Legends of the past…

Posted on July 23, 2009. Filed under: Benign |


I want to hear about the legends you have worked with in the past, and for this I shall tell you about mine.  The idea from this post came about for two reasons, one being that we all have legendary figures and some of mine recently came to mind with a strange dream sequence…and the other being that my legendary blogging mum and dad have met in Washington (with lots of other bloggers) and I got very excited and wished I could have been there…only 3528.45 miles away…

Mum and Dad!

Max’s Legends

Some of these may have been mentioned in the past posts and the list is not exhaustive. The names may have been altered to protect the innocentguilty. Disclaimer: the following examples are not examples of recommended practices!!

 Charge Nurse Snack…Most legendary for sitting in a busy waiting room do triage assessments for the minor injury patients, realising that the rest of the department was exceptionally busy and knowing that no patients were being seen from the waiting room because of this.  Snack bravely fought off constant bouts of patients moaning:  “I’ve been waiting 2 hours and nobody is being seen here”. Until he had finally taken enough abuse from one patient in particular and took him through the rest of the emergency department. They stopped at the resus room, where three patients were actively being resuscitated following a nasty RTA(MVA) and Snack asked which one of the resuscitating doctors the patient would like to call away to see to his sprained wrist.  The patient now understood why his minor injury was not being dealt with and sat quietly back in the waiting room, only speaking to stop other patients approaching and asking Nurse Snack about how long the wait was!  Legendary move.  Always wished I had the balls to do it!

Sister Pensioner…

No doubt many legendary tales to tell in her past, but really should have retired by now. Most legendary activity in my experience was during one shift while two nurses (one of which was little old me) tried to defuse a very odd, rapidly worsening family argument about to end in a fist fight.  I looked out of the cubicle and saw Sister Pensioner, looking in the room and using the phone. I assumed she was ringing the police in an attempt to stop us getting our arses kicked.  We managed to defuse the situation and got out and when I asked Sister Pensioner “where the hell are the Police”, she informed me that she hadn’t rang them, and was in fact ringing social services to get more background information… thanks for that!

Sister Essex…one of the younger sisters, everyone loved to work with her, very hard working when the muck hit the fan, but a good giggle and chilled out when the opportunity allowed.   Apart from generally being a legend, her most memorable moment to me, was on a night shift when a hyperventilating girl came in and nobody could calm her down. We even medicated her I think, and still she was hyperventilating and hysterical. Sister Essex went in to her again, shut the cubicle door and left the room again about 5 seconds later, having resolved the patients issues by administering a good old fashioned slap around the face.

Sister Wings…Another elderly sister, but this one still as sharp as a knife and bought back the old fashioned values to being a sister…basically most junior staff where scared pant-less of her, and never knew what kind of mood she would be in. However the more experienced staff had worked out the key. She has now retired and I can share the secret with you….

Eye liner… she normally wore eye liner that extended past her eye lashes, the rules were easy:

Eye liner extended in a downward direction = bad mood.

Eye liner in an upward direction = good mood.

Eye liner straight = approachable, but don’t push it.

No eye liner = call security.

Mr H…the boss. Our emergency department was essentially nurse led, as the consultant Mr H used to tell all the new doctors.  Fair enough really, we lived and breathed it and the new doctors invariably used to pass through for a few months.  Mr H was formidable in a completely spaced out kind of a way. This is the guy who could never be found in his office, he may have been in there but nobody could see through the smoke.  People thought he was rude as he used to walk through the department and ignore everyone saying their good mornings to him.  He wasn’t ignorant, he was thinking. I thought he was the most important person in the building, but he thought he was the least important. I sutures his finger once, I was trying to stitch up a patient, but he got in the way. He swore (not at me, but the burst of pain), sucked his glove and then carried on. I tried to manage him as a needle stick but he wasn’t interested.  He actually came to work having a heart attack and tried to ignore it. Eventually Sister Essex and I had to practically rugby tackle him to do an ECG.

You’ll notice that all my listed legends are from my days in the emergency department, I think this reflects my nursing blood, however I’ve been out of there for a long time now, and that is why of all the people I’ve worked with these are the legends. Unforgettable spirit and style. Love you guys!

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6 Responses to “Legends of the past…”

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I was honored to be a member of this crew and fondly remember these legends.

You forgot the legend that was C/N Specks – He seemed to have a sixth sense for trouble, and patients always seemed to get violent on his shifts despite him being the calmest and most softly spoken guy going. When it all kicked off he would calmly remove his glasses and place them in his top pocket!
I remember him trying to persuade a young girl who seemed high but pleasent enough to come back into the department for assessment, he seemed to have it all in hand, however I noticed that the glasses where off and that meant trouble, within seconds she was trying to wrap a crutch around our necks, CN Specks just calmly said, “I think we’ll have the police please”

Mum and dad? I was not aware. Kim never told me…

Rob I meant you were my blogging dad – no paternity tests required!
Kif…C/N Spec’s indeed was a legend, there are so many out there. Hope you like my blog (feeling a little shy about drawing everyones attention to it yesterday!)

I was not aware that I was your blog dad. That is really nice to hear.

I am getting verklempt.

[...] “Mom” or “Dad” – ask Max E Nurse.  He considers Kim and Myself his blog [...]

[...] spawn in Max E. Nurse over at It Shouldn’t Happen in Health Care. Max goes on to discuss the Legends of the Past he worked with in his ER days. Such a polite boy – we raised him well! : [...]


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