Monday, April 13, 2015

Why Nursing Is Stressful


A hospital supply room. Shelves line the walls, full of medical equipment. A handwashing sink is against one wall. An electronic medication cabinet stands on the other side of the room. One NURSE is standing at the cabinet, doing math on a handheld calculator.

Enter an orthopedic RESIDENT, carrying a plastic bucket.

Resident: Hi there.

Nurse: (distracted) 'Morning, doc.

Resident: Where can I dump this?

Nurse: What is it?

Resident: Leftover plaster. I just finished the cast in room three.

Nurse: Oh. Just leave it there. I'll take care of it.

Resident: (noticing the sink) Can I dump it in here?

Nurse: (paying attention now) No, that sink can't take it.

Resident: So what should I do with it?

Nurse: Just leave it there. I'll take care of it.

Resident: Just leave it?

Nurse: Yes, please. I'll get to it in a minute.

Resident: It's leftover plaster. We just put a cast on in room three. Can't I just dump it in here?

Nurse: No, it'll clog the pipes. We add a hardener to it and then throw the whole bucket in the trash.

Resident: Really.

Nurse: Yes. I can show you, if you like, as soon as I finish this.

(NURSE tries to go back to doing math. He is interrupted before he can find his place.)

Resident: So where should I put the bucket?

Nurse: Just set it down in the corner.

Resident: Can't I just dump it in the sink?

Nurse: No, you can't, sorry. It will clog the pipes. Last time somebody did that, engineering had to replace some of the plumbing.

Resident: Are you sure?

Nurse: Yes. You can see where they cut a hole in the wall. We couldn't use this room for two days.

Resident: I've never seen that happen on the ortho floor.

Nurse: You don't pour plaster in the sink up there. They have a special drain for it.

Resident: Oh, yeah, right. So can I use this sink here?

Nurse: No. Our plumbing can't take it.

Resident: Are you sure?

Nurse: Yes, I'm sure.

Resident: I'm just going to pour it in here.

Nurse: Please don't!

(RESIDENT pours the plaster in the sink)

Resident: What should I do with this empty bucket?

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