Sunday, July 25, 2010

doctors and nurses

I was a doctor working at a hospital, which was an absolute nightmare. I mean, the outbreak of the plague was one thing; they barricaded all the doors and wouldn't let anyone leave so we wouldn't spread the infection. But I also didn't really know how a doctor should behave.

I walked into the cafeteria, full of friends and family members of patients whose moods seemed to range from tired to anxious to visibly distraught. In my mind, being a doctor was kind of like volunteering at a children's day camp or a retirement home, and my job was to go make small talk with all these people and prove to my supervisors that I was making myself useful. But no one wanted to talk. And then the nurses started yelling at me for annoying the visitors.

The nurses kind of ran the place. I kept asking which patient was staying in which room, but the nurses would grab their charts away from me and tell me the information was confidential. I tried to go out into the courtyard for a minute to clear my head, but yet another nurse blocked my way, scolding me for not putting on my coat. So I decided to go fill prescriptions, the one mindless task I knew I could do correctly, and one that would take up several hours of time where I wouldn't have to pretend like I knew what I was doing. But the nurses were having a secret conference in the pharmacy room, trying to decide what to do about the plague, and they shooed me away.

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