get eaten, or the backache from trying to move a comatosed patient, or the vomit stains on their uniform or the load of work you’re about to impose on them, not even the dead body they have to wrap up before their shift is over…no, they’re waiting to see your penis and wank to it. (note: sarcasm)

          The only valid statement you’ve made is that we’re all human and we can in fact be attracted to people in even the most bizarre setting. However your mistake is assuming that ALL nurses have experienced feeling attracted to patients and I hate to break it to you…that’s just not logical or true. Source: I’m a nurse!

          • vigorousatheist

            No, I’ve never had a nurse-girlfriend cheat on me.
            Mostly because i wouldn’t date nurses, as they are all disgusting, sexual deviants who only do their jobs so they can get free peep shows.
            You’re making it sound as if i’m saying that nurses hold conferences discussing each patient’s penis appearance (although i wouldn’t put it past women, who are all maliciously conniving and downright evil).
            Never said that -at least the first part-. I merely stated that females who are attracted to males, whether they be nurses or in any other scenario, like to look at penises. Even ones on certain male patients.
            This is something that you more or less admitted, and that 99% of female nurses deny.
            And this fact alone squashes the fairy tale that male patients shouldn’t be embarrassed about being nude in front of female nurses because just as you described, nurses think sexual thoughts too.
            And btw studies show that when women look at penises, they automatically compare them to past lovers -either subconsciously or not-. This, coupled with your admittance that you think sexual thoughts about certain male patients, means that us males SHOULD be given modesty in the medical environment, and it SHOULD be a norm to have male-male patients/nurses.

            If i ever go to the hospital, (no matter how badly injured i am) and any female nurse actually expects me to undress in front of her, i will tackle her, detain her until police arrive and try to have her charged with attempted sexual assault. Sure, that won’t happen, and I’ll probably do serious jail time for the tackling and “false police report”, but it would be well worth it to screw with her head and make her think twice about nonchalantly viewing nude male patients at her leisure in the future.
            You’ll let me fucking bleed out on the operating table before i allow you to humiliate me by making me put on a show for you to think about later when you’re rubbing one out.
            And before you start screaming “U R UMBARASSED CUZ U HAV SMAHL PEEPEE!”.
            Right, because it’s IMPOSSIBLE for a normal-length-penis man to feel embarrassed about being nude….
            I mean if you have double d titts, that automatically means you have no cares in the world about being seen nude, right?

          • Arkadia

            Sir, you’re officially scaring me. I’m really concerned for you. Did you suffer with sexual abuse or have you had too many issues with women in the past? If you read my comments again, you’ll hopefully see that I agree that it’s possible for nurses to be attracted to patients but I also stated that I’ve never experienced that myself at all. It’s too much of a depressing environment for me to have my head in the gutter. I’m usually too caught up in the sadness of our mortality as I get a first hand view of how the human race is suffering.

            If your concern is that you’re being objectified, then you can request male staff to tend to you. Also it’s your right to refuse to undress. If you need to go to surgery, they may require you to change into suitable clothing for surgery but you can change in a bathroom, or have your bed screened. It’s not standard for nurses to ask you to fully undress as we’re trained to maintain the dignity of the patient as much as possible by allowing them to remain as independent as possible and by keeping their bodies covered whenever possible only exposing areas that really have to be exposed for treatment. I really think you’re overthinking the situation and overestimating the number of nurses fantasizing about you. I can guarantee, in almost all cases, you will only be fully exposed if you’re unable to change your clothing, bathe or wipe your ass by yourself…if you’re in that kind of state, you’re not attractive at all, so you can rest assured…nobody will be rubbing one off for you.

            Further than that, I suggest that you seek counseling to help you overcome your hatred for women or female nurses. Not everyone is out to get you. There is clearly an underlying trauma affecting you. Wish you luck. Hope you find peace one day.

            EDIT: Having taken a look at your comment history on disqus – I see that you often go around spewing angry comments on blogs. If this is an attempt at trolling, then I won’t be entertaining or hosting your comments any longer. However if you’re actually just a struggling, traumatized soul who is genuinely in trouble and in need of assistance, I’d be happy to help you find some help or refer you to MALE co-workers who can assist you.

  • A Banterings

    the question to ask is how does the patient feel? when you are the only person in the room without clothes, who cares how the nurse feels?

    not one mention about the patient here. soooo caring.

    did you know that patients “pressured” into undressing have the same experience as victims of sexual assault?

  • thenose

    Arkadia, in your story, you mention all fat woman etc… and gross subjects. I could understand it totally. Its gross. But would you feel the exact same way if you were taking care of 2 or three young men your same age to whom on the street, you would find very highly attractive? Could you still hold back your feelings? Would you look? Would you feel nervous around them? Place your self in that situation where your patient was very good drop dead a hunk. Would your story be the same? Be honest. You wouldn’t cop a look? I am totally serious.

  • Arkadia

    The curse of a nurse…first it’s awkward and uncomfortable, then it becomes such a regular occurence, you don’t even notice that a person is naked until they ask for a gown or something to cover up with! I doubt I’d find anything interesting to see on a nude beach…unless a face is growing outside someones’ back!