An older woman that I cared for was bedfast. She did not use a bedpan when she voided. She asked for a urinal. She was a very clean person and I never had to change the bed linens when she was finished, so I thought, “Why not? The urinal was what she wanted and it looked as though she knew what she’s doing.”
Other nurses had this lady for a patient on other days and knew she used a urinal, but instead of asking her how she did it, they harassed me, the new nurse, and said, “Ask her how she does it.”
They hadn’t the courage to ask her when she was their client, but now they were pressuring me to intrude.
That didn’t set too well with me. It irritated me and quite frankly, it was none of my business. If that was what the woman wanted, that was what she would get.
Later that afternoon, the woman called out again for the urinal. I went into her room and gave it to her and I left. When she was finished, she rang her call bell again and I went into her room to empty it.
The other nurses were huddled around the nursing station, waiting for me to emerge. “Well, did she tell you how she does it?” they asked.
It was near the end of the day and I was tired. I was at the end of my patience, wearing of their harassing the newbie. My breaking point had finally been reached. I said, “I did ask, and do you know what she told me?" I leaned forward and said quietly, "She said that she purses her lips.” I walked away leaving them open-mouthed and dumbfounded.
I hadn’t really asked the woman, but I assume she pushed aside her external genitalia and pressed the urinal tightly against herself, because there was never a wet spot in her bed. To me it seemed to be a cleaner way of urinating than on a bedpan.