The Bodacious Belgrade Blog

September 3, 2008

Serbian Nurses Hate You

Filed under: Uncategorized — bunitingi @ 4:06 pm
Tags: , , , ,

“Yes, it’s true. Look it’s nothing personal. We were having a perfectly good smoke break before you came along with your whining little bitch session about how you’re bleeding and in pain. Shut up already! Tell you what, why don’t we all just not talk. We won’t talk to you, you don’t talk to us, everything will be…

Oh, no. There you go, talking again. You need water? Oh please. Look at the other women in this room. They had the good sense to stop and buy some bottled water on their way to the hospital. If you weren’t such a complete cretin you would have thought to do the same. No, forget it. I do not have time for this. Mishlanka was in the middle of telling her how her sister’s husband is having an affair with some hairdressing skank. I assure you, it was much more interesting than you.

What do you mean your chart? You don’t know what’s going on with you? Well don’t look at me. Do i look like a doctor? Ok, so what, you haven’t seen a doctor in 2 days and have just been laying here in this hospital room waiting for someone to tell you what’s going on. That’s not my job.

You and your damn chart again. Yes i have to fill it out, it’s part of my stupid rounds. God, I hate rounds.

Here. Scribble scribble. There you go. All filled out. Now leave me the f…  oh for chri… yes i filled in your blood pressure and other stats. Well no  i didn’t. Look, i don’t need to actually take your blood pressure and stats in order to fill it in. I’m sure it’s the same as the last numbers written down here. They didn’t either? Are you going to bother me all day? You really are a pain in my dupe.

Okay, listen, it has now been 15 minutes since my last cigarette and i am going to go postal if i don’t get back to the break room. Here’s a shot. This will take care of you.

What do you mean you don’t want any dopey pain killers? Okay, fine. This isn’t a pain killer. It won’t effect you at all. Yes i’m telling you the truth. No, i’m not lying. Just take the damn shot and shut up. Here.

There you go. Oh you feel woozy and out of it now? Well, what did you expect? Now piss off.”

For the record, while the actually words of that last bit are made up, NONE of the behavior or actions described are. Any Serbian reading this will know I’m not exaggerating in the least.

Maja had a week long hospital stay a few months ago as many of you remember, and it taught us a lot about serbian nurses. (And serbian health care.) The entire preceding monologue was from this rocking week. (there’s another anecdote i’ll get to in a minute)

On one hand, health care for Maja is free. I myself have to pay. I have a broken foot, and had to pay for the hospital visit, the X-ray and the cast. It came to $30. I payed cash.

Pretty cool, huh? On the OTHER hand… Okay, so here’s how it works.

Maja goes to this hospital only for pregnant women to get her check ups and whenever she has a problem. One must go early for her checkups, as there is no such thing as appointments. You go. You sit with whoever else shows up. eventually they get to you. Because this can take 5 hours there is a 2 step   getting around this.

1. The friend of a friend method. Someone calls someone who knows someone and pulls in a favor. “Yeah, can you ask your cousin Dr. Midjordjovich to see this friend of mine and take care or her? It’d be a special favor for me.” (special favors are how this country runs. Seriously.)

2. You show up with

a. a  box of chocolates

b. a bottle of perfume

c. a gift card to Zara’s.

This insures that the next time you come for an appointment, you will be seen relatively promptly.

If you have to actually stay at the hospital, there are no favors you can pull. You are effectively in prison and a hive of Nurse Hatchetts are your prison guards. And they do not like you and your kind.

Maja was in a room with 2 other pregnant women. One of them was having severe problems with her baby, and it looked like the pregnancy wouldn’t make it.

She had to be given a shot to end the pregnancy. In came the cranky nurse who wheeled the woman away to a room. Once the scowling nurse got into the room where another nurse was, her demeanor changed and they began chatting, gossiping and cracking jokes. At no point did they look at or acknowledge the pregnant woman.

Finally, in the middle of a particularly ribald joke one of the nurses finally grabbed a needle, stuck it in the woman’s stomach and did the deed, once again without ever looking at her or speaking to her.

She was then taken back to her room where she lay crying in pain and grief all night as over the course of several hours her baby slowly died inside of her.

But don’t take it personally. All government officials including those at the Office of Foreign Affairs hate you too.


  1. As the survivor of a perfectly horrible hospital birthing experience (my wife’s), I hereby extend an invitation for you to call or IM me and vent whensoever you need to. And it sounds like you will need to.

    My wife is in fact still looking into midwife options in your part of the world, of which there don’t appear to be many. But based on her lingering psychological problems stemming from the callousness with which New York Methodist Hospital treated her, I and she would strongly advise Maja to investigate a non-hospital option, barring extenuating medical circumstances.

    Just my twenty-five cents. Be careful out there.

    Comment by matthew — September 3, 2008 @ 6:25 pm | Reply

  2. I did already send Maja my links (Paul too I think) but that is of course up to ya’ll.

    I don’t suppose traveling to a nearby country pre-birth that has better facilities is an option? Austria? Italy?

    In lieu of that, labor at home as long as you can; the less time in the hospital, the less time to get the bad treatment. I wish I had done exactly that. And if baby shows up in the car…honestly, it might still be better.

    Poor Maja 😦 She deserves better. All mamas do.

    Comment by emjaybee — September 3, 2008 @ 6:55 pm | Reply

  3. Hey, what hospital is she using–the “Genesis” one?

    I found this web page:

    And while they are an infertility/OB clinic, they mention midwives in their section on pre natal classes on the “pregnancy control” page, and they might be able to refer you to one that’s local to you.

    Comment by emjaybee — September 4, 2008 @ 12:01 am | Reply

  4. We do in fact have a midwife who we are paying to be present. The name of hospital is Gak Narodni Front. I will have to pay extra to be present. (It’s a rarity. In Maja’s entire birthing class she’s the only one whose husband will be present during the birth)

    Comment by bunitingi — September 4, 2008 @ 12:25 am | Reply

  5. I GREATly appreciate your concern. I should mention that a non hospital option is out of the question due to Maja’s fibroid and the possibility that when the 12th hour arrives she will need a C section. (which she is very comfortable with)

    Thus we have a midwife lined up so we have an experienced voice of reason to help us along during the big Day. We can also pay her Doctor (one of the 2 we’ve gone to) to be present, but i am against this as she has been a callous bitch who at times when Maja’s gone in to ask for a check up (after MONTHS) barely glanced at her and wrote crap down on her sheet that wasn’t true and which she hadn’t checked.

    Like that the baby had turned. Which it hadn’t. Which we knew because we went to another woman the day beFORE to get a sonogram. The callous doctor literally glanced at Maja, scribbled stuff down on a sheet and walked off WITHOUT ANY SORT of examination WHATSOEVER.

    We had to visit this bitch 3 times before she would actually examine Maja properly.

    SO NO. I DO NOT WANT THIS WOMAN PRESENT AT THE BIRTH OF MY SON. And we’d have to pay her to be. And i’m not.

    Bloody sigh.

    Comment by bunitingi — September 4, 2008 @ 12:35 am | Reply

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