Patient Care Attendant 2:
The calling center that looked like a fax machine showed 4 rooms were calling at once, I quietly kept flipping the newspaper while exchanging a dead stare with the Unit Coordinator as to who will answer it. We were sizing each other up like two wannabes cowboys in a bad Western movie. I picked up the receiver and she returned to her screen with the hint of a triumphant smile hovering at the corner of her mouth. “This is Jose, How can I be of service?” “ I want my C.N.A. now!” “Ok, will be right there” I have been warned about room 14, for some reasons, most of the annoying patients have always managed to find themselves at the end of the hall. “yes, sir, how can I help you?” “ I been calling for the last fifteen minutes, and no one has come.” “Sorry we’ve been busy lately.” And to myself “busy trying to stay away from you”. Queen of England as we called him pointed his trembling, bony and pale finger to the water bottle and said: “it’s gotten warm and I want it cold, would you please get me some fresh water?” he put the polite words like the jacket given to the stubborn child by her caring mother. “Tell my nurse that I need pain pills” “Sure” to myself “and some sleeping pills while she’s at it.” I went ahead and passed the message and went on to provide service all around.
I asked myself what happened to Smiley Jose? I wasn’t always like this. There was a time when the call to serve rang high and strong in my chest and made me punctual and diligent. There was a time where I only remembered those patients who had a gratifying look or gesture rather than those who took me for granted. I remembered when I cared more about patient’s safety and comfort to the sacrifice of my own. There was a time where this wasn’t just another paycheck but a life experience where human contact made a difference. Now I feel myself heavier and heavier as the time to go to work comes closer and closer and once I get there, I feel like the mouse spinning the wheel in a mad scientist lab. Now I stare at the clock trying to increase its speed with my mind. Now I want to hunt down whoever has ever said to be in the moment. Now I want to come to work to watch TV, read a book, and to not be asked to do anything. Just like at home. No wonder sometimes some of these nurses remind me of my mother!!!
I don’t know how long I been standing there standing while the patient been telling he’s done in the bathroom. I quickly apologized and helped him get back in bed.
As I left, I started reediting for the millionth time my letter of resignation. For now I just prayed that if I ever end in a hospital, I hope my caregivers have more heart than I do.