Monday, June 4, 2012


We've all encountered that person who hates his/her day job and makes sure everyone knows it. The resentment he/she totes around is infectious and exhausting

People who like their work, in contrast, are a pleasure to be with even if I don't completely get their passion for mass transportation, retail operations, fifth-grade math or whatever it is that turns them on.

And then there's Marlene, a nurse at a local hospital's day-surgery unit.

I met Marlene last week when being prepped for my second cochlear implant. She cloaked efficiency in a friendly, easy manner and it was easy to see she enjoyed patient care.

After Marlene slipped non-skid socks on my feet and wrapped a blanket around me, she talked to me and Hubs about what would happen over the next three or four hours. As she spoke, she stroked my blanket-clad legs.

Was she conscious of stroking my legs or was the action instinctive? Had she picked up on the nervousness I thought I'd hid? Or did she make it a point to soothe every patient before surgery?

I didn't need answers to those questions to know I was in the presence of someone who wasn't just good at her work--she'd been called to it.

"I will be with you in the recovery room," she said.

Hubs and I shared a look, and I knew Marlene's statement reassured him as much as it did me.

Our health-care system has plenty of problems, but, thank God, it also has the Marlenes.

Have you encountered someone with a calling for his/her work? Please give this person a shout-out in comments.


Christine said...


I've met some amazing nurses who were born for the role. My surgeon, Ms Roshanlall, is a pistol. The entire staff at the hospital snap to attention when she arrives on the ward, but they totally respect and adore her because she fights for what's best for the PATIENT. I'll never forget being prepped for my mastectomy and she tied my gown at the back for me and smoothed my hair and told me that if the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes, she'd take all of them and the other breast too. Fortunately they were clear. They kept me under while the technician checked the sample during the op. And she was right there when I woke up to tell me the news. I adore her and it's not too dramatic to say she saved my life. And the lives of many others.

Great post,missus!

Coleen Patrick said...

Well my husband loves his job and he's good at it. He designs parts for machinery that makes stuff. Yea, I don't quite understand the process, but get him talking about how something is made and you will see the love he has for it!!
I'm glad you had a reassuring experience at the hospital and hope all is well with you :)

Sarah Andre said...

My brand new GYN, Dr Guan and his invaluable RN Christie!

Love the care and concern they've taken, the medical records they're immediately compiling from other MDs around Houston, the answers they've given- spoken in tones that assure me I haven't just asked the stupidest question ever (or one they've answered a thousand times.)

Have a minor procedure next week and am not in the slightest bit nervous because they've been so refreshingly welcoming, confident and treat me like I've been their pt for years.

GREAT post, Pat! Hang in there, you'll be hearing a pin drop soon.

Lark Howard said...

Glad you're having such a great experience at such a stressful time, Pat. Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone in the medical professional was so compassionate?

Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Your Ms. Roshanlall is, indeed, that remarkable mix of authoritative and compassionate. Love that she tied your gown and smoothed your hair. Hugs to you for all you've been through.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

It's a blessing when someone loves his/her work, and I'm glad your husband's in that camp.

All's well with me. Thanks.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

I'm glad to hear about your good experience, Sarah, and I'll be thinking of you next week. Meanwhile, let's hear it for excellent doctors and nurses!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

PS: Sarah, I hope I don't become one of those obnoxious people who complains when she hears too many pins drop.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Thanks for the good wishes, Lark. I'm getting there!

Louise Behiel said...

Get well soon, Pat. I'd love to learn more about the process and the change, hint hint . I work in health care and see some of the most unselfish, caring people every day. others, not so much, but that's a comment for another day . I'm glad it's going well and Marlene sounds like a gift.

Jennette Marie Powell said...

My massage therapist has a contagious enthusiasm for easing her clients' pain, and also for the science behind it - how muscles work together, where they transfer pain, etc. It makes what's otherwise sometimes unpleasant (yes, the treatment can be painful, LOL) much better. People like her and Marlene make so much differen e in treatment. Hope your implants help!

Anonymous said...

I have had four careers in my life and have loved every one of them. I can't imagine what it must be like to not love your job. This makes me realize I should probably be more compassionate toward the folks who have not yet found their calling, or for some reason couldn't follow it, and yet they still have to make a living.

There are some amazing healers out there in the medical and mental health fields (mine). I'm glad so many of you have found some of them.

Pat and Lark, I love the way your home page looks. I now have website envy!

Karen McFarland said...

Pat, undergoing surgery of any kind is not the most pleasant of experiences. So when you're blessed with someone like Marlene, it can make all the difference in the world. Comfort and security makes you heal so much faster. I'm just glad everything went well and that you had a quick recovery. And that we don't have to yell anymore! LOL! Just kidding! {{Hugs!}} :)