Late one evening a hospital patient happened by his neighbor’s room and made a mental note of the I.V. pump in use there. When at last he returned to his own room he carefully inspected the pump he had been assigned and became indignant, and righteously so.
The Hospital hall-wanderer nearly tripped on his bedside tray getting to his nurse-call button. The interminable delay of two minutes passed, and when the nurse approached his room he fell into a minor rage, “How can you people ignore the needs of your patients so blatantly?”
Stricken, the professional R.N. queried, “Mister Hall, how have we failed you?”
Blustering now, trying in vain to control his justified outrage, he blurted, “My neighbor has a dual-port I.V. pump while I’m stuck with this old single-port junk.”
“But Mister Hall, you only need one port to feed your I.V. I’m sure that if —”
“That’s not the point!” he spat. “If I ever needed both ports I’d be SOL! You know how long you people take to respond to patients’ needs.”
“But Mister Hall, you’re scheduled for discharge in the morning. In fact, I have orders to remove your I.V. during tonight’s rounds.”
“Again, not the point, Florence!”
Hall’s sarcastic reference to Florence Nightingale hurt the caring nurse to the core, but unflapped, she decided to let the storm blow over.
“Ah, I see I got your attention, nurse.” His demeanor was becoming ever more menacing. “So listen to this! Yours will be the first name on the law suit I will file tomorrow, I’m an attorney, you know!” Hall’s face was by then a couple of shades of crimson. “And I … I shall personally see … that …” Hall began clutching his chest. “That you shall … shall … loose … your …”
With that, Mister Hall fell into an inert pile on the floor of room 357.”
The nurse stared at the corpse with concern for a few moments, reached over to the intercom and said, “Housekeeping, toxic cleanup in room 357, stat.”