This post was written by my cousin Jill. She’s a darn good blogger who writes a blog on her Myspace page. I’m trying to get her to move over to blogger… but have yet to be successful in my endeavors. She wrote this post for this month’s Handover.
You can find her blog HERE
I worked as a registration secretary when Ck was a security guard (before he passed all the haughty Paramedic classes and became insufferable….but funny.)
These were the bad old days of the Trauma Center. Before they got a clue and put an actual nurse or paramedic behind the desk for patients to meet when they came in. I didn’t know these were the bad old days at the time, I just often encountered circumstances when the nurse wasn’t there, like an obvious stroke (run for a wheelchair and put them in it while yelling for the nurse) or a guy carrying his severed finger (say, oh wow, and get a styrofoam cup for him to put it in – and a towel – while alerting the nurse)…
The nurse I worked with most often was a somewhat pragmatic, sometimes sarcastic and moody woman…that I came to know really well, called Connie. Connie got breast cancer shortly after I started and I was with her through five years of surgery, chemo, radiation, a re-occurrence of cancer that they MISSED…and finally medication and death. She was at work two weeks before she finally died. She was the best triage nurse I worked with. She just knew her stuff, and loved it.
Since I was experienced in the ER, they had me work when Connie did in those last days. We supported each other. I did the heavy lifting and gave her a break when she needed it.
And, as you can imagine, it was emotional for me. We knew that Connie was dying.
Sometimes, though, I got to work with Patti. Patti was just a bit younger than Connie and was a very bouncy Christian who was always just a lot of fun to be around.
I always felt a lighter weight on my shoulders when Patti was there.
One day, in the middle of a slow afternoon with Patti on as triage nurse, a man came in followed by a white-haired woman, his wife. She was absolutely magenta.
I asked the man to fill out our short complaint sheet with name and problem.
When he gave me the sheet, I saw that the complaint was “pencil in rectum”.
So, of course, I immediately put them in the side office and handed the sheet to Patti, who was in the office behind me.
I sat at the desk while Patti triaged the fellow. She said to him, “So, uh…how did this happen? Did you maybe get out of the shower and sit down in a chair and not know that the pencil was in the chair?”
I thought, “Oh this nurse is gooooooood…she has given him the perfect out!”
But then, the fellow, failed to say…”Yeah! That’s it! That’s what happened!”
As his wife turned redder and redder he decided, instead, to be totally truthful about the elementary tools he needed for better self-satisfaction….
He said, “Then “floooooop” it was gone!”
I had to go into the office (he chose to stand) and finish registering the fellow.
Then Patti took them back to a room in the ER.
When she came back out into the lobby, I looked at her (we had an empty lobby) and said:
I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in years.