Janeece hated going to work in her new hospital. At least she wasn’t alone. Two other newbies were being given the same treatment as her. A charge nurse could make or break a work area and the sister in charge of the Intensive Care Unit she was now employed was a breaker. Janeece knew she did her job well. Already the intensivist was requesting she look after the sicker patients so why did the Charge Nurse hate her so much? Probably, she rationalised, because the government had closed down the hospitals that the three new staff members had previously worked and they had been forced upon Sister Pearson.
The most difficult part to bare was that she called every other staff member by their christian name and they in turn called Sister Pearson Edith, her christian name. Janeece and the other two were still Sisters Morrisson, Hennessy and Turner and they would certainly not have dared call her Edith. The two girls from Sydney Hospital were given a much harder time than Janeece, their work constantly being criticised. Sister Hennessy, an ex-rebel nun, was still the renegade and gave back as good as she got. Sister Turner escaped and cried. Janeece took it on the chin and bounced back in good humour. It was even easier to do this after she heard Sister Pearson’s life story from one of the older staff members.
“She was madly in love. She met him whilst she was doing her training. He was a patient and they fell in love and married as soon as she had finished her time. Her Mother wasn’t too pleased as he was a cattleman from out west and she was unhappy that her daughter would leave for a life of isolation in the bush. They hadn’t been married a year when he was killed in a tractor accident, three months before he was to become a dad.”
“What did Edith do?” Janeece asked using the dragon’s christian name in private but not yet to her face.
“She couldn’t manage the farm so she returned to the city where she had a baby girl.Her mother never forgave her moving and refused to have contact with her ’til the day she died. She had no choice but to work and work hard to give her daughter everything. The only life she has outside her daughter was work, and you can see she’s totally focussed on that. Really Janeece, you couldn’t get a better charge nurse. I know she makes your life difficult but she really does care.”
“That’s okay. I can cope. It’ll be easier now I know her background.”
Janeece knew she’d made it when just before Sister Pearson went on her four weeks holiday break she called Janeece by her given name and invited her to reciprocate. Although the other two newcomers enjoyed the four weeks without Edith, Janeece could see that ruling the ward with an iron rod ensured a high standard of patient care and looked forward to her return.
The day she was due back from holidays came but with no Sister Pearson. Someone rang her home – the phone rang out. Worried staff members tried to ring her daughter before remembering that she was off hiking in Nepal. She would have had no contact with her mother.
“She must have thought she was due back next week.”
“It just isn’t like her. She doesn’t forget.”
“We should report her missing.”
“Ring the hospitals and see if there has been an accident.”
“We can’t do nothing.” Anxious, the staff didn’t know what to do.
Finally the Intensivist made an executive decision. “If she is not back tomorrow I’ll contact the police myself.”
The next day dawned, grey and miserable. No Enid Pearson arrived to work. True to his word the intensivist went to the privacy of his office and rang the police.
To be continued……….
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