Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Extra (08/29/13)
TITLE: Kathy Green
By Emily Ritter
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I know very little about her training and I don’t care. From my perspective, she trained at the very feet of God Almighty. What does a nurse who trained at the feet of God look like you might ask? It doesn’t matter. All anyone sees is the top of her head as she bends and cares continually for residents. For the entirety of her 12 hour shift, while other nurses are taking long lunches and passing meds, Kathy locates and attaches wheel chair feet, lifts, bathes and dresses residents, fetches food and beverages on top of passing meds and charting her work, just to give her colleagues rest.
The nursing home is not a glamorous vacation resort with warmed aloe lily oil scenting the room, but you’d think so if you saw the faces of those wheeled out of the bathing area by Kathy. There’s a sigh that escapes their lips as they’re whisked to their rooms, and that shy whispers of Kathy’s impeccable strength to care for the body and not neglect the soul. I’d hate to share the horrible sounds, smells and grimaces on those bathed by others. It’s the difference between being doused as a rogue animal by a heartless zookeeper and being lowered into a private Jacuzzi tub by a friend.
The day-to-day laborious work of a nurse taking on extra tasks is unfathomable, functioning as an activity aide when someone wants hot tea at 2 am, as a nurse’s aide when someone has soiled a nightgown directly after a shower, as a maintenance worker when a chair is missing wheels, and the list goes on.
I’ve seen Kathy at the end of her shift sitting for the first time in eleven hours. Her face is expressionless as she reaches for her Styrofoam cup of coffee. She gets it half way to her mouth when she sees a resident scooting backwards in a wheelchair headed for the adjacent wall. Scooping her coffee cup to the ledge and leaping to her feet in one motion, Kathy smiles as she jogs to wedge her arm between the wheelchair and wall as a bumper.
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