Friday, February 06, 2009

Songs About Buildings But Not Food

What are hospitals for?

What are people for?

Hospitals are for nurses. Hospitals have no reason for existing other than to serve nurses. We need places in which we can function on behalf of our patients. Garages, shopping malls, celebrity kitchens, and ball parks are insufficient for this purpose.

Respiratory therapists, aides, physical and occupational therapists, dietary aides, nutritionists... all these people and many more help the patients too and therefore help the nurses. But if those people don't show up, nurses are typically expected to perform some of their duties, too.

I once worked in the intensive care unit of a rural community hospital. On the night shift, the respiratory therapist was home on-call. If one of the ventilators started to fuck up for some reason, he only lived about ten miles away. No problem, then.

Doctors are walk-ons. Big-stars, but bit players. Character actors. They stroll onto the stage, sing their big aria, everybody claps, then they leave. We nurses pester them on the phone a lot because they forget stuff. They're actually very helpful and I can honestly say that all the doctors I work with are marvelous, immensely talented, and essential people. But they're not nurses.

People? They're basically for entertainment, which they provide endlessly. When they're not just plain fucking annoying, that is. Congressional Republicans for example.

Like if a patient develops a really nasty sudden gastrointestinal bleed and pukes a bloody bucket of eel-like red squirmy emesis all over, that's entertainment. Run fluids, get labs, transfuse blood, rush him to Endoscopy; that's pretty cool and it certainly provides meaningful work.

John Boehner, though, he's just chicken shit. He's just not for anything.


Ruth said...

Glad you straightened that out. But I think Boner qualifies as sub-human, since he has taken to using speech to mislead rather than to inform.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the only laugh I've had all day. As a Unit Secretary in a rehab hospital, I see your point, but I'll never let my nurses know.

(Chortle, Dr. G---, Famous Heart Doc as a bit player. Snort, giggle.)