I remember him now, after many years.
His wide grin, revealing the gap in his teeth, one of the two front teeth chipped by some previous incident giving him an awkward, yet, still pleasant smile.
He had marks on his face – etched deeply into both sides of his cheek, yet unable to completely disfigure his face and his alluring smile.
He was always neatly dressed, his white uniform spotless despite the hot and sandy environment.
He was the nurse assigned to the village.
I met him on a compulsory youth service scheme, I had been assigned to man a remote hospital in a remote part of the country; I was essentially the only doctor in the village. The senior Doctor only came on weekends.
My male nurse more than made up for this deficit.
I remember the time a young boy had cut his hand with a matchete. His thumb had almost been severed from his palm, the skin, blood vessels and tendons were all dangling, longing to be disconnected from the rest of the hand – This was my first major test as the village doctor – and I was ill prepared for it. Finally, my mainly theoretical knowledge was about to be exposed.
My nurse came to the rescue; he showed me how to properly inject the area with a local anaesthetic, how to properly hold the needle holder, how to pick up a layer of skin and attach it to another, how to properly cross and tie the suturing thread. He supervised as I went to work, though I secretly hoped he would take over completely. In a little while, the job was done and the thumb was again part of the palm. I looked with pride at my finished work.
That was my introduction to the amazing world of male nurses. A group I have the utmost respect for.
If I am stuck on an island of sick people and I’m asked who I need to help me between a Neurosurgeon, Cardiologist, Gynaecologist and a nurse, you can be sure of my choice.
What are your experiences with male nurses and nurses in general?
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