Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Bodily Autonomy & Flu Shots

I went out to get my required flu shot today. All volunteers for the hospice I work with are required to have one annually. They even hold a clinic and give them free

It was lousy. The nurse giving them was insistent that they had to be given very high on the deltoid. I told her I knew from experience it would be painful. My shoulders are pretty tender.

When I involuntarily hissed out my breath she asked if it hurt. I confirmed that it did, butt she should just continue, finish the injection.

Instead she pulled out the needle, I loudly asked, "Why did you do that?! What are you doing?! I said to just finish!"

She injected again, slightly lower. I got through that she needed to just finish, thankfully she did!

She was kind and apologetic, but it didn't make up for her ignoring my request to just finish the first time. I told her as much as I left, noting I should not have been put through that.

I wrote to complain, which made me feel terrible. I'm expensively trained, but I've never been assigned to a patient. I picked up my badge as the State began the shelter in place order. I felt bad, ashamed, for complaining about my free shot.

The volunteer coordinator reminded me I'm valued. They thanked me for the feedback, it will be passed on. They shared that the nurse wasn't a in house staff member, but from an agency hired to do the clinic, who has better training in listening.

That and the world today has me feeling blue tonight. I made tortilla soup tonight from scratch, the first homemade food I've made in days. It was just right!

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