A Nurse With Attitude

Where Dark Cynical Humor, Nursing Issues, and Politics Seem to Merge

New Inern


Well, it’s that time of the year again.  June 1st.  This is rumored to be the most dangerous time of the year to get admitted to the hospital.  June 1st is the day that medical students are magically transformed into doctors.   Graduation day, and then loose the new “doctors” to the hospital.  The problem, they are all fresh, new and unfortunately, book-leaning is very different from real life medicine.  The attending physicians are supposed  to be there to fill the gap and give a nudge and a guiding hand.  The attending physicians are unfortunately,  like anyone else.  They want to do their work day and get some rest.  After say, five or six in the evening, you’re on your own with the interns holding down the fort.  After hours is a very risky time to be sick.

It’s June 1st.  I was heading to the locker room to change clothes after a hard day.  I ran right into an intern asking me a rash of questions, some of which, I answered accurately and some I simply made up.  For example,  it went like this… “Hey, how do I get into the OR?  How do I get into the locker room?  Hey, I don’t even know how to get past these doors.”  I said, “that’s is an easy one.  See there are these pads on the wall by every door leading into the operating room in the main department on the inpatient side.  They are retinal scanners.”  He looked a little confused.  Actually they are simply motion sensors that you wave your hand across to open the door and they open… just like Safeway.  However,  I made up this elaborate story about security in the OR and how we can only gain access through a retina scan.  I went over and put my eye over the little round hole on the plate and the door opened.  “See, there it is.”  His face lit up and he smiled.  “Now lets see if your retina has been recorded into the system.  Go ahead and put your eye to the scanner.”  He did as I asked and the door magically opened.  “Hey, I guess I’m in” he said with a huge smile.  “But why is the thing so low?  I have to bend over to get my eye to the scanner?”  I smiled and said without a beat,  “this hospital is ADA certified, that’s for people in wheelchairs.”  He seemed to think this was an acceptable answer.  He went on to the locker room and I went on my way.

The next day when I was coming back to work, I had totally forgotten about my interaction with the young new intern.  Then I came around the corner to see this same guy at the same “retina scanner” door.  Except this time, he had about seven other interns with him and he was explaining the new electronic doors.  He was explaining the whole story that I had told him yesterday.  A wave of regret came over me and I felt terrible.  I had to confess.  I told him the truth.  I confessed that the door  was not special and it was just like at Safeway.  It opened for everyone… no security at all.  He actually argued with me, “no it can’t be… It opens when I look into the scanner,”  he said.  I walked away wondering how this little joke had gone so wrong.


Those new interns are so gullible.



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