Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Green Man Meets The Fat Woman


Nurses today are like my marbles I had when I was a kid, which I used to fill in Club Valentino rum transparent bottles (lapad). Too many marbles, some went unused for months, even years. Favorite marbles, secretly considered my lucky charms, were chipped but shimmering, glistening and worn smooth. Those unpolished ones kept in bottles and unused, never gave a glare.

I don’t want to be filled in that lapad.

An hour ago, I ran to a tertiary hospital with hope of grabbing a job. Yesterday, my boss referred me to her husband, who’s one of the big bosses in the hospital. I brought along copies of licenses, certificates and the resume which took me almost a year to be finalized. And satisfied my ego. The big boss, my advocate, my backer looked for the biggest boss who wasn’t around. We went to the chief nurse, a stocky dark woman, with a dark caramel neck. The big boss spat to her my backgrounds like I am the best nurse in town. He left me. I stood in her too-small-for-a-stocky-woman office, with my black leatherette Issey Miyake weekender bag on my right shoulder. She threw questions with me standing like a tornado. I grew dizzy standing in the too-small-for-a-stocky-woman office, with documents piled lazily in all corners like my bedroom’s clutters when I was in college. Florence Nightingale wouldn’t be so happy seeing a chief nurse’s office like this. After about three stupid questions (Thank you for those mind-boggling questions Madam, as ‘Thank You Girls would reply’), I decided to sit on a blue plastic chair. A canteen chair I guess. Her eyes were hooked on my certificate of employment while asking if I ever had a job. She was not reading, just flipping through my documents to appear doing a task of a nurse recruiter.

I worked in a primary hospital for seven months. Mastered inserting needles and cannulas into anybody’s vein, small or large, palpable or not. Had mastered ¾ of the basic nursing skills, entry-level skills. Had been in charge of 20-30 patients, I could finish 30 patients’ charts in an hour or so.

The chief nurse took this experience like it’s nothing. I could sense her telling me to erase my working experience on the resume. She boasted on her strict implementation of standards at work.

Oh really Madam, do you mean standard like your 7 months in service ER nurse I saw who never squeeze the intravenous fluid drip chamber to fill it halfway with fluid? A smart clinical instructor squeezed the drip chamber an hour after.

She obviously did not value my experience, told me mine is so unlikely from theirs. I don’t disagree with this. We have no vacancy and I shall call you if we need one- these words came out like scalpels from her huge lips. But being a nurse equals being therapeutic, positive, an advocate and supporter. Therapeutic versus non-therapeutic approach- one of the concept nurses have been mastering. This chief nurse moved the lever within me. She moved both ends, pulling my self-esteem a bit down, pulling my being furious up.

1 comment:

bryan said...

nice one patzs!
i really cud just imagine hw difficult it wud be for nurses to land jobs nowadays...
bt still kip ur hopes high,for nurses or no nurses life wil always be a room filled with the "fat woman"ready to don their angry scalpels on the flesh of hopefuls...bottom line is NEVER GIVE UP!
i like the use of metaphors...good item here.