Chapter 21

My shift was finished at 1500 hours but I was still steamed about this morning so after tidying up the outstanding workload data I sidled back over to Rudy’s office to fan the flames, only to find he was out. Viv was over in emerg but I knew she would likely show up here at some point in the next hour or so. In the interim I logged back into Dennis’s file to read the series of notes. Jack’s were there. They were brief but accurate. He focused more on the conversation with Dennis and less on the environment of the unit. Dr. Juli Ward’s were also brief and mostly described her observations related to the prn meds. She did comment on Jack’s involvement. I sunk back in my chair and wondered what I would have done differently. I was still stewing when Viv charged in, carrying an armload of supplies: note pads, tissue boxes, a box of tea bags and a tin of coffee.

“Hey! Whadda you know” I called out.

“I know Linda Berwick is an asshole”.

I laughed right out loud. “Who told you that?”

“It’s a consensus.” Viv said seriously. “I don’t know for sure what happened but there’s a buzz down there. The other nurses were glad you and Jack got involved. But that Linda, she’s got other ideas….don’t even ask me what ideas, I’m not paying attention”.

I envied Viv’s ability to extract herself from these conflicts. “Not even a hint, for your poor, dear, fretful colleague?”

“Nope. But I do know Rudy was in emerg this aft with Beth-Anne and Dan.” Dan Kennedy was the manager of the emergency department, well of the nurses, not the doctors.

“I guess I’ll hear tomorrow…. I wish he would come back now so I could find out how bad things are, otherwise I will spin it ugly”.

“I’m not even sure what happened” Viv offered “but I know you and I know Linda and I know which horse I will back”.

“Its not a horse race.” Rudy was standing outside our shared office. His face was unusually serious.

“Can I know what’s going on?” I asked him, I distracted him from Viv.

He turned back to me. “We’ve reviewed the incident. We’ve looked at the notes and spoken with Dr. Ward. Beth-Anne called the police, technically to thank them for their help, and they verified the events more in line with your description. The incident has been changed to a category two. Jack’s supervisor has spoken with him and commended his performance. I am now commending yours.”

“Sweet Jesus!” Viv crowed with delight.

“Thanks Rudy.” I was relieved. “And what about Linda?”

“What happens between Linda and Dan, is between Linda and Dan.” Dan was the Nurse Manager in emerge, Linda’s supervisor. Obviously this was code for butt out and maybe even you-bad. Sadly, I am not that obedient. “Should I talk to her? Should I raise this? It might haunt our relationship?”

“You are fishing Hattie! Let the dust settle. We can talk about it next week”

“Aye, aye” I saluted like a good foot soldier.



My writing experience comprises, almost exclusively, academic papers and technical/ professional reports. However, I have lost faith in these methods as paths to real change. My doctorate is in Education, specifically transformative education and through my research and my work, I have come to the conclusion that people learn more through stories than journal articles. Therefore, instead of investing in the usual strategies for pedagogy, I am leaning toward fiction as a way to change minds about social issues and dilemmas. I believe stories can un-other social interpretations in a way I feel I have failed to in all my academic and professional writing. I hope to convey some alternate ideas about the work I have done for 35 years, as a mental health nurse, psychometrist, educator and administrator.

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