Thursday, October 6, 2011

Patient Patients

It's one thing to wait for 8-10 hours in a room for care and entirely another to wait in the bustling hallway, watching the nurses, techs, doctors walk by quickly, be on the computer, make inappropriate jokes. You can observe who is taking care of patients and who is waiting for a paycheck.  Ms. Alone was feeling terribly sick. Graying hair in a tangle, she was slumped over, totally forgotten for several hours at a time. Every two hours, she would patiently stick out her arm for me to take her blood pressure and open her mouth for me to take her temperature.  She had a low-grade fever, so I grabbed her another blanket and let the nurse know, in hopes that she would come help the lonely old lady soon.  Instead, the nurse asked the intern if he wanted to practice drawing blood.  The intern was thrilled, but he missed her veins several times.  Without complaint, she let us stick her multiple times. Finally, the intern asked me, abashed, to draw the final tube.  She did not complain, but smiled at and me and thanked me for taking good care of her as I pulled off multiple gauze pads off both arms to find a vein.  Sweet lady of good temper, I wonder what happened to you to make you so patient with us.


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