Layla's space

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams it is still a beautiful world.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Mr E's Beautiful Blues

A good shift last night. Nice and quiet. Got some interview stuff done.

I was on Ward X doing some jobs when I got a bleep. It was Nurse A calling from one of the other wards.

'I have a gentleman on the other line who's had some tingling in his fingers after cisplatin chemotherapy. He wants to talk to a doctor. Can I put him through?'

Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet after platinum-based chemotherapy is common. It's troublesome but not dangerous.

'Can you please take his number and tell him I'll call him back in 15 minutes?' I said. 'I'm in the middle of something at the moment.'

Plus I hate it when nurses just put people straight through without giving me a chance to look up the patient's medical records first (we have them all on the computer system, so this doesn't take long anyway).

Nurse A sighed exaggeratedly.

'Fine. Get off the line then.' And she hung up on me.

Nurse A only ever works nights. I have found her invariably difficult, prickly and often downright rude. This is the general consensus amongst the SHOs, as well as some of her nursing colleagues. Just one of those things I guess.

Anyway, I went down to Nurse A's ward soon after and found her sitting at the nurses' station. I asked her for the patient's contact details. She wordlessly shoved a bit of paper at me on which she had scrawled the name and number.

I peered at it. 'Mr E...illegible....t', it said.

I looked at Nurse A, genuinely puzzled. 'Mr.....Elephant?' I asked.

She stared at me, stony-faced. Then she smirked. The smirk cracked her wooden face. Then she started to shake. Then, to my utter astonishment, difficult, prickly, downright rude, downright miserable Nurse A threw back her head and roared with laughter. There were tears running down her face.

Speechless with mirth, she clapped me on the back and walked off to the treatment room, still giggling, her shoulders shaking.

It's funny how we misjudge people.

Mr Elephant, incidentally, was fine.

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