19h00: Here we go, Sunday night call...
According to Sister C, who has worked every night this weekend, Friday and Saturday were peaceful.
Have I told you about Sister C?
Sister C is a veteran Cape Flats warrior nurse. One of a dying breed and one that I am eternally grateful for. She is my personal bodyguard and heroine on nights when the patients threaten to riot in the waiting room. With one cut from her sharp tongue she can silence even the most hardened gangster. A vehement follower of the word of Jesus Christ, she has a voice like an evangelist preacher and an unfailing intolerance of "strond" ( nonsense). When Sister C is on at night, the radio is locked on Christian FM, and woe betide you if you even suggest switching stations.
On a seldom-fulfilled quest to uplift her community and instill pride in its people, Sister C does not even tolerate a patient's improper body language.
These are grave signs of immorality according to Sister C:
2: not greeting in an appropriate manner
3: not referring to her as Sister
4: speaking to the Doctor directly without first asking her permission to do so.
5: daring to question the authority of the trauma staff.
6: complaining in any way.
7: forcing her to repeat herself after her very clear initial explanation.
8: Not having front teeth
9: interrupting her while she is busy with another patient
10:not tucking your shirt into your pants
These signs, are indicative of a lack of morals and will result in one of three things:
A vicious tongue-lashing in Afrikaans about the lack of respect, being ferociously educated in the importance of the Lord in one's life, or, if you've really pissed her off, having your folder moved to the back of the queue.
I live vicariously through her. Often I've envied her ability to utterly verbally annihiliate her victims in their own vernacular. She gets away with this because she is a brilliant nurse. The best. She can do everything I can do, She doesn't need a Doctor, she can run that trauma unit single handedly. She can put in chest drains, suture,apply plaster of paris, resuscitate, intubate, rattle off drug dosages as if she's reading it from the textbook...she is always ready and willing to help and I know she's got my back. She is a very precious gem in this hellhole mine dump of a health system. When I have my own hospital I am coming back to get her.
Nurses like her are keeping this health system running, not the fat cat health administrators with their bullshit ideas and ignorance about how the patient's are suffering and how underappreciated the health professionals are.
Sister C is one of a few excellent nurses at this Community Health Centre.
There is also Sister L,who is quite excellent too.
She gets along well with Sister C because she also loves Jesus.
However, I don't think Sister C knows exactly why Sister L loves Jesus so much.
I know why.
You see, Sister L was married to a philandering fool. He cheated on her excessively despite her efforts to improve their marriage. She was miserable, and so sought solace at the local church.
Soon thereafter, Sister L's philandering fool of a husband, and his mistress, were both ploughed into by a truck on the N1 and instantaneously killed!
This was enough proof for Sister L that God exists, and has since, never missed church on Sunday.