HUDSON VALLEY, NY – A miracle occurred on Saturday as Cathy Meyers, night shift RN at Hudson Valley Hospital, found herself staring at the wavering end of a fully-inflated Foley catheter. The catheter once belonged to the bladder of Cathy’s patient, a 600-pound woman who was admitted for what she self-described as “BS,” though the admitting physician described it as the patient’s “fourth CHF exacerbation this month alone.”
Cathy had innocently responded to a call light when the patient said she “found this when I was just itchin’ my lady parts.” What the patient had found, of course, was her catheter that took no fewer than four RN’s to place after three attempts.
Neglecting the surprise one might feel at witnessing someone removing a balloon from their urethra without so much as a whimper, Cathy sprung into action. With no other RN’s available (as they were suddenly involved in other tasks, somehow), Cathy decided to take matters into her own hands, mostly because she pushed 80mg of Lasix just ten minutes earlier.
Despite her being one-fourth of the patient’s size, Cathy followed sterile technique and blindly placed the most elegant and perfect catheter insertion ever to be witnessed, if anyone had bothered to help.
“I owe it all to the extra class they made me come in for the other week,” said Cathy when we asked about her victory. “I’ll admit, forcing me to come in for an extra three hours to talk about catheter insertion and UTI prevention on my day off seemed silly at first. But when I was down there with that patient, using my shoulder to hold that panniculus up while still maintaining aseptic technique, I realized that I wouldn’t have ever landed that Foley if it weren’t for the education department checking me off for being able to insert a catheter in a dummy like I was in nursing school all over again.”
Cathy’s heroic efforts are being rewarded by her manager, who has made her responsible for auditing the charting on all catheters on her unit from here until eternity.