If You can't Say Anything Nice
I was working the daylight shift and I had just entered the emergency department. I couldn’t help but notice that the place was hopping. The night shift was often staffed with one doctor, one nurse, and one nursing assistant and they had their hands full.
It had been very busy all night and now, two patients were brought in by ambulance. I tossed my jacket and lunch in the break room and joined the melee. We no sooner had gotten them stabilized, when an overdose was delivered to us.
The rest of the daylight personnel filtered in to work. The tempo never slowed. It seemed to pick up. Patients seemed to pour in. Some were routine visits and some actual emergencies, but they kept coming. Once a bed was emptied, it was almost immediately filled with another person seeking help for an illness or injury.
As I rushed past the desk, I saw the Directress of Nursing standing there, leaning on the ledge. I noticed that she was peering over and looking down at my shoes.
At that time all nurses, male and female, were required to wear all white shoes. I had white shoes, but I hadn’t had the time to change into them. They were still in my locker in the nursing lounge. What I was wearing was a pair of electric blue running shoes with white lightning type stripes on the sides.
It looked as though she was going to comment on my shoes. I stopped long enough to say, “If you’re not here to help us, don’t say anything.” And I hurried off.
“Oh, crap!” I thought after I blurted it out. “Me and my big mouth, I’ll be in her office tomorrow.”
Later when I passed the desk again, she had already left the area, but I had no time to worry about what I had said to her.
After lunch, the emergency department settled and I was able to change shoes. The dreaded phone call to visit the D.O.N. never came.