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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Home for Christmas (11/20/08)

TITLE: Going Home
By Marijo Phelps


“All right, listen up. Right after Christmas break we are going to be studying how to give an injection. Read chapters 13-16 and be ready when you get back. See you at 7:30 AM on 2nd floor at County tomorrow,” barked Miss Randall.

Why did the 2nd year students like her so much. That little red headed spit fire of a retired Army nurse just ruined my Christmas break. She was always yelling at us, even in front of the patients. She still wore starched, white uniforms. If she sneaked out from under one it would stand straight up without her.

“Why are you looking so pale?” asked Lupe one of my fellow students, a gal I carpooled with to class and the hospital.

“Shots. If I am going to flunk out of nurse’s training this will be why,” I replied to Pat and Lupe.

“What’s the big deal about injections, why are you so scared?” Pat chimed in. She had worked in a doctor’s office for years and already had injections mastered.

“When I was five I had an abscessed tooth. It’s kind of a long story.” I replied.

“Come on, it couldn’t be that bad, could it", stated Lupe.

“They put a towel over my eyes and didn’t tell me what they were going to do. Just when the dentist was right by my face the hygienist turned. The towel slipped and I saw that horse syringe with the 3 inch needle. I screamed. Mom came and I went to child specialist dentists for years.” I muttered half ashamed.

“OK, so now we know why this is a bit upsetting to you…” said Lupe.

“Come on gals, get a move on or you will never finish with your charting, “said Miss Randall.


We carpooled home,got some dinner in time to study and go to bed. We were up very early the next morning and back at County Hospital for our last day before Christmas break.


I was getting linens together to make a bed when I heard Miss Randall, “Schmidt, come here, now.”

“Hi Miss Randall, what do you need?”

“You know Mr. Thompson in room 212? He needs a pain shot and I am going to walk you through it while you give it to him.”

“But, Miss Randall, we haven’t even given shots to grapefruits yet, I…I….I….”

“Come on, Schmidt, here’s the alcohol sponge and syringe, let’s go,” was the only reply I got from Miss Randall.

We walked in the room. I had the presence of mind to check Mr. Thompson’s wrist band.

“Hello Mr. Thompson, we have your pain med here and Miss Schmidt is going to give it to you. Turn over. OK, Miss Schmidt, here’s the upper outer quadrant and be sure to get the air bubbles out by thumping the barrel of the syringe,” all of this while she did a practice swipe with her alcohol sponge while pointing to the place for the injection.

Then she turned to me and gave me the syringe. You could see Mr. Thompson tightening up all over.

I think I was probably holding my breath as I checked for bubbles, measured the area, swiped the alcohol and somehow managed to inject the pain med.

“You did a good shot,” said Mr Thompson looking paler than any patient had ever looked to me before. Under the circumstances, what else could he say?

“Come on, Schmidt, let’s go.”

I got outside of the room before my legs turned to jelly. I managed to make it to the nearest chair before they gave way.

I gave an injection! I couldn’t believe she did that to Mr. Thompson, but I gave an injection!

“Harrumph, at least you don’t have to waste your vacation following med nurses around,” grumbled Miss Randall.

Slowly it began to dawn on me, I could go home for Christmas and not have to hang around the hospital.

I think I was beginning to get a small picture of why the 2nd year students loved Miss Randall so much. Under that rough and crusty exterior she had insight and a tender heart. But don’t ever let her catch you saying that out loud.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Leigh MacKelvey11/29/08
This was very well written, although, a little light on the topic. I cetainly enjoyed the read.The desription of Ms. Randall's stiffness was wonderful! Great job!
Teresa Lee Rainey12/02/08
Although I never saw a soft side to the head nurse, I still enjoyed reading this. I really felt for your MC. :)
George Parler 12/03/08
While the topic never came into focus until near the end, it was a captivating story. You have the ability to make the reader share in the emotions of the MC. Good job.
Valarie Sullivan12/03/08
I liked the line "But dont you let her catch you saying that out loud"! Reminds me of someone else I know, just like that! Good characterizations!