After checking the patient’s observations and refitting his oxygen mask, the nurse heard the patient ask:
“Are my testicles black?”
The nurse raised his eyebrows, then spoke in his Scottish brogue, “I’ll check if you like”. The nurse lifted up the bed sheets, poked around for a bit, then declared,”no, they’re not black”, as he walked from the room.
The nurse returned to recheck the patient’s observations some time later. Again he heard the patient ask:
“Are my testicles black now?”
The nurse was puzzled by the patient’s obsession with the melanin content of his genitalia. Nevertheless, he lifted the bedsheets as before and had another poke around. There was no blackness to be seen.
“No, they’re still not black”.
“But you haven’t checked yet!”, the patient said.
The nurse pulled off the bedsheets, thus exposing the patient’s genitals.
“I’ve checked twice. Now look for yourself.” he said.
The patient removed his oxygen mask, and the nurse heard him ask:
“Are my test results back?”
[Story inspired by Jack ‘Black’]
Half of us are blind, few of us feel, and we are all deaf.William Osler
Chris is an Intensivist and ECMO specialist at the Alfred ICU in Melbourne. He is also a Clinical Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University. He is a co-founder of the Australia and New Zealand Clinician Educator Network (ANZCEN) and is the Lead for the ANZCEN Clinician Educator Incubator programme. He is on the Board of Directors for the Intensive Care Foundation and is a First Part Examiner for the College of Intensive Care Medicine. He is an internationally recognised Clinician Educator with a passion for helping clinicians learn and for improving the clinical performance of individuals and collectives.
After finishing his medical degree at the University of Auckland, he continued post-graduate training in New Zealand as well as Australia’s Northern Territory, Perth and Melbourne. He has completed fellowship training in both intensive care medicine and emergency medicine, as well as post-graduate training in biochemistry, clinical toxicology, clinical epidemiology, and health professional education.
He is actively involved in in using translational simulation to improve patient care and the design of processes and systems at Alfred Health. He coordinates the Alfred ICU’s education and simulation programmes and runs the unit’s education website, INTENSIVE. He created the ‘Critically Ill Airway’ course and teaches on numerous courses around the world. He is one of the founders of the FOAM movement (Free Open-Access Medical education) and is co-creator of litfl.com, the RAGE podcast, the Resuscitology course, and the SMACC conference.
His one great achievement is being the father of three amazing children.
On Twitter, he is @precordialthump.