Tuesday, September 30, 2008

You Know You Are a Nurse...

Did you hear about the nurse who died and went straight to hell??
It took her two weeks to realize she wasn't at work!

You know you're a nurse if.....

• You believe that every patient needs tlc, diazepam,temazepam and haloperidol.

• You would like to meet the inventor of the Nurse call buzzer some night in a dark alley.

• You believe not all patients are annoying, some are unconscious.

• Your sense of humour gets more warped each year.

• You can only tell time by the 24 hr clock.

• Almost everything can seem humorous....eventually.

• When asked what colour that patients diarrheic was, you show them your

• You know the smell of different diarrhoea to identify it.

• Every time you walk you make a jingling noise because of all the
Scissors and clamps in your pocket.

• You can tell the pharmacist more about the medication they are dispensing than they know.

• You carry more "spare" meds in your pocket rather than waiting for pharmacy to deliver them.

• You refuse to watch ER because it is too much like the real thing and it triggers flashbacks.

• You check the caller id on your day off to see if anyone from the hospital is trying to call and ask you to work.

• You've been telling stories in a restaurant and made someone at another table throw up.

• notice that you are using more 4 letter words than you did before you started nursing.

• Everytime someone asks you for a pen you can find at least 4 of them on you.

• You can intubate your friends at parties.

• You don't get excited about blood unless it's your own.

• You live by the motto "to be right is only half the battle, to convince the doctor is more difficult"

• You've basted your thanksgiving turkey with a nasogastric syringe.

• You've told a confused patient that your name was that of your co-worker and to holler if they need help.

• Eating microwave popcorn out of a clean bedpan is perfectly normal.

• Your bladder can expand to the size of a Mack Truck's Radiator Sump.

• When checking the level of a patient’s orientation you aren't sure of the answer.

• You find yourself checking out other customers veins in grocery waiting lines.

• You can sleep soundly at the hospital cafeteria table on your dinner break and not be embarrassed when you wake up.

• You avoid unhealthy looking shoppers in the mall for fear that they will drop near you and you'll have to do cpr on your day off.

• You have ever referred to someone's death as a transfer to the "Eternal Care Unit".

• You have ever wanted to hold a seminar entitled "Suicide ... Doing It Right".

• You have ever had a patient look you straight in the eye and say "I have no idea how that got stuck in there".

• You have ever had to leave a patient's room before you begin to laugh uncontrollably.

• You throw a party for a co-worker and use a urinal (clean of course) as a lemon-aid pitcher and use a bed sheet for a tablecloth

• You believe that the government should require a permit to reproduce.

• You hate to get dressed in "real clothes" because scrubs are what you live in and why can't they make jeans that comfortable.
• You have ever restrained someone and it was not a sexual experience.
• Your most common assessment question is "what changed tonight to make it an emergency after 6 hours / days / weeks / months / years)?".

• You often stay awake for 24+ hrs at a time when you work nights realize you don't need alcohol or drugs to hallucinate just lack of

• You pull over in some parking lot after working nights because you are too tired to drive home and wake up to someone knocking on your window thinking you have had a stroke because you are passed out in your car and drooling.

• Your finger has gone places you never thought possible.

• You have seen more penises than any prostitute
• You disbelieve 90% of what you are told and 75% of what you see.
• You've sworn to have "Not For Resuss" tattooed on your chest.
• You threaten to strangle anyone who even starts to say the "q" word when it is even remotely calm.

Its just to help you understand our mindset and questionable mental status/sanity.
Most of the time we function in spite of this sick sense of humour, fairly normally and very responsibly.

Believe me, this is how we think, ALL THE TIME, Scary huh??

It must be added to the list that you hate flying just incase the air stewards announce "if there is a Doctor or Nurse on board... please make yourself known to the cabin crew" At which point you cringe and hide!

Essay: On the Meaning of Ateneo Education

Some even say that our students are not really given the chance to open to these realities with our token gestures of solidarity with the “mga poor ”like immersions or work trials. Perhaps, in the end, the Ateneo is the Ateneo: a separate world from the world of the margins. But what most people don’t understand about the Ateneo, including its own faculty sometimes, is that the Ateneo is not just about the majors or the specific programs. It is about a spirit that pervades among its best people.

___________________________________READ ON_____________________________

To my fellow parents:

by Agustin Martin G. Rodriguez, Ph.D.

When my daughter had the chance to finish high school in New York, we agonized about it: I more than her. Her agony centered around the need to moderate her desire to embark on this adventure because she knew it would break my heart. My agony had two thorns. Firstly, I didn’t want her to go because in all our lives, we had never spent more than 2 days apart from each other. Secondly, there was the irony of her studying in the United States. As a nationalist academic and development worker, I always believed that one’s spirit had to be formed with one’s people—among their myths and their sufferings—in order to understand who one is, what one’s responsibilities are and to whom one’s heart belongs. I know to the sophisticated global citizen I would sound archaic and provincial, but I still believe that before our spirit can embrace the world it must be rooted in a home we love. But I knew that the idea of giving up this opportunity was breaking her up inside because, as she said, she might spend the rest of her life wondering what if, so I let her go. She left with the promise that she would come back for college because I still believe that the university years are formative. But we all know how those promises go. Two years in the glitter of a new world could weaken the bindings of promises made in times of great emotions. It has been a year and we are now completely at peace with her decision to leave.

All that I have said is a prelude to why I am writing this piece. I am writing this to explain why I believe her formation in the Ateneo would still be the best for my daughter. I want to clarify to everyone else who raise their eyebrows at me, what I mean when I say that I believe an education here is superior to any ivy league education. Many of my colleagues who know that my daughter has a chance to study in an American university cannot understand why I would prefer that she study here. One of them even exclaimed: “You would prefer that she study here even if she had a chance to study in Harvard!” with a you-are-so ridiculous tone. And to me the answer was “Yes, of course, you’re so ridiculous.” And the reason is simply this: she may get a superior technical education in some top ranking university abroad but only in the Philippines will she have a superior education in being a Filipino for Filipinos.

My daughter wants to be a writer and recently she has had a chance to attend a prestigious workshop in an American university best known as a center for writing. And I was witness to how because of that opportunity, her writing skills have advanced light years from when she left. I have no doubt that if she studied creative writing in one of the US universities known for it, her skills would be strengthened even more. But what would she write about? A great writer is as much about her skill as it is about her great insight. If you have the skill but not the immersion in the profound
realities that have formed your soul, what is there to write about? And who would she write for? A truly great writer is one whose passion is fueled by the need to speak for her people, especially the mute. And to even begin to want to speak for them, you have to be grounded in their misery. One’s people are never generic: they take concrete form in the faces that resonate in your heart. I think an education in her own country would prepare her to face the faces that resonate in her heart and perhaps an Ateneo education could awaken the passion to respond to those faces.

I know that many complain that Ateneans lead a very sheltered life in this campus. In an infinite number of ways that is ridiculously true. In the end, the Ateneo is the Ateneo: a separate world from the world of the margins. But what most people don’t understand about the Ateneo, is that the Ateneo is not just about the majors or the specific programs. It is about a spirit that pervades among its best people.

When I was young, I was ready to quit the Church because I was convinced that there were no intelligent and just Catholics. And then I came to the Ateneo where I met Catholics who strove to serve the margins because of their love of God. And because they loved God’s people, they strove for excellence. That realization astounded me and kept me in the Church and in Ateneo. If anything, Filipino Jesuit education just means to teach people that the love of God means nothing but to love the people who suffer forgotten in the margins, and that we strive for excellence in what we do to serve them best: otherwise excellence and the love of God is empty. What else does faith mean? What else grounds excellence? What else measures the good of a life but that? And if you take Ateneo education seriously enough, and if you are open to its opportunities enough, it will lead you to that realization and it will lead you to your first opening to the faces that you will have to serve. At its core, Ateneo education is an apprenticeship in the work of being a Filipino for others. This is only a slogan so long as one misses out on the living examples of alumni, scholars, administrators, maintenance and staff who show us the way to realizing the truth of an Ateneo education. Open your eyes to those who serve radically and they will radically educate your heart. And if one is open enough one can see that such people dwell in this school because there is a spirit in this school that cradles them and supports their vocation. It is intangible, but it is a spirit that guides the best of us.

Some people feel that we are an elite school that cultivates an elite rationality. Radioactive Sago’s brilliant third album is entitled “… Ang Daming Nagugutom Sa Mundo Fashionista Ka Pa Rin.” In one gig, Lord de Vera was plugging their album and he said “Bilhin ninyo ang aming album ‘… Ang Daming Nagugutom Sa Mundo Atenista Ka Pa Rin.’” I could understand his sentiments exactly. Just listen to conversations in the pocket garden where people complain about the heat, their slow laptops and their old school phones and anyone who knows anything about the hardships in our country will easily agree with Lord. But then, if you think about it, although some of our graduates are oblivious to the suffering around them and even if some of them do reinforce structures that exploit the suffering, there is that core of Ateneans touched by the spirit of this school who choose to genuinely build communities founded on justice, to found enterprises that serve true needs, to lawyer for the oppressed, and to doctor for the poor. Many innovations of justice building in our country arise because of their apprenticeships in the magis of our service. We just don’t hear about these things because they don’t find their way into our tarpaulins. But the spirit is there and it is the spirit that defines us more than basketball championships or the number of CEOs we produce. Somehow, because of our formation, Ateneans still tend to be idealistic about service. And so I say “Dahil ang daming nagugutom sa mundo kailangan mong seryosohin ang pagka- Atenista.” This is why, my dear fellow parents, I think an Ateneo education is more valuable for my daughter than a Cornell or Harvard or Princeton education: because here, we learn to be excellent for something important—our people and our Filipino humanity.

Dr. Rodriguez is currently an Assistant Professor of the Philosophy Department of the Loyola Schools.
His daughter, Leal, is a freshman in the Ateneo majoring in AB Humanities.
Edited version of “To my colleagues: On the meaning of an Ateneo education” by Agustin Martin G. Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Chalk Marks. The Guidon. Volume LXXV. Number 6.