Nursing Dr. Miller
“How long will he need the tube in his stomach?” the brown skinned woman said, as she ran her hand over her uncombed head.
Taking a deep breath, Dr. Gregory Miller scooted to the edge of his chair. His hands became sweaty, and his tongue felt thick as he prepared to speak to the trembling woman. No matter how many times he spoke with parents prior to surgery the nervous feeling never went away.
“If all goes well, he should only need the feeding tube for about six weeks. This will give his esophagus a chance to heal. This surgery will prevent food from going into his lungs or chest cavity,” Dr. Miller finally said. He watched the young mother as she rang her hands together in a worried manner.
“There’s no other way to do this?” she asked.
“This surgery is the best chance he has at a normal life.”
“When are you going to do the surgery? My baby needs something to eat. I know the IV is feeding him, but he is so small. He needs real food.”
“He’s on the schedule for this morning. The nurse will be prepping him in a few minutes, and he will be going to surgery around nine thirty.”
The woman grabbed his hand and said, “Please take care of my baby.”
“He should be just fine,” Dr. Miller replied.
Dr. Miller handed her the clipboard he had in his other hand. He indicated where she needed to sign on the consent form.
Once he was sure all the paperwork was in order, he turned to leave but stopped when he heard a whimper behind him. His heart went out to the young mother. She appeared to be no older than twenty. His first thought was to hug her and tell her everything was going to be all right, but past experience had taught him this course of action was dangerous.
“I’ll make sure you get to see your son before we take him to surgery,”
Dr. Miller said.
Through tears, the young mother managed a weak smile. Dr. Miller walked down the hall towards the nurse’s station on the fourth-floor pediatric unit. He stopped at the desk and wrote down the preop orders for the six-month-old infant. When he was finished, he scanned the nurse’s station looking for a nurse. He preferred to hand his charts to a nurse directly, that way he could make sure his orders were implemented immediately. Realizing time was of the essence, he walked over to the clerk and gave her his signature megawatt smile.
“Good morning, Barbara,” he said.
“Hello, Dr. Miller,” Barbara the unit clerk replied.
Barbara was a short woman of five feet with a salt and pepper afro. Each time Dr. Miller saw her, he always thought of the late actress, Esther Rolle. Barbara loved to bake cakes and cookies for the staff on the fourth floor.
“Where are all of the nurses?” Dr. Miller asked.
“They’re around here somewhere. You want me to page someone for you, doctor?” she asked.
“Could you? I need to make sure these meds are given immediately.”
“Who is the patient?”
Barbara picked up the phone and pressed several buttons. As she spoke into the phone her voice could be heard over head.
“Sherri to the nurse’s station. Sherri to the nurse’s station,” Barbara
Dr. Miller flipped through little Dante’s chart while he waited for the nurse.
“Dr. Miller, Dr. Miller,” Sherri said in a sing song manner startling Dr.
Dr. Miller immediately remembered Sherri from the summer picnic. On no uncertain terms, she had made it clear that she was willing to do anything Dr. Miller desired, at any time or place. He stepped back and positioned the green medical chart between them, hoping she would get the hint and back off. “This patient is due in surgery at nine thirty and I need him prepped and ready immediately. I’ve written orders in the chart for medications I want him to have before surgery. I need to make sure he’s ready to go in the next forty-five minutes, Dr. Miller told her.
Sherri took the chart and placed it on the edge of the nursing desk and
then closed the space between them. Dr. Miller instinctively took another
step back. “You never did call me Dr. Miller,” Sherri said.
“My patient needs those meds now,” Dr. Miller stated flatly.
He backed away slowly, watching Sherri put her hands on her hips and pout. With one last glance, he turned and walked toward the elevator.
As Dr. Miller continued down the hall to the elevator, he tried to shrug off the feeling he always got when women approached him aggressively. Although he did not see himself as a chauvinist, he found that he enjoyed a more traditional demeanor in a female companion. He agreed women should have equal rights and receive the same pay as their male counter parts, but he loved a woman who carried herself with regal grace, a woman who dressed with class and elegance. He desired a woman who was strong and independent, but she also needed to be able to allow a man to feel needed and useful.
The elevator opened, shaking him from his thoughts. Once on the elevator, he pressed the button that would take him to the first floor and then a short walk to the surgical unit. He leaned against the wall of the elevator and let his thoughts drift back to the summer picnic where he first encountered Sherri. She was just one of the many nurses who approached him that day. A nurse could make a doctor’s job difficult if they didn’t like him, so he always tried to be cordial and pleasant to all of the nurses. This often got him into awkward positions. He had made the mistake of sleeping with one of the nurses two years ago and he had promised himself that he wouldn’t make that mistake again. Lately, he had started to rethink his position on the subject.
Two months ago, a new nurse was hired to take Helen Rowland’s place when she retired from the anesthesia team. When she was introduced to everyone at the staff meeting, he couldn’t take his eyes off of her. At the beginning of the meeting, she was asked to stand up and give her name. With her head down, she stood up and glanced around nervously and for a moment made eye contact with Dr. Miller.
“My name is Carla Woodson,” she said with a shaky voice. She quickly
sat back down.
Through the whole meeting, she never looked back in his direction or anywhere else other than her notepad. She wore no wedding ring, so Dr. Miller assumed she wasn’t married and even though it wasn’t any of his concern, he hoped she didn’t have anyone special in her life.
He was happy to find out several months later that she was single and had turned down advances from some of his male peers already. Thankfully, she had avoided the unscrupulous doctors at Kingdom Hospital. A shy girl like her would be eaten alive. Her undeniable beauty and her innocence called to him in a manner he had never experienced before.
When the elevator arrived at the first floor, Dr. Miller’s mood changed.
He easily switched to surgeon mode. He took his job very seriously because his patients placed their lives in his hands during surgery.
Once he reached the nurse’s station, he checked the scheduling board and was pleasantly surprised to find Carla had been assigned to his first surgery of the day. With the shortage of nurses, it was amazing that this was the first time they were scheduled on the same case together.
He headed to the locker room to change into surgical scrubs and then back out to the pre-op area to review patient charts. “Have they brought Dante Webster down yet?” Dr. Miller asked the
nurse sitting behind the desk.
“Yes Doctor, he’s in bay four,” the nurse replied.
Dante Webster was Dr. Miller’s first case of the morning. The knowledge that Carla was the nurse on his first case brightened his spirit.
“Thanks,” Dr. Miller said and flashed his usual million-dollar smile.
The middle-aged nurse flushed with excitement. Almost every nurse at Kingdom Hospital hoped that they could catch Dr. Miller’s attention.
Dr. Miller walked away from the nurse’s station and proceeded to bay four. As he passed bay three, he saw Carla talking to a young couple. His eyes locked on her sensuous lips as she gave the couple a reassuring smile. His gaze followed the line of her petite arm to the pen she held. Carla handed the pen and a clipboard to the woman. She placed a reassuring hand on the woman’s arm. Even though she wasn’t his woman, and he knew it was wrong for him to desire her so, he wished she was touching him with the same gentleness.
“Dr. Miller, are you alright?” A voice said, cutting through his thoughts.
He turned to face the person talking to him. He was disappointed to see Natisha Nash.
“I’m fine Tish. I’m due in surgery shortly,” he replied.
“Yes, I know. I’m your CRNA on the Webster case,” Tish replied.
“The new girl is on that case. I can’t recall her name now,” he lied.
“I had three call in’s this morning, so I’m taking your case,” Tish said
Dr. Miller’s shoulders sank. No matter how hard he tried, he kept coming face to face with the biggest mistake he had made since coming to Kingdom Hospital. Tish’s exotic good looks had initially drawn Dr. Miller in when he first came to Kingdom Hospital. But days like today made him wish he had more self-control back then. Dr. Miller didn’t have a single case with Carla today. He wanted so
badly to spend some time with her, even if it was only in a cold sterile operating room. He could easily get her phone number from the nurse’s directory, but that would be awkward. All that Dr. Miller could do was move on with his day.