Do you know where your anus is, or do you only think you do? Close your eyes, and imagine a person that is 6 feet tall standing on the ground. Is the person’s anus 3 feet off the ground, slightly above that, or slightly below it?
On my first day volunteering at the hospital, I was being trained by another volunteer named Bethany. One of the first things she showed me was how to set up a stretcher.
To prepare a stretcher, you first disinfect the inflate-y thingy (sorry but I’ll be using complicated medical terminology today) on top of the stretcher’s padding. Then, you put on top of the inflate-y thingy a 3×2’ protector thingy that’s supposed to prevent pee or poop-related accidents from sullying the inflate-y thingy. Then you do other stuff that is not relevant to this article.
After I observed Bethany set up a stretcher, she watched as I set one up. I first disinfected it, and then I placed the protector thingy on it where I thought it belonged (where I thought most people’s anuses would be). Bethany had this look on her face that conveyed deep thought as she observed my placement of the protector thingy, and after a few seconds of thinking about it, she moved it up a few inches.
Whoa! Did I get that wrong? Did I misjudge where the anus is on the body, or did I just misjudge the average height of our patients? Alternatively, was SHE the one that’s misjudging something?
I’m not going to tell you where I placed the protector thingie – that’s pretty beside the point. The real question is: do you know where the anus is? How confident are you? Or is this the sort of thing we take for granted until we have to prepare stretchers?