Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What Hospital?

The more I visit it the more I am beginning to enjoy the Geryatric Behavioral Health (that means elderly crazy people to those of you who don't get to work in a hospital and use our secret terminology) unit at the hospital.

Like Forrest Gump's life, the Gery-Psyc ward is much like a box of chocolates. Swiping my key card to open the security locked door with a one way mirror in it and entering covertly is always like sliding the top off a box of assorted mystery candies. When I meet a new patient I never know what I'm getting/biting into.

Many patients are sweet people, grandparents just in need of some help so they can get back to seeing their grandchildren. Others may require a different adjective than "sweet." Some are scared, apprehensive and only occasionally rude or just plain mean.

Some of the things that have been said to me in this unit were surprising, funny or concerning. But one will stick with me, I imagine, for a little while.

As I approached a patient with whom I had spoke before, she greeted me kindly with a smile. I returned the salutation, but quickly noticed her facial expression saying she did not seem to recognize me. Asking if she remembered me, I introduced myself once more as, "Nathan, one of the chaplains here in the hospital."

"What hospital!?" she replied, now with a very concerned look on her face.

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