Everyone carries their own sense of beliefs and value system, which become a core part of who they are.
So much so, it can be easy to forget that not everyone else carries the same values, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
The Redditor, who has since deleted her account, recently went to her Urgent Care provider for assistance when she was worried about the state of her health.
But after she confided her personal information and fears, the Original Poster (OP) was appalled when her nurse practitioner used that information to critique her character.
She asked the sub:
“WIBTA (Would I Be the A**hole) if I reported the nurse practitioner at Urgent Care to Human Resources for basically slut-shaming me?”
The OP was worried about having a new partner.
“I’ve (Female 21) recently encountered a new sexual partner. We used a condom, but afterward, I felt a little uneasy as to this was the first time I have ever hooked up with someone I just met. My previous sexual partners have all been someone I have developed deep connections with in some kind of way.”
“While condoms greatly reduce the chance of contracting an STI, they cannot provide ABSOLUTE protection.”
“A few days ago, I noticed my discharge changed to a white substance that was different from my normal discharge, and the first thing that came to my head was an STD. I have never had one before and I have no idea the symptoms, but an STD was all I could think about.”
The OP decided to visit her doctor to receive proper care.
“I went to Urgent Care because I wanted to see if there was maybe a simpler answer to this problem (yeast infection or UTI) and if not, I wanted to send my urine off for an STD screening.”
“My nurse practitioner asked me a series of questions (when did you become sexually active, when was your last sexual partner, how many sexual partners, etc.), all of which I was upfront and honest about so she could better treat me.”
“It came time for her to make a diagnosis and tell me the best course of action. She said, based on my symptoms, I am showing hallmark signs of a yeast infection, but she will send my urine off for a culture and STD screen along with a swob from my vagina so she can tell what type of yeast is growing down there.”
But then their conversation took a turn.
“As I was about to get my keys and stand up to walk out, she said, ‘Dear, will you sit down for just another moment?'”
“I sat back down and looked up at her, curious as to what she wanted to talk about.”
“She said, ‘With all of that being said, you’re 21 years old, you really need to guard and protect your character.'”
“I looked at her like ‘what the f**k,’ and she continued with, ‘Well, you know, guys get to have sex all they want and nothing bad comes out of it for them, but you know, us as women, we can’t be doing that as much because we have to protect our character.'”
“At this point, I was pretty f**king angry. You could tell by my silence and the way my lips were pressed together.”
“I thought that maybe it couldn’t get any worse, but then she proceeded to say, ‘You’re going to want to have kids one day, and the way you’re living your life now could really hurt you and your chances of having a kid with a good man.'”
The OP was taken aback by the nurse practitioner’s comments.
“I was open and honest with this woman in hopes that it would help her better treat me and in turn, I got s**t-shamed for it?”
“I posted this in a forum about sexual education and I was getting advice to report her to Human Resources (HR).”
“I don’t want to go after anybody’s job, but I don’t want other women to have to go through this same thing just for having sex.”
“Will I be the a**hole if I report her to HR, or should I leave it alone?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some encouraged the OP to report the nurse practitioner right away.
“NTA. That was unprofessional and uncalled for. Unprofessional behavior at work calls for consequences at work. If she loses her job, that’s her fault. If she gets disciplined somehow else, that’s her fault.”
“She did the wrong thing, not you. Sometimes we all gotta face the s**tty things we do or say and even though it sucks, there’s no one to blame beyond ourselves for doing or saying said s**tty things.” – StragglingShadow
“I am a Nurse Practitioner. Please report this clinician.”
“Her approach was inappropriate and unprofessional. She reminds me of an NP I knew who was also a nun.”
“I would understand if she wanted to have a frank talk about protection, risks, etc., at the close of the visit, but your ‘character’ is none of her dang business.” – wadingin3
“NTA. 150% report her to HR. Do it right now. This is rude, regressive, none of her business, and could actually deter women from getting care.”
“You’ll be doing yourself and every other woman who walks through those doors a kindness.” – inevitablegirlie
“Nurse here. Report her to the board. They will launch an investigation and something will at least be put on her record so if this kind of behavior gets reported again it could be escalated.”
“She’s being unethical and using her status as an NP to push her own morals. Also, report her to HR. Report her to everyone. She sucks and shouldn’t be taking care of people.” – inimitable428
“NTA. One of the biggest things in healthcare (at least in the position I am trained for) is to foster a good relationship with your patients, don’t act judgy, and give advice that reflects personal morals.”
“If a medical professional is doing things like this, it is difficult to get patients to talk to you and therefore is nearly impossible to treat them because they could be leaving out serious details that they might not believe are a big deal.”
“Report her, definitely. She needs to be put in her place, she is way out of line.” – MrsGrumpyFace
Others empathized with the OP and shared horror stories of their own.
“When I was 13, I was in a car accident and really hurt my back. We went to the walk-in center, and the nurse asked for a urine test. I didn’t know what was going on, so I gave it, and later she came back in the room and said, ‘Well, she’s not pregnant.'”
“I looked at her in confusion and then at my mum and then at her and was really seriously confused, but my mum flipped her lid. I was a 13-year-old coming in with back pain and she did a pregnancy test on me. I didn’t even know where a baby came from properly never mind actually having a kid, what the f**k.” – TruffleGoose
“NTA. That was really inappropriate.”
“Random anecdote: I was in my 20s in the 90s, when HIV was still a very scary thing. I got tested every year, as it was considered the responsible thing to do.”
“I moved to a small town after college. When I went in for my annual HIV test, the person testing me said, ‘Why are you getting tested every year? Are you dating a lot of sailors?’ Sigh.” – tinyahjumma
“I went to an OBGYN two years ago. I have terrible body acne. I get butt/groin cysts. When I went in, I had a cyst on the inside of my butt cheek. She went crazy and said it was probably herpes.”
“I told her I have been in a monogamous relationship for 3 years (5+ now). She went on about how he probably cheated on me or I was lying to her.”
“She jammed a cotton swap into the said site. She even said, ‘Oh, this is probably a cyst but I’m sending it just to be sure.’ It came back negative for herpes. I spent a week terrified and wondering what the f**k. I never went back. And I haven’t wanted to go back to any doctor.” – abubacajay
“NTA. When I was 20 I went to an NP. My throat was closing up and I couldn’t breathe. I had only had one sexual partner at the time (who had also only been with me). The extent of my drug use at the time was that I had smoked pot once when I was 16.”
“I told her this history. She told me I was a liar. She accused me of having multiple partners and IV drug use (despite the lack of holes in my arm). Basically, I paid to go there and be told I was living a dangerous life, which was really far from the truth.”
“I was out for another two weeks and missed quite a bit of school. I wish I had reported her. She did nothing to help me because she was too busy judging me. I’m a guy, by the way.” – newuser60
After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update.
“I called Urgent Care and asked to speak with either a patient advocate or the NP supervisor. They didn’t have a patient advocate and the doctor overseeing the NPs was out, so they let me talk to the manager of the clinic.”
“First and foremost, I explained to the manager that I by no means wanted any disciplinary action taken. I did not want her to lose her job but maybe be given a talk or PIP to improve her service and not use personal beliefs or judgment when taking care of patients.”
“I explained to her everything that happened and before I could even say who the NP was, she knew EXACTLY who I was talking about… which confirmed that she’s most likely been this way towards other patients previously.”
“I then explained how I confided in her and that I came into the office for medical advice and not personal judgment and her using my openness to pass judgment has made me weary about being open with doctors in the future.”
“I explained that her words didn’t hurt me, just my future interactions with health care providers AND future interactions with her other women patients.”
“The lady was very nice, and once my complaint was heard, she said she’d ‘call the doctor (her supervisor)’ right away and to expect a call from him on my cell. She also said she was placing a note and that the NP wouldn’t be back in the office until next Monday.”
“With all of that being said, thank you to everyone for your advice! You’ve truly been so helpful.”
“And for the people calling me a s**t for this, I hope to God this same thing doesn’t happen to your daughter, your mother, your sister, your aunt, etc.”
Though everyone has their own opinions about sexual positivity and an appropriate number of partners to have in one’s lifetime, most agreed that such beliefs have no place in a medical office. Rather, a person’s sexual history should be used to help treat them, not to judge and try to change them.