When she pulled back the gown on a seemingly pretty, 32 year old woman, she saw a penis, dropped the catheter kit onto the floor and we never saw her again.
My First Experience with Medical Discrimination
Carla Lewis
4338

Completely uncalled for, especially in an ER. There are trans people in this world. There always have been. ER nurses tend to put insert urinary catheters into them more than other nurses, but we are all equipped and prepared to take care of them.

When we take care of people, we are supposed to put them first, empathize with them, and grant them dignity and deference. Sometimes people don’t do that. For those, we have to forgive and maybe hope for a little karma.

I remember the first patient I took care of that had endured female circumcision/genital mutilation. She was in for a Well Woman Exam. She had classic Somalian features; thin nose, willowy frame, dark skin, bright eyes, and of course the accent of an immigrant.

So, I already knew there was a high probability of some sort of circumcision, even though she was dressed in secular apparel. I asked if she wanted a female provider, she said “no”, so I handed her a gown, and went to get a female MA to chaperone and assist.

Before the MA and I went in, I did both the patient and the MA a favor and told her what we might be seeing. Unfortunately, the damage was just as extensive as I had prepared the MA to see. Fortunately, the MA was a rock and didn’t bat an eye, but later told me she may have “lost her shit” (her words, not mine) if I hadn’t prepared her beforehand.

Since this was the patients first pelvic exam, I told her everything that would happen before we even got started, and like in all WWEs, I told her what I was going to do before I did each step. The patient handled it well and was so grateful that we had treated her with dignity.

Just like I put two and two together and realized that Somali patient could be circumcised, your nurse that day should have been able to put it all together and realized the possibility that you could be trans. I’m sorry this happened to you.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated James Massey’s story.