nurses rock!

Welcome to the Weekly Guest Spotlight

Barbara MackTonight’s guest is writer Barbara Mack. For more about Barbara, click on her photo to visit her website.

I’m sure this comes as a total shock to everyone who knows me, but… I talk a lot. I’ve always been gregarious. As a child, I talked so much that my grandfather would sometimes turn his hearing aid off when I visited. Through my unending chatter, I earned the nickname Barbara Big Mouth from my siblings.

Even when I want to keep my mouth shut, sometimes comments bypass my brain entirely and pop out of their own volition. (Usually at the most inconvenient time imaginable.) I’m not as bad as I used to be (I used to think tact was something you stuck in the wall with your thumb), but I’m never going to sing you pretty little lies.

This isn’t always a bad thing. Or perhaps it would be more correct to say that occasionally it’s been to my benefit.

I was going to nursing school, and we were doing our rotation through obstetrics. You would think that everyone – as I was – would be all warm and fuzzy around the newborn babies and their parents. I’m sorry to report that it wasn’t so. One of my fellow students – who I affectionately called Nurse Ratchett – was constantly trying to force people to see things her way.

A young Vietnamese couple had asked my permission earlier to put a rock that her mother had sent them from Vietnam in the baby’s bassinet. It was a clean rock (they’d even soaked it in alcohol to sterilize it), so I said it was fine. They wrapped it in a blanket and put it at the baby’s feet.  I went on my merry way, because I was busy. You do a lot of work as a nursing student. You’re basically unpaid help.

Enter Nurse Ratchett.

About 10 minutes later, I hear a commotion from their room, and every baby on the floor began to wake up and cry.  Nurse Ratchett had decreed that they couldn’t have their ‘filthy rock’ in the bassinet. I grab a passing surgical student who’s a friend of mine who agrees to put the rock through the autoclave, which is the method used to sterilize instruments for surgery. Problem solved.

Au contraire.

Nurse Ratchett takes the rock away again. I give it back. She takes it away. I give it back.

The entire obstetrics floor is in an uproar. I grab a passing nurse, and ask her please, please to make Nurse Ratchett give the effing rock back before I put HER through the autoclave. And yes, I used those exact words, including my own special little nickname for her.

The nurse raises her eyebrows at me, and I begin to think my mouth has once again made trouble for me. Instead, she gives back the rock to the young couple with some soothing words, exchanges biting words with Ratchett, and all is serene once again.

Two weeks later, I’m on break from my classes and I get a phone call at home. I’m offered a job on that same obstetrics floor. I ask in some puzzlement why I’m being offered the job out of all the other students, and the woman from human resources laughed and said that she was instructed to tell me it was because the nursing supervisor loved a smartass woman with good sense.

The passing nurse I had demanded help from was the nursing supervisor, who was working because they were understaffed and over capacity. She’d been going down the hall to see who was causing all the uproar when I grabbed her.

And that, dears, is how I got a job because of a rock.

And because I have a big mouth, of course.


Oh, we’re so glad you have a big mouth Barbara! It was a great post!! And for anyone who doesn’t know Barbara, please click on her picture for her website. She has the very best breadmaking book ever! And I do mean EVER!

Until the next time…I’ll be Daywalking!

Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on January 20, 2012 .