Why do patients flirt with their nurse

10 questions to ask a nurse you would never dare ask yourself

Update 02/15/2017:Jana sent us the picture for this interview herself. However, when she got critical feedback, she began to worry about her job and asked us not to show her in the picture anymore. We have therefore edited the picture afterwards.

Sex bomb or young woman chasing doctors: there are many stereotypes about nurses. The Black Forest Clinic, Doctor's Diary and the MC Dreamies and MC Something from Grey's Anatomy fire the imagination. And let's be honest: Who is not happy when an attractive young lady or a crisp guy serves you the mush food in the hospital? Then a nice smile, and whoosh: sex fantasy on. There's not so much else to do either.

The fact is: nurses often sit between the chairs. In the worst case, they act as intermediaries between high-handed doctors and asshole patients. And ideally? "I'm fine when people understand that I'm more than someone who wipes people's asses," says 22-year-old Jana from Lower Saxony. She has been a fully qualified nurse for six months. And that makes it valuable for our country. "Nursing shortage" is the name of the problem in the language of the Ministry of Health. According to economic research institutes, there will be a shortage of more than 100,000 trained nurses by 2025.

The ministry writes on its homepage: "Good care takes time." Yes, that's right. A delicious cake also needs a fat frosting. The fact that something is needed does not mean that it exists. Jana says that she never has enough time for her patients. Especially with older, lonely people, she would like to have a quick chat with them. But: That doesn't work. Around 20 other patients are still waiting for them.

What else doesn’t work for nurses or maybe just now, she told us and also answered all the other questions you might have asked yourself when you were waiting with your appendicitis for the nice carer or sister to finally come into the room .

VICE: Long toenails, festering surgical wounds: what is the most disgusting thing about patients?
Jana: There are two things I really have to overcome: washing my penis and cleaning my fingernails. I'm not pain-free just because I'm a nurse.
If you wash the penis properly, you have to pull the foreskin down quite a bit. It's not always easy. Sometimes the patients didn't wash themselves properly for weeks. A lot accumulates there. Sometimes it stinks so much that I have to choke. I then try to hide it, but it doesn't always work. I feel the same way when cleaning my fingernails. I never know what the black thing is. In patients who already have metastases in the head, this is often feces. They then just pound around in the buttocks. A colleague threw herself into a trash can, but that hasn't happened to me yet.

Do some men get stiff when you wash them?
Sure it happens. I mean, it's almost like a reflex. I don't think that's bad. At least I can wash better now, I think then. Lately - that was funny - I went into a room with the food tray and the patient was just playing around with himself. He didn't stop when I was inside. However, he was no longer clear in his head, because people are reduced to the primordial instincts. But it has also happened that there have been disgusting sayings. Or that patients suddenly start moaning. Then I'm always totally perplexed. Even if people can actually still wash themselves and then say "You can do better", I feel uncomfortable.

And how often should you play sexy nurse for men at home?
In fact, I have never met a man who reacted negatively to my job. Of course, there is sometimes a stupid doctor game saying or such subtle hints that something would hurt at the bottom of the crotch. I should then check whether everything is still OK. I mean seriously? Such types are out of the question for me anyway. Hence: No! Sexy nurse and doctor games in bed, I don't do that.

Also at VICE: These sloths may be able to help cure cancer

How often do you do tasks that a doctor should do?
It happens every day. I do a lot of things that are actually a doctor's business: take blood, insert venous catheters, hang up infusions. Basically, the doctors are just shifting their work. It really annoys me when they forget that it's actually their job. One notices the strong hierarchical thinking in the hospital. Some doctors like to let you feel that too: I am a doctor, you are a nurse. A senior doctor called me "little mouse" before. That doesn't work at all. I then asked him if he was serious. At least that's where he noticed. But it is also like this: some nurses put up with it. They reproduce the cliché and play the cute little mouse.

If you have to go to the hospital yourself, will you go to yours?
No way! First of all, I know how things are going on some stations, the time pressure makes it incredibly difficult to always adhere to all standards, even if the colleagues want to. Besides, I don't want to be operated on by people who know me. I always see how people sometimes talk about patients. If you lie there, you are unconscious and exposed. Of course there are stupid sayings and remarks.

Sayings like "Take a look at his little thing" for example?
Yes, that happens too. This is not only possible in the operating room, but also in the ward rooms. When the door is closed, you make fun of patients. Sure, that's really wrong sometimes. But I think you also need a sense of humor to survive on the job. For example with people with dementia: Of course that's bad. But it is often involuntarily funny when someone tells you excitedly every five minutes that they are about to miss the bus. You laugh at that. But what doesn’t work for me: to meet people without respect. I would never ask a person with dementia whether they have "shit themselves" again because they won't notice anything anyway. Everyone has the right to be treated as a person right up to the end.

Have you ever stolen medication?
No, that doesn't work at all or it would be really very difficult. You are almost never alone in the medicine room, the room is always open and accessible to everyone - the hard medicines are securely locked. In the syringe room - because we also draw syringes here, that's what we call it - someone has to get in all the time. It is completely impossible to steal things that shoot, such as opioids and morphine for example. The locker is always locked, only a nurse has the key. If you then take something in their presence, you have to enter and remove it very precisely.

Do you wash your hands before each new patient?
There are hygiene standards everywhere that should be adhered to. But to be honest, this is almost never done. As long as you don't become unsterile, that's not a problem either. This is simply because the theory often does not fit in with practice and the time pressure we are under. It becomes critical when you don't have time to clean wounds properly, for example, or to wait for the disinfectant to take effect. I then just take the time, even if I don't have one. And what always has to be fulfilled when washing: Before the genital area is on, you have to change the water and fresh towels are needed. If this is not done, something is wrong.

How often do patients fall in love with you?
I think it takes a lot to be really in love. But there have been some who raved a bit and wanted to give me their cell phone number. But, who knows: Maybe they tried it with others or they did it out of boredom. You have enough of that in the hospital. I've never had anything with a patient either, but I've never really liked anyone either.

How many times have you seen a patient die?
I was there six times. The most terrible experience so far has been my first dying wife: I went straight into the room and noticed straight away that she was short of breath. When patients die, their lungs often fill with water. When you breathe it makes a gurgling noise. When I got in, she was almost suffocating. She was then given morphine, which relaxes her and makes her breathing shallower. But it was too late. I will probably never forget this seething gurgling. I wouldn't say I got used to death. I can only deal with it because I have to deal with it several times a week. When I come to the shift in the morning it says that patient X has died or has been transferred to the hospice.

Follow VICE onFacebook,InstagramandSnapchat.

Get the best of VICE emailed to you every week!

By subscribing to the VICE newsletter, you consent to receiving electronic communications from VICE, which may contain advertising or sponsored content.