Thursday, December 18, 2008
One of the many things that first semester students get to do at clinicals is pass out food trays when they come up from the kitchen. You know, the delightful buffet of homogeneous, artificially colored nutritious "food" that the patients get to eat and enjoy("eat" and "enjoy" are loose terms) three times a day, that stuff. My clinical group had just arrived on the floor that day when the tray cart arrived. My fellow class mate dutifully began passing out trays, going from room to room. A few moments later, I saw her pull my instructor (From here on out known as "Mrs. Wonderful" because she is amazing) aside, and this a paraphrased conversation that I overheard:
Student: Mrs. Wonderful, I dropped that tray off in room XXX and a sheet was over the patient's head, and they looked asleep, should I pull the sheet down and turn the lights on and prepare the tray, or should I let them sleep?
Mrs. Wonderful: There was a sheet over their head? Was there family in the room?
Student: Yes ma'am. One of them looked really upset.
Mrs. Wonderful: Umm...they're dead hon.
Mrs. Wonderful: Dead! When someone passes, they pull the sheet over their head. You just served food to a dead person. Ha! (Insert lots of laughter)
In the student's defense, she did recover well from it. She went back into the room and explained that she had brought the food in there in case any of the family had wanted to eat or have a snack. Meanwhile, our instructor had to step out of the hallway into the break room to finish laughing.