In oncology, where years of working long hours can leave us feeling at times as if the tumor always wins, finding meaning is essential to happiness. People find meaning in different ways -- some through spiritual practices such as meditation, others at a church, temple, or faith center.
When I can't make sense of life by other means, I find meaning within inspirational themes of literature and art. Sometimes that meaning surfaces by way of humor. It's been said that laughter is the best medicine. Maybe, at its finest, humor becomes a place where science, humanity, and art converge.
With humor in mind, Scrubs magazine recently posted a list of "Top fictional nurses and docs YOU want to get trapped in an elevator with." Getting stuck in an elevator would cause me the same escape anxiety that makes a wolf chew off its paw to escape a metal trap. However, the article did make me think about my favorite fictional nurses and doctors, and what I would say to them if I ever met them.
Here's my list of clinicians and what I would say to each one.
Dr. Frankenstein: In light of your previous laboratory experiments, what is your position on stem cell research?
Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan, RN (M*A*S*H, TV version): Thank you for evolving from a rule- and sex-obsessed stereotype into a nurse comfortable with being compassionate, smart, and sexy. TV audiences would have been satisfied with just funny or sexy.
Alex Price, RN (An American Werewolf in London): Use caution if you're going to date your patients.
Hana, RN (The English Patient): Make more time for self-care and fun, instead of dating guys who are as self-destructive as you.
Gaylord Focker, RN (Meet The Fockers): Dude, if you were my coworker, we'd be BFFs.
Dr. Hawkeye Pierce (M*A*S*H): What time is happy hour?
Catherine Barkley, RN (A Farewell to Arms): Have you ever felt, like I do, that your dialogue is written in a way that sounds like Hemingway never spoke to an actual woman?
Jenny Fields (The World According to Garp): You are the fictional nurse I'd most like to meet, despite your shortcomings. Your fierce independence is both a blessing and a curse. Despite this, you are a true healer, demonstrating profound love of humanity in all its diversity, weaknesses, and beauty. You inspired me before I knew I would be a nurse. I pray to have a heart as open and generous as yours someday. I think of you often.
Who are the fictional nurses and or doctors you would most like to meet? What words of advice would you give them? What questions would you ask?
The 2013 Nurse Compensation Survey Results Are In Michelle Bragazzi, BS, RN, 5/3/2013 32 In February, TheONC surveyed more than 600 oncology nurses to find out more about their careers. We wanted to know if they felt adequately compensated and satisfied within their ...
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