Off duty nurse

Updated: Jan 18, 2020

Well this concept doesn’t exist, as any nurse will tell you, as soon as your profession is out the bag- you are then exposed, often literally, to scabs, rashes, bruises, lumps and to the unseen, the headaches, the stomach aches and of course the heartaches. An off duty nurse is automatically a safe place to unload and to share. It’s not encouraged, we are on the tube, it’s not appropriate, we are in a quite waiting room....but it’s automatic and it happens, regularly.

Suggestions and recommendations ensue, thankfully normally just an ointment, a pill, an alternative suggestion to what’s come before.

I’ve diagnosed a broken nose and a potentially broken relationship on a woman after her boyfriend rugby tackled her, yup he was drunk, so was she, no I didn’t tell her it was broken, we were abroad and she had no insurance. Yes it was re-set when she returned home.

I’ve diagnosed a verruca across the table of an Argentinian restaurant and I diagnosed genital warts in a toilet in a club. We didn’t swap numbers so I’m not sure how that one panned out.

But often the shoulder is needed. The shoulder to cry on. Nurses are listeners, without realising, a gentle question of mental health may have been asked and the safe place becomes their bubble, for the duration of that tube journey.

Understand, these people are usually strangers to me, but I listen, I hear, I care....for the entirety of our contact, and then they leave, hopefully slightly lifted, a little lighter, a little relieved....a little bit cured....when all I’ve done, is listen.



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