A month or so ago, I was in the rear passenger seat of a small car that spun into a telephone pole after an unobservant driver almost t-boned it. The actual accident in and of itself wasn’t that bad – the feeling of relief that we were all fine overcame any fear or regret.
Afterwards, when I ended up lying in a hospital bed, my neck wrapped in some plastic and Velcro contraption and my clothing on a chair in a corner of the room, I became pretty uncomfortable. In an attempt to alleviate my discomfort, I began a casual chat with the tatooed orderly who’d been assigned to ferry me about the various examination rooms.I asked him how he liked working at a hospital, and he told me it was fine except for when patients didn’t appreciate the care they were given.
“See, some people, like you, just go along with it and are great. But then others get mad and fight with you and you basically have to force care on them. That really takes away from the joy of helping people. ”
I commented that I might be interested in medical school, and he gave me some advice.
“You need a lot of patience. You need to be able to deal with all kinds of heartache and crap that people are going to give you.”
He looked me in the eye and paused for a moment, then patted my hospital-gown-clad knee.
“You’ll do fine,” he said, smiling, as he turned to walk away, leaving me there alone outside the CT scan room.