Being a senior citizen and moderately well informed (the two go
together, you know) I’m frequently considered by youths as to career
field choices – a catalog that runs from Aardvark Research to
Zoologist. But when I come across a candidate with a heart for their
fellow creatures and a brain that ticks strong and consistently, I
recommend nursing - the best kept career secret of the decade. Good
pay, a great platform into other medical pathways, and strong demand.
Ever seen nurse unemployment figures? I guess not. It’s a non-
statistic. And best of all, an opportunity to warm the cold world of
those not as strong as we fortunates. My theories were put to the
test last month. I was sentenced to five days in that multistoried
hotel where all the attendants wore white and green and evidently had
taken my career counsel to heart.
Yes, I know it’s an old platitude that hospitals are for strong,
healthy people – not sick, weak souls whose only desire is to be left
alone to wallow in self pity and plot escape strategies. Hmmm, let’s
see if I could masquerade as a nurse – walk nonchalantly to the
elevator and in thirty seconds I’m on the ground floor heading for the
exit. Dreamer!! They’d tackle me at the nurse’s station that is
staffed by the beefier, younger prodigies of Florence Nightingale.
The urge to flee is provoked by the 24-hour regimen these nurse
heavyweights impose. Like party girls, they don’t know night from
day. “Hey, that guy in 646 has been asleep for two hours now. Let’s
burst in the room – turn on the klieg light and do some obscenely
unimaginable things with suppositories to him. And then when he’s
fallen asleep we’ll awaken him to take his vital signs. That oughta
I exaggerate, of course, a little bit, but it does seem that like bats
they prefer night over day.
I tried to be a model patient. I never screamed when they showed up
at the door equipped with needles that would seem made for a horse,
not a human. And I admit I was infatuated with the Intravenous
Concept (IV). What a great invention. No need to make a new hole in
me that my Creator never imagined – just put it in that bottle that’s
dripping into his arm. So, why not a pomegranate martini once or
twice a day? I tried the idea on one friendly, caring angel in
white. She reacted like the drill sergeant when you suggested a
picnic on your cross country march.
But I must admit that aside from this confusion I was treated with
extreme tenderness. Of course, I came into the game with a great
advantage. My wife was a nurse! So, in a way I was a sorority
sister. It was a mantra. As my sister of mercy raised her arm
equipped with needles, other sharp accessories, suppositories, or
worse, I hollered, “My wife! She’s one of y’all – she’s a NURSE!
“Yes, yes, you told me that Mr. Roberts, last night and the night
before, but we still must do this procedure.”
“Sure, sure, I understand. My wife, she’s a nurse, ya know. She
explained it to me.”
So that helped a little, but not enough. I’m ashamed to admit, that
though I’ve logged many years of marketing – basically the art of
persuasion – I never talked a single nurse out of a single procedure.
Dedicated angels of mercy that they are.
The humor of Ted, the Scribbler on the Roof, appears in newspapers around the U.S., on National Public Radio in Huntsville, Alabama and numerous web sites.