Monday, May 3, 2010


The RN on duty is in a bad mood. The few patients on the ward are time-demanding, and she’s trying to get everyone their medications. I cop her wrath when the doctor sends me to request maxalon for a patient. Doesn’t the doctor know she’s busy, all these other patients need their medications too, everyone needs something right now ... but she obliges, after I’ve listened to her lecture.

Later on I am sent to assess a patient who presents with acute chest pain. She beats me to the room and persists with taking the history, firing away with disjointed, demanding questions, blocking me from reaching the bed. She is not keen to help me with the ECG – it would be faster to do it herself, but “you’ve got to learn somehow”. It’s a struggle, but I keep smiling.

Around midday we are both left behind in a room after the patient has been transferred. She huffily begins cleaning up. I pick up a pillow and change the pillow case. She looks up, smiles, “thank you!” And for the rest of the day she is lovely. If I’d known it would be so easy, I would have changed a pillow-case first thing.

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