I work in a hospital.
I have been for the past 13 years. As soon as I hit college and decided that I wanted to be a nurse, I got myself a job in the hospital as a nursing assistant. I need to pay for college (ok that’s what financial aid was for but I did need to pay for gas and other fun stuff) and I wanted experience working with patients.
I moved up through the ranks; nursing assistant, nursing tech, and the after graduation a ‘real grown up’ girl nurse. Then after doing the bedside nursing then for a while, I took a job as nursing supervisor. I liked that job but getting pregnant with triplets made me rethink the whole working full time thing since daycare costs would have meant my paychecks would be a negative amount.
So I went back to working as a bedside nurse in the ICU, something that I loved.
But the constant, literal life and death drama of the ICU got old after a while and last year, I look a job in a smaller hospital as a Clinical Service Coordinator. That’s a fancy title for hospital supervisor aka head nurse. It sounds all big and fancy but it’s really not.
For my shift, I help coordinate the daily workings of the hospital, staffing, help with patients not doing well, maintain policy and procedures, deal with patient complaints and answer random weird questions that no one knows how to answer but somehow, I do.
It’s a fun job. No shift is ever the same. It’s enough bedside nursing care with a taste of administration (with no real power) that keeps me happy and going back twice a week.
One of the duties of my role is dealing with the comings and goings of the morgue. My hospital holds the county morgue for our county. So whenever there is a death out in the community and the Medical Examiner deems there is a need for autopsy, the body is taken to our hospital. The ME calls the intake lab, they call me, I enter the information in the computer and when necessary notify the funeral home.
Don’t get grossed out, I don’t actually have to see the bodies. Honestly, the happenings in the morgue freak me out. I avoid actually going in there like the plague. But there are times when the family wants to view the body and I am involved in that process but there is a wall I can hide behind.
When a body is ready to be released to the funeral home, it is my job to call them. After that call, I then mark a box in the computer and when they arrive at the hospital, security officers allow the mortician access and the body is removed.
It gets interesting when I get busy, juggling many happening at once, that I forget to mark that box in the computer and call the funeral home to tell them to come and pick up the body.
You see, Security says they can’t but the Funeral Home says they can and they then become like two girls arguing over who is hotter, Ryan Gosling or Channing Tatum. I then have to step in and tell them they are both wrong, it’s Johnny Depp.
On a particularly busy day, I forgot to check the box and I got a call from the security officer. A funeral home was at the hospital to pick up a body but the computer said that there was still an autopsy needed.
What the security officer did not know was that I had gotten a phone call earlier in the day from the ME saying there was no longer an autopsy needed.
Because I was busy dealing with a patient complaint, a nurse puking her guts out and needing a replacement and a patient having chest pain, I just plain forgot to check the box on the computer.
“Oh, I am so sorry,” I said to the security officer on the phone, “Dr Anderson called and said that the body no longer needed an orgasm.”
My brain processed what I said… “A-a-autopsy,” I stumbled, “Dr Anderson said the body didn’t need an autopsy.”
But the security officer didn’t hear me through his fits of laughter.