Vagina in the office

Although, I am a Registered Nurse. Fate did not allow me to work in a hospital or any place where I can utilize the clinical knowledge and skills I learned in my four grueling years in college, and instead, I am now working as writer. Although I spend more time now in front of a computer, I still am able to use my background in health because I write for an agency that supervises scientific initiatives in health.

So basically, all I write about are totally health related.

Today, I passed to my immediate supervisor-slash-editor my draft article about a research on a novel management for hysterectomy. She does not have any extensive background in health, but her perfect command in grammar and long years of tenure in the office. So when she sent me back my draft with comments asking me to lessen the jargons, I was not surprised.

After revising the article, I was shocked when she asked me, “Can you really use the word ‘vagina’?”

Scratch papers. Six-months-worth of rejected drafts of articles and meetings.

The article is about a new drug for managing patients after their hysterectomy. Radical hysterectomy is the medical term used for the surgical procedure that removes the uterus, cervix and the upper portion of the vagina. Since her initial instruction was to revise the article by making it more understandable to lay people, I had to explain so many things in the most trite words understandable by the general public. The first two paragraphs were lengthen to three as I explained the procedure and its effect on the patient. And yes, I had to do this by mentioning the word ‘vagina’.

When she asked me, “Can you really use the word ‘vagina’?”

I realized the stark differences in the culture between the career that my college education dictates and the occupation that I actually have now.Mentioning all that comprise the human anatomy is like the most normal thing in the world when you work in a hospit6al. Apparently, people are still shocked about these kind of things in my place of work.

I remember, on my first few weeks at work, I felt really queasy and I traveled for thirty minutes at lunch from the office so I could use the bathroom in our house. If I work in the hospital, I could have easily told my colleagues about what I felt and I could have relieved myself in the hospital. But here, I was very careful not to mention anything and offend anyone.

I really enjoy my work now and I feel like this my calling. However, I still get a bit culture shocked working in an office every now then. I know I will get over this soon. Next month would mark my 6th month at work, the time for my evaluation to become a permanent staff. I hope I pass with flying colors.


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