My kids have the typical elementary school sense of humor. The words boobs, fanny and fart make them laugh uncontrollably. It’s hard to be mature and keep control of the situation when all four kids are rolling on the ground like a bunch of baboons. Especially when I too have a 7-year-old sense of humor. I admit it. I think mature, proper people are really boring. If you can’t laugh at a perfectly timed fart then I don’t think we can be friends. Stuffy people suck. They probably never laugh. Anyway, I was thinking about my elementary sense of humor and I remembered one of my favorite nurse stories.
I was a new grad working in a very busy cardiac unit. There wasn’t much to laugh about there so we made fun of the doctors. Especially the young ones who are vulnerable. In the medical world they are called residents. Oh relax, we didn’t do anything mean. It was innocent fun. Each resident in this particular group seemed to be foreign. They all spoke broken English. Thank goodness for a good group of nurses who knew to question an order that didn’t seem right. If you add a foreign accent to the word volume and it sounds like Valium. Ya know what I mean? Two totally different things people! To prevent a horrible tragedy we decided that we should spell everything out. We all became spelling champions. I could spell any medical term ever known to man. In fact, I took the spelling thing to a whole new level.
Casually walking down the hall I might bump into Dr. Rampolski and I spell my hello. “Hello Dr. R-A-M-P-O-L-S-K-I! How are you?” He giggled. “Hello Ronda!” I did this often but my favorite and I mean ABSOLUTE favorite doctor to mess with was Dr. Fu (Foo). He worked in anesthesia with another doctor named Dr. Wu (Woo). You can probably imagine how confusing that might get. Dr. Wu was cocky and had a temper so I avoided him. Dr. Fu, on the other hand, was a nervous, frazzled mess so I enjoyed him. In fact, he brought me great joy. His mannerisms alone made me giggle. He was always fumbling for his notepad. He carried an itsy-bitsy notepad and a pen in his front pocket at all times and he wrote down absolutely everything. EVERYTHING!!!!! Sometimes his frantic writing would make me nervous. Actually, it made everyone paranoid. We couldn’t imagine what the heck he was writing. I think he missed his true life calling. That guy should have been a stenographer in a court room. The point is, he had lots of quirks. He was sweet but also somewhat clueless.
I don’t want to sound arrogant but I could tell he thought I was funny. Sometimes he would say it. I can hear him now with his funny accent. “Ronda you funny”. Honestly, I think most of the time he only laughed because the other nurses were laughing. I don’t actually think he understood my humor. Sometimes I would explain my dumb jokes to him and he would predictably respond “yes, yes, yes” which never really made sense. Sadly, small children and foreigners seem to be my biggest fans. Perhaps I need to step up my game??
Now…Where was I? Oh yes..Dr Fu. I would get so excited when I needed Dr. Fu and he wasn’t on our unit. This meant I could page him on the loud-speaker. The secretary offered to page him for me but I didn’t want her doing anything extra. She was always very busy and this was something I enjoyed. I sat at the nurses’ station desk and cleared my throat. After all, I wanted to sound professional. “Uh hum. Could Dr. Fu please report to 6W stat?” (dramatic pause) “Again, that’s Dr. Fu.” Here is my favorite part…the spelling. I said each letter very slowly “Dr. F-U! Dr. F-U. Again that’s Dr. F-U to 6W.”
I could hear the other nurses giggling in various rooms all around the unit and the secretary was giggling too until all of a sudden she stopped and pretended to file some papers. I felt someone behind me. I didn’t need to turn around and look to see who it was. I could tell by the nonverbal clues that it was my supervisor. I wiped the smile off my face and pushed my chair back from the desk and stood up. “Is something funny here?” She inquired. “Oh. No ma’am. I was paging anesthesia. I need Dr. Fu and I wanted to be clear. I wouldn’t want to interrupt Dr. Wu from the OR. He hates that.” She gave me the look. The “I’m onto your childish, unprofessional antics” look but I smiled politely. “Why are you doing the paging instead of our unit secretary?” “Oh. Umm…she offered but I insisted. She has her hands full.” (Every nurse knows not to throw the unit secretary under the bus.) There was an uncomfortable pause when I was saved by Dr. Fu. He came running around the corner with his pen and tiny pad of paper out and ready. “Oh, Hi Ronda. You page me?” I pretended to be extra busy and desperate for Dr. Fu’s advice. I was desperate to cease further interrogation from the supervisor. Thankfully it seemed to have worked.
My coworkers and I continued to giggle. I’m sorry but let’s be honest. How could I possibly pass up the opportunity to legally say ‘Eff You” over a hospital loud-speaker? Now, if you will excuse me, I need to page a very petite, sweet doctor named Dr. Ho. Doesn’t everyone love a little Ho?
Laughter is the Best Medicine!