Browse Posts by Date
Our Broadcast Partners
The House that Built Me
Ever showed up for work, wondering…who’s got the house? Nurse managers don’t wonder, of course, they just pray…Oh God, don’t tell me I have the house tonight.The one-house nurses found their career home right after school, and stayed there. Other nurses, like me, were peripatetic, wandering from house to house. We found something to take away from each house, something bigger than the tape rolls and alcohol pledgets that rode home in our uniform pockets: often it was the love and trust of a special patient. Ever seen the house when no one was at home? I did, once.
A campus-style psychiatric hospital I’d worked at had just closed. Before it was battened down against trespassers, I took myself a long walk through it one evening. No patients. No staff. No cars. Lots of echoes though, my own footsteps and sounds from birds and field animals bouncing around the pretty Tudor-style cottages. The sun’s long, setting rays slanted into my eyes.
I was asked afterward why I hadn’t been afraid to walk around the place alone like that. After all, it had been home to sixty years’ worth of patients wrestling their demons…wasn’t I afraid the house was haunted?
Of course it was haunted. By the mentally challenged old man who slept better with a good night kiss on the forehead from me than with any PRN known to man. By the bald, toothless, cancer-eaten woman who kissed me on the cheek for breaking all the rules and letting her have that ‘one last cigarette, please’…and it very probably was her last.
I guess they are the ones who have the house, now.
___________________________________About the Author: Joann is a Registered Nurse with Master's Degrees in Nursing and Public Administration in pursuit of a second career as a writer. Joann created the web site, StillANurse.com to "honor the 'inner nurse' of those who are no longer walking the hospital corridors, but still carrying the Nightingale Lamp in our hearts," because "for many of us, being a nurse isn't so much something we do, as something we are." She recently published her first novel, (it's available on Amazon) Six of One, a comedic historical fiction about Henry VIII's six wives. Says Anne of Cleves, "It's the most fun you can have with your nightdress on!" Henry's last wife, Katherine Parr, acted as his nurse...(and she has her own blog: http://katherineparr.sixofone.biz/)
Free Webinar Coming Up May 30 on University of San Francisco’s Online MSN
RX: Nurse Talk eBlast
A dose of what is coming up on the show and a laugh or two. Take one weekly.