Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Taking The Piss

Somewhere among all the piles of paperwork that I seem to spend all my days at work ploughing through are the little joys that are practical skills. After 2 hours of writing discharge notifications, even the satisfaction of getting a cannula in is enough to make my heart do a little leap of joy.

Weirdly there is one skill that I look forward to more than any others.


Before you get too worried I don't have some weird kink about sticking things up willies. In fact I generally don't really like getting up close and personal with strangers genitalia. There's just something intrinsically satisfying about the instant relief given to a patient in urinary retention when you pop in a catheter.

Those of you who have put a catheter in someone who is retaining urine will know exactly what I mean, for those who haven't I'll try to explain. Think about how bad it feels when you're desperate for a wee. Now multiply that by 10. In fact imagine you need a wee so bad that your abdomen becomes so distended that your whole belly is stretched tight and the pain is excruciating. Then imagine how awesome it feels when someone pops a little tube in and all of a sudden all that pressure and pain is gone. Then imagine how great it must feel to see the look on your patient's face when you realise that's what you've done for them.


NB: this feeling is less awesome if you are unprepared and hose yourself in urine. (Thankfully I learnt from a friend's mistake).

Dr Sunshine xXx


  1. Yes, it's very satisfying to help someone, and somehow you don't feel very helpful while dictating tons of discharge notes... I know the feeling!

    I love how well you can express in words so many things we think and do everyday. Comforting to read that other people feel the same way.

  2. I use to always cringe when they did that to my mum in hospital, but seeing you explain it makes me look at things a little different!