Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Q Word

Certain things in a hospital are the kiss of death for a decent shift.  Nurses and doctors are a superstitious bunch.  One must never utter the word quiet.  You shouldn't even think it.  If you do, all hell will break loose.   The next thing you know, you are begging for spiritual care to show up and do an exorcism of the evil spirits and gremlins that have descended upon your unit.  You have tempted the fates and now you will pay.

Never go into a room to start an IV, draw a blood gas or perform any other such task with only one syringe, needle, kit or whatever you need to get the job done.  If you do, your fate is again sealed and you are certain not to get what you need on your first attempt.  

On a bad day, never utter the words "God give me strength."  You are sure to be given only trials for being so cheeky.  It's OK to ask for wisdom.  Like in "please God, guide my feet and hands in getting to the drug pyxis quick enough and picking out the correct concoction of drugs that are going to sedate this maniac."  That's an OK plea.

When you have finally discharged a patient that has been on your unit for forever and a day (not an exageration), never talk about that patient.  Never say that patient's name out loud.  Never discuss the patient in even vague terms.  In fact, try not to think of that patient at all.  It's like Beetlejuice.  Say that name 3 times and that patient will be readmitted quicker than you can run to fetch the holy water.

Never ignore the patient who tells you he is going to die.  All may look well at a glance but he may know something you don't.  Ignore him at your own and especially his peril.  We call this a feeling of impending doom.  It is affirmation that someone let the Q word slip.

These warnings and superstitions should be practiced in all areas of life.  For instance, never discuss the sure signs of spring in Michigan unless it is July.  You will most certainly be shat upon from the heavens above with fluffy white flakes that are certain to ruin your Friday drive to work.  I did it.  We will get 3 to 6 inches of heavy white snow tonight.  It will end just in time for me to drive to work.   I can't believe I left the holy water at work........


Willowtree said...

You're right, those all work in construction too, just substitute nails and screws for syringes and needles.

Jo said...

This post made me laugh, it's so on the money! And not just for nursing...

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Yep. That about covers it.

I said the Q word at work a few months ago and within fifteen minutes all hell was breaking loose and everyone was pissed at me because they all heard me say it. (Right before they crossed themselves).


Rudee said...

I think the curse probably does cover all aspects of life. That Q word will get you every time. Also, I don't care how many studies they do to disprove the full moon theory--it does bring out the loonies in a hospital.

RC--You're lucky your colleagues didn't duct tape your mouth shut, or worse, tube you for such a slip up. LOL. I'd have sprinkled holy water on you. I keep 2 bottles in a drawer at work for just such occasions.