Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Animal! Animal!

A friend was working in an infant cardiac unit one day when some nurses from South America were present on the unit to observe; they had a limited ability to speak English and were just sort of standing around and watching the nursing staff.  My friend was assigned to care for a baby with a heart defect who was sleeping in an overhead warmer and was covered by a hospital-issue blanket that had little teddy bears.
One of the observing nurses pointed to the baby and said “animal!”  The PICU nurse responded “oh yes, we have cute blankets here with little animals on them” and turned back to the computer she was working on.  The observer pointed again at the baby and said “animal!” and the nurse, who was trying to concentrate on finishing her charting gave a half-hearted smile, a nod, and an “um hmm” to the South American nurse. 
At this point, the observer gave an even more emphatic “Animal!  Animal!” to my colleague who got frustrated enough with this exchange to get up and walk the few paces to the warmer. The PICU nurse looked down at the warmer to see the “animals” the observer was talking about – a line of ants walking across the baby’s blanket!

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