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Miniature Mind Musings #5

Dear Healthcare Professionals Who Request Specimens Then Give Us Teensy Tiny Containers

By The Dani WriterPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 4 min read
Top Story - July 2023
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels

Content Warning: Mention made of bodily excretions and female anatomy (but conflicted if I even need this warning flag?)


I hate to have to go there but…

It's a sad day when calmly speaking up about an experience to offer a viable solution is considered a complaint. As if everything has to be categorized in a box/file/divider whilst the simplicities of human interaction got misplaced somewhere in previous decades, waaay down on the timeline. In my current location, I've often overheard those who politely (or vehemently) disagree and speak up about poor service or product, being dismissed by service providers as "rude." It's like a 'go-to' response to shame people into being quiet.


We are amenable to oblige because we know it must be done.

Yet truthfully, the first time in my current jurisdiction that I was handed a specimen jar barely over 3 cm in diameter, the look of incredulity followed by an ‘off-the-charts’ concentrated side-eye given to the healthcare assistant did not even bleep their radar.

HOW can you be for real???

I know for a fact that there are wider containers.

So, this is where I’m headed, in a reverse public service blaring announcement to every relevant resource-stocked healthcare facility plus staff, from a ‘Don’t-like-going-to-the-doctor-unless-it’s-absolutely-necessary’ service user.

As a woman, I am calling you out because I know anatomy and physiology (A&P) expertise is a requirement for this medical specialty.

How in the ‘high-spit-falutin-dickens’ do you expect me/us to pee into something with such a small target area without making a ‘heavens-to-betsy’ blinkin’ mess?

You KNOW the urethral orifice location in the female anatomy. Aaand the inner labia which can funnel urine stream every which way but Suzy.

We’re talking multiple golden springs here!

You want an uncontaminated sample to test?

Me too, cuz I don’t want repeats.

Photo by Robin Higgins on Pixabay

But picture this, for instance: Your grandmother or some otherwise not necessarily agile person’s attempts to be compliant for urinalysis. A game of Twister, hovering over a toilet bowl that’s the opposite of fun. Trying with all you got not to miss and control a sphincter while smooshing your bladder cuz you’re leaning forward to see at the same time.

Rocket science this is not.

Pass us a wider container and I won’t postulate out loud today on the subtle/blatant sexism within the field. For example, during undergraduate training, we were matter-of-factly informed that respiratory mask designs for use were based on the facial structure of a Caucasian male, thus it’s no small wonder that this piece of equipment doesn’t properly fit many of us.

And with all the gloves in stock used on a daily, could not a pair be dispensed for assistance with this task?

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels

An irritant to state the obvious but no, even if it’s ours we don’t want pee on our hands, thank you.


When taking a fecal immunochemical test, (aka FIT Kit/FIT Test) an uncontaminated sample is required.

Translation: That poop cannot touch the bowl or anything else before going into that container.

It’s a necessary investigation for bowel cancer screening. The test is normally completed at home.

Last year, my doctor requested this investigation during a consult. I asked for a disposable specimen basin and gloves to take with me.

Unbelievable that I had to explain why.

The doctor remarked, “Oh, I never thought about how patients secure the sample.”

Duh twice.

I am officially done.


Service User bringing a reality dose where people don’t like to complain

Me: Can we make sense common again, please?

You: Reverse public service announcements…now totally the way forward.

“Eww!” and “Ahh!” moments…

By Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

I really appreciate you for reading my story! Thank you so much! You are welcome to leave comments, critiques, questions, and/or compliments.

If you enjoyed this or any of my other stories, feel free to like, subscribe, tip, pledge, and/or share with friends and social media sites. If you wish to promote in other forums, you can secure permission @thedaniwriter

Originally published in Bouncin' and Behavin' Blogs on Medium


About the Creator

The Dani Writer

My earliest memory is of being in ocean. Born and raised in Bermuda, I lived a childhood made of pastel joys. I've learned to make a delicious vegetarian lasagne, train as a registered nurse, and keep the juiciest of secrets. @thedaniwriter

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Comments (14)

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  • Novel Allen2 months ago

    Really great funny informative words to contemplate. Hi fellow Islander. Jamaica here. 🙋‍♀️. I recently had to do the at home fecal test. Doing it once was enough. A repeat would have been agonizing. This reminds me of when Oprah did the size of your poop show to stress healthy pooping. Congrats on TS

  • Jazzy Gonçalves 2 months ago

    If you’re lucky you have a goood nurse who knows what it’s like. The nice thing I can tell you (as a nurse) and typically when it’s contaminated, the dr can read that in the labs and will disregard it. Other times they are sticklers and what new tests. Regardless, the healthcare system is not super vulva friendly to say the least!

  • Good one!!! There are so many issues in our health care system... but agree that common sense must get back in the circle of care again.I think sometimes all these things - like specimens bottles, etc have everything to do with money - profit seems to come first these days in the medical field - the patient is no longer #1.

  • Mustapha Mannir2 months ago

    Good and hilarious!

  • Cendrine Marrouat2 months ago

    Yes, yes, yes! That's why I mostly avoid doctors. They are deaf and blind to womanhood. I find many female doctors to suffer from that too.

  • Natasja Rose2 months ago

    I'm very glad the medical office I work at has proper 4-inch diameter specimen containers for urinalysis, and reserves the 3 cm containers for blood and saliva samples....

  • Mariann Carroll2 months ago

    This is so relatable, lol 😂🤣🤣🤣 the best home stool test is colonguard, you don’t have worry about the stool getting in the toilet. You will have to send that end too. But they way they have their system made for the stool sample , they have a YouTube video to guide you through it . You don’t have to get your hands dirty with their process.

  • KJ Aartila2 months ago

    Thank you so much for sharing the "Eww" and "Aaah" moments! I really do hope it gets to the right factions to make a difference!

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    This is great. Dare I say, your aim was spot on. Congrats on the TS.

  • Judey Kalchik 2 months ago

    Yay! Top Story recognition! Congratulations!

  • Omggggg! You spoke my mind here! These people seriously can be soooo dumb!

  • Please, just give us a urinal like you do when you don't want us getting out of bed in the hospital!

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    OMG!!! It never ceases to surprise me how little common sense is used in the medical industry complex. It's mind-blowing!!! Loving this!!!

  • Judey Kalchik 2 months ago

    You write many many wonderful things, and I enjoy them. This one? This one right here? Off the charts one of the best. I give you this: "every which way but Suzy." Inimitably you and descriptively polite. And I had no idea about the masks. Racist and sexist. A lose/lose. Love you!

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