Wednesday, September 28, 2011

a mispent youth

Lately I have been spending a couple of hours a day sitting in an ICU room in another hospital. I used to work in this hospital as a cherubic youth, oh those many years ago when I started college out of high school.

I was a dietary aide. Then I was a nursing assistant who swore she would NEVER be a nurse. I didn't want anything to do with all that bedpan junk. Then I was a "house orderly".

This hospital is a university affiliated teaching hospital that is big, does a lot of specialty stuff. They have since built a new hospital. The old hospital was a maze of buildings. As a house orderly, a glorified gopher, I ran the halls of that hospital doing gopher-like stuff. I took stuff from here to there a lot. Back then they didn't have tube systems to deliver stuff, so they used people like me get stuff from one place to the other.

Among the things I did was take bodies to the morgue. I remember carrying babies in my arms down to the morgue. Looking back now, I can't believe I even did that. We let the mortician into the morgue to retrieve bodies.

Thinking about the fact that I was about 19 and able to do this sort of stuff foretold the fact that I would inevitably end up a nurse. If I could tolerate dead bodies, I could tolerate all the stuff that comes with nursing. And lo and behold, here I am oh so many years later, back where I started.


Anonymous said...

I have the utmost respect for you nurses; I cannot even IMAGINE being able to carry a baby to the morgue. How horrible! If it weren't for those such as yourself, the hospital would be THE coldest place on earth. You make it human.
I just had a minor surgery last week and on the nurses' account, I felt I was at a swanky club for the warmth and humour surrounding me. One is feeling icky, sore & vulnerable, so being pampered by the sweeties I met there made my experience a very positive one. If I ever have anything serious admitting me, I won't be so afraid.

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