Thursday, April 21, 2005

People Are Strange

Two days ago I wrote about two kind and compassionate doctors. Scroll down to "Angels on Earth" for the whole story. I guess you can't have a Yin, without a Yang. So, today I'll vent about someone who occupies space on "the dark side". I prefer to stay positive about people..but sometimes people ARE just strange.

One of the nurses caring...and I use that word with great caution...for my mother in the hospital seems to have an attitude problem. This Nurse Ratchet wannabe seems to take great pride in being several things--

1) In charge
2) Gruff
3) Short with those in her care
4) Impatient
5) Generally mean-spirited

Understanding why someone who chose nursing as a profession would also choose to exhibit this sort of behavior is not easy. But this person seems unapologetic and confident that her approach is how the job is done.

Looking at it from her perspective, nursing is certainly stressful. Accomodating sick, uncomfortable, and sometimes dying people, and their often ungrateful family members, is no picnic. It's a job I wouldn't want. But, taking all that into account, wouldn't you think it easily ascertained that a large part of the mission is making those in your care comfortable..both physically and mentally.

This person was not happy to lose two patients earlier this week. That will happen. Death, particularly in hospitals, is part of life. But barking orders, being "un-gentle" physically, and thoroughly unpleasant won't "force" someone back to health. That seems to be the approach here--"You're not going to die on my watch...so, by God, you better toe the line and get better". I hope hospitals have means of monitoring the behavior of nurses. If they do, I'm sure someone will counsel this obviously intelligent, but drill-seargeant-like, person that her approach needs to be softened.

I'm not a psychologist, but one would think patients need all the positive reinforcement possible to fight for health. Particularly when you're dealing with the very sick and elderly, giving them a world they would want to remain a part of can make all the difference.

I don't know who said it...but I try to live by it..."The easiest thing in the world to be...is nice to others".

"Be nice to people on your way up, because you'll meet them again on your way down"
--Jimmy Durante (1893-1980)

People are strange when you’re a stranger
Faces look ugly when you’re alone
Women seem wicked when you’re unwanted
Streets are uneven when you’re down
When you’re strange
Faces come out of the rain
When you’re strange
No one remembers your name
When you’re strange

(Densmore-Krieger-Manzarek-Morrison) "The Doors"--1967

1 comment:

Sid Dithers said...

Dang, Tom, after knowing you all these tears I figgered you were about the last guy who'd quote Doors' lyrics...

Glad to hear your Mom's better and I echo your sentiment about the "little Napoleon's" who work the halls at rest and recovery homes.

God forbid we ever need to go there ourselves...