Fun And Games · Fun With Suits! · Pains in my Fifth Point of Contact · School Fun And Games

“Engendering Collectivity In Nursing”

So, TINS, TIWFDASL, and I had been admitted into the BHSU College of Nursing. I had moved on from Da City’s EMF (“The ‘Mergency Muthafuggers!”, as we had been so colorfully denominated on so many occasions), and was nursing in the ED of one of the nearly dozen small (at that time, around 300 beds) hospitals dotting Da City. I went from being chief steward of the union representing the medics, to a staff peon working nights.

Another of the nurses working with me was also pursuing her BSN, and so we study buddied up. We both had been old schooled in The Wisdom Of The Student, as so found ourselves in the rear 1/3 of this cavernous several hundred seat lecture hall, where the Blue Hive State University held it’s class on “Transitions in Nursing”. This was aimed at those of us entering the BSN program. The instructor of this particular class appeared enamored of Florence Nightingale, the Victorian English woman whose work caring for wounded and ill British soldiers in The Crimean War laid the foundation of contemporary Nursing.

This infatuation was reflected as this instructor read to us all from a book of Nightingale’s life. Amusingly, from time to time, she (the instructor) would hold the book above her head, turned towards us so that we could “see” some illustration or another, and detail the citation accompanying the illustration. (“Did you bring your binoculars?”)

From our seats, some 50 or more meters away, this was not as informative as our instructor appeared to consider it.

Once she had exhausted her store of Florence Nightingale trivia, she (the instructor, not Ms. Nightingale) moved on to instruct us in the advantages to be found in group efforts to improve the workplace. She described these efforts as “engendering collectivity” (and, do we not all wonder if, forty years later, in The Enlightened Twenty First Century, if the Thought Police would allow any of us to speak in those terms?), and appeared to believe that this was an unmitigated Good! Thing!.

Let me follow a tangent, if you please, for a brief intermission. I had mentioned that I had been a steward for the union representing Da City’s EMS. Interestingly, my father in his own youthful years, had had a hand in the formation of the American Newspaper Guild, which was a union for (surprisingly) newspaper folks.

So, I kinda grew up steeped in old school, Democrat political world view (think Scoop Jackson and Jack Kennedy, Not Occasio Cortez or Gavin Newsome), including the value to be found in an organized workplace. In that world view was the “real politik” perspective of the cost paid by the organizers initially struggling to create that organization. Examples such as The Fight Of The Overpass as the UAW attempted to unionize the Ford Motor Rouge Plant, or the Homestead Steel Strike, and other struggles as folks attempted to start, and foster, unions, including organizers being blackballed, being intimidated or outright assaulted.

So, as the instructor droned about “engendering collectivity in the workplace”, I eventually let my boyish enthusiasm overcome my naturally shy nature.

I raised my hand, was called upon, and stood. “Ma’am, I was a steward for the union representing EMS in Da City. My father helped organize the American Newspaper Guild. In the professional labor circles with which I am acquainted, we have a technical term for those who seek to engender collectivity in a previously unorganized workplace. That term, is ‘unemployed’.”

I sat down. Oddly enough, I was never again called upon, for the balance of that semester!

Having A Good Partner Is Very Important! · Life in Da City! · Pains in my Fifth Point of Contact

O’BEAST

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy not so very far away…Ok, it was something like 40 years ago, and Doug and I were working Medic 19 on nights. We caught a run on a sick person of some sort, and arrived to find a not-so-very-sick person, in an ill humor.

For some reason, this soul appeared to believe that employing us as a lightning rod of sorts for every missed opportunity, failed hope, crushed dream, and malign bit of luck that had befallen them, would in some manner alleviate their misery. I was not seeing it, but, whatever.

Since Doug was of The African Persuasion, whereas I, myself, was very much of the White Bread Persuasion, well, Ms. Misery, herself melanin enhanced, took him under her metaphorical wing, and expected him to commiserate with her in her plight.

Horrible fail.

I was driving, and so stood off to the side whilst Doug negotiated with Ms. Misery. He had worked pretty damned hard to get to where he stood, and was, let us say, unsympathetic to those who did not appear to exert themselves even minimally to better their lot. While he attempted to conceal his views from the folks on the street, we had detailed conversations in the firehouse on this, and other, topics.

Eventually, Ms. Misery concluded that the only succor we were about to offer her involved a trip to the ER, where she anticipated spending her evening, with no benefit to her pity party prospects. Therefore she directed us to depart, bidding us (and our mothers) farewell.

Once back in our truck, as Doug completed the run sheet (and I moved us to a neutral corner, several blocks away), I noted our friend’s considerable girth. “Glad she SNR’d herself. Obese as she is, I’d hate to attempt to carry her large self anywhere.”

Doug chuckled. “Obese? Were you there, as she yelled at us? With that attitude, she was Oh-Beast!”

Duty · Gratitude · Protect and Serve

An Additional Thought on 9/11

Sometimes, in my web wanderings, I come across a page, a video, that reflects that the author GETS IT.

This fellow, whose page, The History Guy, often reflects occasions of valor, of courage, of dedication to duty, gives me every indication that he, himself GETS IT.

Today, 13 September, he reprised an episode from 11 September 2019, with a new introduction. I guess my allergies were acting up, because I wept.

He devoted something like two full minutes scrolling the name of every FDNY member who died doing their duty, that clear, sunny September day.

Say their names. Know their sacrifice. Honor their memories.

Having A Good Partner Is Very Important! · Life in Da City!

Blazing Saddles and A Philosophy of Life

After another run on a person who was unhappy, yea, verily, unto such depths that he had an abundance of unhappiness to share with everybody in the community, us in particular, Doug was owning his frustration. That might have sounded like bitching and complaining about ungrateful, bitchy, asshole, ignorant layabouts who verbally abused those unfortunate to be trapped into serving them in any capacity whatsoever. But, of course, noble Saviors Of Lives, and Defeaters of Disease, such as Doug and myself, would never, ever, bitch, moan, complain, whine, grouse, pout, sulk, grumble, carp, kvetch, squawk or otherwise gripe about our lot. Oh, no! No, no, no! Not us!

Well, Doug was inspired tonight, and was waxing eloquent about the character deficiencies and general life failures afflicting our service population in general, and Medic 19’s area in particular.

After several minutes of admiring his eloquence, and noting the fact that he did not repeat one swear word, one time, he paused to draw a breath. I jumped in. “Ya know, you sound like you’re frustrated by folks.”

He agreed. “Yep. A more foul hive of scum and villiany, never has a medic unit covered!”

“Doug, I’m not sure you really have the proper perspective on our peeps, here.”

“What do you mean?”

I warmed up, channeling my inner Gene Wilder, as I consoled my metaphorical Cleavon Little partner. “Doug, you have expectations that simply are not going to be met. You have to understand these folks. These are the common sort, with the common touch. They are the folks who chose to move into this district, to drown their lives in drugs, alcohol, and a myriad of other bad life choices. They see themselves victimized by the choices that they make, again and again, every single day. It is as if they awaken each morning, draw in a breath of fresh, morning air, blink in the sunshine of a brand new day, and say, ‘I think I’ll fuck up my life, even more than I did yesterday! I’ll alienate everybody in my family, piss away every opportunity to take a different path, and ever more closely associate myself with other losers, in hopes that they will one day look at me, and sigh, ‘Damn! I wish my life was as fucked up and useless as that guy’s”.” I paused, taking in a breath. “You know, Doug, Morons!”

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Prayers: Answered!

My brother, the “Massachusetts Brother”, with whom The Momette is presently residing, encountered an affirmative ANGEL, professional, engaged, conscious *AND* conscientious, who, per his report, has arranged a Rad Onc appointment, freaking TOMORROW!

That appears to resolve THAT dilemma.

Hearty thanks for any and all prayers, presented on Mom’s behalf.

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AN APPEAL TO HEAVEN

My mother HAD an appointment to see a clinician at the office she had gone to for 40 or so years, and that appointment was booked for 1030 this morning 10 September.

Circa 60 minutes prior to that appointment my brother, in Massachusetts with her, received a phone call relating, as he reports it, that the insurance she has from out here, was not accepted, notwithstanding the fact (according to the insurance company out here), that “any office that accepts original Medicare will accept our insurance”.

In addition, they would not, for reasons I do not understand, accept payment by check/cash/other negotiable specie, which my brother explicitly promised.

All of which they had two ….er, weeks… to figure out.

So, my appeal. My mother needs a radiation oncologist in Massachusetts. Typically, she will require a family doctor to refer her to one. Based upon present evidence, she does not have one. To our surprise.

Do any of you know of a radiation oncologist in Massachusetts, or can one of you finagle a referral to one?

Please?

Contact me at “reltney_mcfeeatyahoo.com”

Fun And Games Off Duty · Fun With Suits! · Life in Da City! · Pains in my Fifth Point of Contact

PRE REQUISITE OF THE MONTH CLUB AT BHSU

As I had mentioned previously, I pursued, and earned, my BSN some time ago. Oddly enough, THAT is another occasion for one of my stories.

Living in Da Blue Hive, I elected to attend Blue Hive State University, here in The Un Named Flyover State. They had a nursing school, and, indeed, I, myself was a nurse! How convenient! In addition, I lived a mile or three away from the campus.

I therefore hied myself to the admissions office, applied, got accepted (with none of that “we don’t allow our nursing students to work” idiocy), and picked up a copy of the prerequisite courses for starting my journey to BSN-dom. Easy-peasy, I signed up for a class.

Having completed that class, I signed up for the next on my list, secure in the “knowledge” that I was making progress towards my goal. Then I attended some meeting or other that was required for prospective BSN students.

Once there, I picked up a copy (another copy, or so I thought) of the prerequisite list. Idly perusing it as the speaker droned on about whatever, I noticed a course on the required list, that I did not recall being on that list previously.

Once home, I dug out my old list, and compared the two. Yep, sure enough, the list had changed. Indeed, one of the classes that previously (like, 4 months prior) had been required, was now elective.

Fast forward a year, another two classes in my repertoire, and another “prospective nursing student meeting”. To my disappointment, there was ANOTHER evolution in the required list, and, indeed, one of the classes that had been required, that I had indeed taken and passed, was not on the list at all, any longer.

I made an appointment with the dean of the Nursing school. The secretary inquired as to the topic I wished to discuss with the dean. “Career counseling” was my reply. “I’m considering earning my BSN, and I want to discuss it with her, please.”

Okey-dokey, appointment made.

I showed up at the appointed hour, introduced myself, and made my opening conversational gambit. “Ma’am, I’m presently a medic with Da City’s EMS. I’m considering earning a BSN, or else earning a bachelor’s in chemistry. I’d like you to help me make that choice, please.”

“What sort of things are driving you to one election or the other”, she inquired.

“Well, ma’am, I enjoy science, and like knowing how stuff works. On the other hand, I enjoy health care, and seem to pretty well at it.”

She asked, again. “So, what drives you to chemistry as a major?”

“Well, ma’am, one of the attractors is that it appears that chemistry pre-requisite course list is static, in contrast to the seemingly dynamic, changing-every-semester nature of the nursing pre-requisite list.”

She pulled a catalog or something off a shelf, flipped through it, and mused. “It appears that we have changed our list a couple of times in the past couple of years. How is that a problem for you, Mr. McFee?”

“Well, this past week I learned that one class that I took last year, as a required course for entry, is no longer required. Now, I don’t really care one way or the other about your pre-requisite list. What would be very helpful would be a static required course list. Maybe something like, ‘Here’s our required list. If you start on this date, and complete the list by that date, you will be held to this list, right here, for entry to our program’. Because, to tell you the truth, the next time you folks change the pre-requisite list, I’m going to become a chemist.”

I sooner or later completed the required coursework, with satisfactory grades, and completed the program at Blue Hive State University, being awarded my BSN, and living happily ever after, fighting disease and saving lives.

And our school cheer was “Buzzzzz!” Even before marijuana legalization.

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Tangents.

A long, long time ago, in a Blue Hive not so very far from here, I was Fighting Disease, and Saving Lives. In addition, I was pursuing my BSN, as in my imaginings, that which I desired to do required a graduate degree, and THAT required that I earn a baccalaureate degree.

As it developed, this week’s version of BSN program entry prerequisites included physics, and so I registered for, and took, a physics class. Of course, I worked 1900 to 0700, and, equally of course, class was from 1900 to 2000. So, I played “Let’s Make A Deal!” with one of the guys from day shift. In exchange for Day Dude staying over to 2030 hours, I would stick around until 0830 the following morning, allowing Day Dude to sleep in a bit. Sleeping was an activity generally highly thought of in my circles.

I am a bit of a science dilettante, and enjoyed the academic aspects of the course. This one time, I had a question regarding the material. Once class had taken a break, I approached the instructor. Since I had to immediately scurry off to the firehouse post class (see above), I was in uniform. In those days, EMS uniform was tan shirts (think sheriff office), and forest green pants. On each shoulder was a large (think, Seventh Cavalry sized) patch proclaiming the bearer to be a part of “Da City Fire Department, EMS Division”, rockered around a large, forest green, “Star of Life” which occupied the very center of the patch. Not particularly subtle, amirite?

So, I approached the instructor. As my turn to have his attention arrived, I started to speak my question, only to be interrupted by him. “Are you some sort of forest ranger? “

Wow, talk about flight of ideas! I ignored him, and asked my question. He asked his, again. I answered him. “Nope, I’m EMS, See?”, and turned so the large patch was almost in his face. “Now, about the class….”

Sometimes You Get to Think That You Have Accomplished Something!

Life Happens

So, for the past year or so, my internal goal was to post a new tale roughly every week. Last week, Friday, 27 August, I did not. And, paying attention as I do (for am I not a steely eyed, all knowing, situationally aware gem of readiness?) (or, not so much. Go with that one!), I noted this fact yesterday.

First, the bad news. My mother is elderly. Indeed, she is yet stretching the “elderly curve”. Therefore, she is medically fragile, although you wouldn’t know it from a perusal of her medicine cabinet. Hell, by that metric, she’s healthier than I am!

So, early last week, let us say, she had “a medical issue”. With Brother A being an accountant, and Brother B being a factory worker, well, that leaves Brother C (that would be me!) to be the medical intermediary. Most of us might find that to be, well, distracting. Indeed, I did find myself distracted. So, while we await biopsy results, doctor office visits, in this The Age Of WuFlu, and related malarky, I work, do my household chores, and sleep, when not voyaging to Da City to visit The Maternal Unit.

All of this to say to the hundred or so guests who visit this site every week, thank you for your patronage, sorry about the skipped week thing, and I ought to have more “Sea Stories” coming up in a week or so.