I am a big fan of nurses. Without them I might as well jump out of the hospital window. They are the wonderful people who drive my recovery. I cannot imagine a hospital without them, especially the caring majority I’ve met.
There are some specific qualities that I look for in a nurse. Here are the top five. Note: For the purposes of this post, I will refer to nurses as “she.” There are some great males nurse out there, too, though the one I had recently may of been dipping into the red wall bins for a quick joy ride to “used meds” nirvana – would a skull and cross bones on those boxes discourage double dipping? Something tells me “no.”
Here we go:
- The nurse is healthier than I am. If she walks in hacking and coughing I want permission to open a trap door in the floor and drop her to the bowels of the hospital. If I hear her lie “it’s just allergies” when she looks white as a ghost, there will be a problem.
- She went to nursing college in the States, not Grenada or Tahiti or the Republic of the Internet. All right, I might flex here and say major countries like England and Germany and Canada. Let’s make a rule that if flip flops were acceptable footwear at your nursing school, you can’t be my nurse.
- She can insert an I.V. the first time. Have you ever been to the ER? Nurses there start an I.V. quickly and on the first try. Why do some nurses treat the insertion like they’re buying a house? How many locations can there be to stick me? Look for the bulging veins. Start there. When you’re on your third try don’t tap on my arm to find a vein. That must be an F’ing magic trick only you know how to do because when I tap on my arm all I get are red spots.
- She’s not drunk. I may be fascinated by the woman who likes to tie one on to the point of slurring – who do you think appears in those homemade videos on the Internet? But when it comes to taking care of me and making sure you’re hanging the correct meds while I’m dreaming of crushing CF with my steel-toed boots, leave the champagne in your car corked, please. Some doctors might think it’s cute when you’re a little over the edge at the holiday party and may want to marry you one day, but I’m trying to remain alive during my stay.
- She’s over 25 and under 70. Do I need to explain this one? I don’t want to be your first patient or your last.
This doesn’t apply if you’re super smart and graduated at 19 or if you’re over 70 and can actually pass your driver’s eye test without memorizing the chart. Also, regardless of age, I don’t want you to be super hot. Surprised? I’m cooped up for a week in a walk-in closet. The last thing I need to be thinking about is doing something I’ll need a divorce lawyer for when I get out. Eliminate my temptation and skip the blue eye shadow.
- Bonus: She skips rather than walks into my room. I want a happy nurse. I want an entourage of small animals to follow her into my room. Skip on in, Mrs. Happy and gang, nice to see you. One rule: This can only happen after I’m fully awake. If I see a squirrel looking over the edge of the bed at seven in the morning I’m going to cap him with the .357 I keep under my pillow for protection from the crazies roaming the halls at night. You may, however, kiss me goodnight on the forehead each night and skip on out the door, leaving a trail of berries as you go.
Best of health to you and the nurses who take good care of us. They’re the best, except the ones who can’t work the IV machines. They need to be banished.