Tuesday, July 07, 2009

HawthoRNe, not improving

I finally got around to watching the 2nd episode of HawthoRNe. The fact that it sat on my Tivo for two weeks, and that I forgot to record the 3rd ep, tells us both that I wasn't looking forward to it all that much. Still, I said I'd stick with it for at least two more episodes.

"Healing Time" has a couple of name guest stars in Cloris Leachman and Malcom-Jamal Warner. Ms. Leachman's subplot, about a cantakerous, demanding patient who abuses the nursing staff led to a nice little speech by title character Christina Hawthorne, "Nurses are not servants. They are professionals. They should be treated with respect." Right on, superladynurse on a mission! No seriously, I loved that.

Warner's subplot was much worse in it's sentimentality, unrealistic medicine, and giant ethical no-no. He played a man with a cerebral aneurysm that initially caused decreased level of consciousness and impaired mentation (believable) that caused him to think Hawthorne was his wife (dubious), which she did not refute and in fact "used" to comfort him (not cool at all). Later when the doctors offer him with two treatment options—why they were asking him, a man they know cannot provide informed consent rather than his wife who's already been called by phone, is left unexplored—and the patient defers to his "wife's" judgement, she still acts the part and gives her opinion. Massive ethical violation, off-the-charts lose-your-license kind of violation. Boo superladynurse. Booooo.

So then...uh, no I've completely lost interest in continuing. Suffice to say the writing is still treacly, the humor tepid, the direction and acting pedestrian. If the next ep is equally as poor, I won't bother to write it up. Fingers crossed!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Simpsons + monkey ≠ Mr. Teeny, at least in this case

Before I tell a couple stories from work, I have to explain that in medicine, D/C means discontinue. So when a doctor writes "d/c heparin", it means "stop administering the medication heparin from now on." OK, now that's defined.

The other night at work I went over to talk to a colleague and was startled by her patient's severe jaundice. I blurted, "She looks like a Simpsons character."

Thankfully the patient was sedated and didn't catch my rude comment. Later, the nurse came up to me, "After you left, I kept trying to think of which person on The Simpsons she looks like. Then I realized you meant all of them."

The same night another patient's chest tubes were draining a copious amount of clotting blood. The nurse had to manipulate the tubes frequently to ensure the blood passed into the collection chamber instead of clogging the tubes. It's rather mindless work and takes away from other aspects of patient care, but it's still necessary to perform. I suggested that a trained monkey with dextrous hands would really free her up, "Dressed up in little scrubs just squeezing and twisting away."

"And possibly making a mess I'd have to clean up, not to mention the chattering and infection risk," she countered, "In the morning Dr. Never Smiles would come by, annoyed, and write d/c monkey!"

You may disagree, but at 4 AM, "d/c monkey" is very, very funny. I ended up in tears stifling my laughter so I wouldn't wake the patients.