Much to the amusement of her classmates, Nurse Jones belatedly discovers she is allergic to her nursing cap.
If that cap was any larger, she’ d be into “Flying Nun” territory.
Aw, who am I kidding. I didn’t have a capping ceremony, but I bawled my eyes out when I put that plain white cap on my head for the first time. It was my second quarter of nursing school. I was nineteen, and had coveted that cap for ten years.
I wore it around the house.
And how proud I was when I could add the green stripe at the beginning of the second year lay the gold stripe under it my last quarter!
I have a pristine version of it in my closet right now. I’d kill to wear it again. I still get chills when I put it on.
As it is, I just pull it out for Nurses Week in May.
My colleagues tease me.
My patients love it.
(For the record, that is a photo of Dorothy Bradley, taken in New York in December of 1949 by photographer Martha Holmes for Life Magazine.)
Don’t forget, Change of Shift will be here at Emergiblog next Thursday!
I’ve already gotten some wonderful submissions! If you send it, I will post it!
Unless you are a spammer. I don’t care how you spin it, I cannot justify the inclusion of poodle grooming, prom dresses or commiserate with you over the “bad rap” dietary fat is given.
Everybody else? My in-box awaits your submission!
Why the hell an ER nurse has to respond to these is beyond me. Fifty thousand staff members all monitor certified and an ER nurse has to go.
Tonight, that’s me.
I grab the intubation bags.
Oh, there is intubation material upstairs but our docs like specific things.
Not a problem, they’re easy to carry.
I’m way too old to be taking these stairs two at a time.
The sole role of the ER nurse?
The pads are always on by the time we arrive.
I stand at the end of the bed.
Watch the monitor.
CPR in progress.
Someone is intubating.
Someone is pushing drugs.
On cue, I push a button.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
The code is called.
I wrap the monitor strips into a neat little roll and hand it to the unit nurse.
Grab my (unused) intubation bags and head back to the unit.
This time I take the elevator.
And it hits.
Someone just died.
Someone’s wife, mom, aunt, granddaughter, grandmother, sister.
Phone calls are being made.
Lives are being altered.
It’s all starts right now.
As my elevator touches the ground floor.
Back to work.
Queen Bee from the wealthy part of town who decided a hang nail was an emergency is miffed by the wait.
Mr. Intoxication is screaming profanities at me.
(Whore? Hell, I’d probably make more money, but the benefits are terrible.)
The Entitlement family demands antibiotics for all seven kids, right now!
But do we have samples? You see (they say while covering up the mouthpiece on their iPhone(s), they don’t have the money to get the prescriptions filled.
Someone just died! I want to scream.
They have no clue.
Family members begin to arrive.
In groups of two.
They look numb.
Upstairs, monitors are unhooked
Airways are removed.
The patient is detached.
So was I.