There’s something particularly lonely about eating dinner alone, as the neighbouring couple on the right talks about their day and the two friends on the left talk of future plans, both pairs within elbow-bumping distance and yet it would be super awkward if I jumped into their conversations, haha!

A man sitting with his family on a table directly in front, raised his hand politely to attract a waiter. One sauntered by to hand a glass of water to the next table but ignored him, twice. One waiter walked around the tables sweeping a glance right over him. Another rushed by busy talking with her colleague thru their headsets. Finally, one walked by and acknowledged his hand and sent her colleague over. (Btw, is it COL-league or col-LEAGUE?). This colleague having just approaching this man, got the blunt of his anger and annoyance, to her amazement and annoyance. As a fellow customer, I should understand.

But then just yesterday night…

A patient had been complaining about the “psychiatric” patient (she labelled) next to her for being too noisy (who might have acute delirium and really couldn’t help herself), which we resolved as well as can be. She herself went berserk and asked for a sleeping pill, which my HCA dutifully reported back to me. In all due respect, I was busy with two new admissions that suddenly showed up, and all the assorted things which P shift felt was a “me to know, you to find out” issue that nevertheless was time sensitive and needed to be dealt with while the doctor was present, and not to mention senior rounds was underway and I do believe the best way to know doctors’ plans is to standby and follow on (although when it’s reinforced as a necessity, I wonder what the role of nursing is, your secretary/maid/sounding board/punch bag/appointment reminder/curtain closer/eye lender…?). Meanwhile the patient had rung the bell twice for a bedpan AND sleeping pill, which my HCA also reported back. In the thick of things, it also came time to start injection rounds and while I was counterchecking my junior (and is it not nurses’ imperative to focus during checks?) this patient was glaring holes in my front, back and sides. I acknowledged her, then tried to multi-task administer her sleeping pills (except someone left the other med administration system batteryless and unplugged, and those take forever to load when in a hurry) not to mention I had to flit back and forth between two computers to check each injection/medication. Finally, I got a window of seconds and got her meds to her. And wow wow wow, did I get an earful. She stated she saw everyone outside joking and laughing (probably as P shift was reporting off), and she “just” asked for a bedpan twice in an hour because she was “confined” her to bed (and not because she complained how dizzy she gets after taking her sleeping pills and had just recently taken a fall yesterday night, hence our manager had advised her to rest in bed), and she saw how I was running around (but being lazy, she was so sure), and that my attitude was wrong because I gave her painkillers which was also conveniently due but she did not want (okay, I’m also a mind reader). So I’m the difficult nurse i guess, eh?

Is it so hard to ask for some understanding and compassion? Remind me why I don’t want to work in this country anymore?

All this in an hour and half into my night shift, God help me please!



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