Sunday, 14 September 2008

"I'll know that accent anywhere"

There are pros and cons to being a Nurse

On the plus side, you will probably always have a job for life-even during a looming world recession. Particularly during a looming world recession.

Even if you actually hate your job
Well, perhaps not the job as much as the patients.

No….actually, it’s the job.


You also –on occasion-, get to inflict real pain and embarrassment on the sniveling shop assistant who was rude to you yesterday at the computer store and who has come in today with strangulated hemorrhoids-

….Saying as you walk towards him, whilst smearing the KY jelly on your index finger….

“I like to think that we are in a therapeutic relationship Sir, where we work together in equal partnership, and I strive to provide you with the best care, to ensure that we return you to an optimum state of health as soon as possible-so as long as this is only hurting one of us, that’s OK ….now pucker up buddy…. this is not going to hurt me at all!!”

Ah, those halcyon days of youth!!

Its not all bad though….on occasion, you will get biscuits and chocolates form some grateful patient; you get to laugh at the mistakes whilst watching reruns of ‘ER’; and you can get all the Morning-After-Contraceptive you are ever going to need

But of course there are disadvantages.

You are probably never going to be really really rich. Unless you win the lottery.

You are going to find that after 45,you really don’t need the morning-after-pill

And you find that your buttocks just seem to have a life of their own-without any care or attention, they just seem to get bigger and flabbier and fatter, until your arse is so big that it has its own website address.

It’s a bit like being a South African, there are pros and cons….its always good to wear the Springbok jersey whenever any serious rugby game is being played anywhere in the English-speaking world, just to remind the whingeing Poms who actually DID win the world…..people talk to you, even if its only to find out if you have ever had to shoot anyone….or if you have met President Mandela….and the correct response to both is of course, “yes”.

But there are some disadvantages, not least being that for a lot of people the South African accent is apparently indistinguishable from the Australian accent

Every second patient asks me what part of Australia I come from. My standard reply is

“I come from Johannesburg”
Isn’t that in South Africa?
“That’s alright… Welsh people sound all the same to me”
I’m not Welsh-indignantly
“No sh*t Sherlock!!”

And so there I was on Wednesday afternoon, safely ensconced in the Labour Ward at the Cape Labia General Hospital, living in this electronically interconnected world.

And my second patient is a native Canadian, a member of the Miq-Maq Nation-that’s pronounced “Mick – Mack” and isn’t to be confused with an Irish raincoat.

And so, I walk into the room to introduce myself, and the first thing this 'First-nations-peoples person' says to me is...

So...what part of Australia do you come from?

You couldn’t make it up.

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