One afternoon, I came in to my shift as a nursing supervisor, and the director of nursing had, it appears, JUST finished receiving a phone call asserting that somehow, the hospital staff had lost some patient’s dentures. Of course, I was the High Value Target in that particular free fire zone, and I caught the assignment. “McFee! You find out what happened to this patient’s dentures! Do not rest until you find them!”
I promised my best efforts, and was reprimanded. “I do not want your best efforts! I want you to show me some teeth!”
Uh, Ok. Yes ma’am!
I inspected the patient room, freshly cleaned by housekeeping. No dentures. I went to billing, the keeper of the valuables, and searched for property that had remained unclaimed. No dentures.
I interviewed our laundry folks, and inquired regarding foreign objects in the washer or drier. No dentures.
I inspected the patient intake form, cataloging the patient’s property at arrival. Of course, there was indeed a notation that the patient had brought her dentures with her to the hospital.
I took a break, and visited the security supervisor. We chatted for a bit, until he asked why I had not been wandering around, and had not been in evidence that shift.
I told him the Story Of The Missing Teeth, and my efforts to transition that tale into a dental retelling of The Prodigal Dentures: “Rejoice! My teeth, that have been lost, have been found! Kill the fatted calf, prepare the feast!”
Along with my, thus far, horrible fail in accomplishing it.
He sat back, and a thoughtful look crossed his face. “So, Reltney, do you need to find THE teeth, or just any teeth?”
I observed that the patient in question might feel a little, well, odd, wearing somebody else’s teeth.
My friend the security supervisor opened his safe, and extracted some ancient dentures. He then clarified things for me. “See these green teeth, here? Now suppose they were inadvertently dropped outside the door here, in the driveway, and some inattentive security officer, like, say, me, were to accidentally run them over, like, six or eight times? I doubt that anybody would put the shards into their mouth, you could show your boss teeth, albeit broken teeth, and so she would be happy, the complaining patient would get new dentures, so they would be happy, and your boss would stop breathing down your neck, and so you would be happy. How many opportunities do you think you will get to make that many people happy, all at once?”