Saturday, October 29, 2011

Think Twice Before You Say What's On Your Mind

Last night I was working my eight hour shift at the hospital and my co-worker, grabs me by my arm and practically drags me into one of the charting rooms.  She has red eyes and tells me that one of her female patients she was taking care of, mistook her by accident as expecting…as in pregnant…as in looks big in the waist line such as looking pregnant. 

OH MY goodness people! 

My co-worker does not in the least bit look pregnant at all!  She was merely wearing a long-sleeve shirt (it is Wisconsin and cold outside already) under her scrub top and the pants she wore looked bunchy in that part of the waist because of the drawstring. 


She was so upset that she must have cried about it.  I tried to calm her down saying things like “of course you don’t look pregnant”, and “I’m sure it’s just the patient’s anesthetic”, and “YOU DON’T LOOK BIG”!
But it was hard to change her mind, she kept standing there holding her tummy and sticking it out asking “do I look that fat”?  PLEASEEE!  I reassured her again that she looked beautiful and not pregnant or fat.


Please, for the greater good of all womankind, be graceful and wise (knowing that if the tables were turned, think of how it would make you feel if the opposite were said about you) before you ask a woman if they’re pregnant or expecting.  This is the most ignorant comment anyone could make to a woman who isn’t pregnant.  This is hurtful and hard to recover from especially, if like my friend, you’re trying to lose weight.  Please especially keep in mind people like me who are trying to get their work done in a timely manner, have to now put on their counselor hat and help build up their co-workers self esteem that has clearly taken a beating.


  1. I think women say this to other women more often than men ever say it. We men are thick headed but learned that even though we might be thinking it don't say it.
    Truthfully, there must be some reason the woman said it, does she look like it even a little.

  2. I once had a patient say that to me. As she was very old, I just laughed.(Inside I was saying, "Thank god I'm NOT pregnant!)

    But assuming this was a lady much younger than me, I can understand why she was upset.

    I didn't know any hospitals still worked 8 hour shifts!

  3. Aww, your poor co-worker. I hate it when things go the opposite way too. Like, when a woman who is CLEARLY pregnant (like, 9 MONTHS PREGNANT) gets onto the Metro during rush hour, and no one offers a seat, because they're afraid to assume that she's pregnant. I usually do, but I just say, "Do you want to sit?," not, "OMG, you are SO BIG. Are you 40 weeks or something?!" If I'm wrong, I always figure I can pull a, "I'm so sorry. Excuse me. I'm a med. student and I just project illnesses onto people."

  4. NPO-Well in truth she’s not stick thin, but I wouldn’t mistake her for being pregnant. It’s a touchy subject no matter who you are.

    Barb-My co-worker and I are CNA’s and they schedule the PM shift’s from 1430-2230. The nursing staff usually works 12’s, however I’ve seen some newer RN’s working 8’s to cover during shortages.

    Red-I’ve never thought about it from the other view of an obvious pregnancy, but now that you say it, that would be terrible too not to be offered a seat of out courtesy. I love your med student excuse, priceless, wonder if that would work for me if I said I’m a nursing student???

  5. Zazzy--You're going to make a great nurse! I went to nursing school back in the stone age ( mid-eighties). Some schools now require their applicants to go through CNA classes before nursing school, which is a great thing. You definitely find out ahead of time if you really want to be in this field. I appreciate really good CNAs. They can make such a difference with patient care. You have a very hard job!