More Anal Retension

Guest Blog Filed by: IoGT Director of Clinical Nursing Care, Mrs. Elizabeth Ronaldson.

Aged care patients are for the most part extremely placid old specimens. Most are content to see out their days engaged in the lively program of events arranged to keep them occupied between naps and their frequent accidents.

For some seniors though, the adjustment to RHS (Retirement Home Speed) can be fraught with danger and peril. As many new residents have led extremely active lives until only recently, they can hence be very reluctant to relinquish their independence. Unfortunately it is not unusual in many such cases for their frustrations to be taken out on the staff working to care for them.

I was reminded of this recently during a recent surprise site visit. One particular man had been having a particularly difficult time adjusting to his new surroundings and was by all reports treating the nursing staff very badly.

Most nurses had been doing their best to ignore his constant rudeness and insults but it wasn’t long before most decided they wouldn’t have anything to do with him.

As it transpires, the head matron eventually decided that enough was enough and took matters into her own hands. Shortly before my visit she stopped by the cranky man’s room and announced “I need to take your temperature.” After complaining for around 10 minutes the man finally calmed down and opened his mouth. “No, I’m sorry”, the Matron said, “For this his reading, I can’t use an oral thermometer.” The man was obviously unimpressed, but finally consented to roll over and submit to the test.

After feeling the thermometer inserted inside him, the man heard the Matron say “ I have to get my clip board. So you just STAY LIKE THAT until I get back.”

She then left the door open on her way out and returned to her office.

For much of the next 30 minutes until I arrived, the cranky old man was apparently left cursing under his breath as a steady flow of passersby sniggered at the sight of his bare bottom.

Having noticed me in the hallway, the man angrily grunted, “What’s the matter, Doc? You’ve never seen a patient having their temperature taken before?” After a long pause I confessed, “Well I guess I haven’t. Not with a carnation anyway.”