Student nurses develop a novel therapy

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Nursing students discover a novel way to speed the healing process.

“Diana Simmons”

With her name announced Diana stepped forward and accepted the certificate that she had completed volunteer training at Mercy Hospital. Helen Tedder smiled as she handed out the paper.

“Eleanor Simmons”

Diana’s sister stepped forward to get her certificate.

“Now girls, your nursing career begins. Your volunteer work this summer will be valuable experience as you enter nursing school. The nursing school curriculum is difficult, and by the end of the summer you should know if you’re really cut out for it.”

Helen handed each girl a hat – a white nurse’s cap with a red stripe. Mercy was one of the few hospitals that still had volunteers wear a ‘candy stripe’ cap, even though regular nurses were no longer required to wear the white uniform and white cap. The red stripe indicated that the girls were available for whatever duty was required.

As the girls adjusted the caps on their heads Helen laughed “It’s hard to imagine you two are twins, you’re so different looking. At least it is easier to tell you apart than if you were identical twins.” She then turned serious and business-like. “Now, your first duty is to go to Room 312 and help turn the patient over so she doesn’t get bedsores. As you work in the rooms study the patient’s charts and get to know each patient as a real person.”

Helen watched the girls as they headed toward the elevator. There was Diana, tallish and blond with an athletic build. Ellie was maybe five-five, dark haired and slender. Helen hoped the physical rigors wouldn’t be too much for her charges.

At the third floor nurse’s station they stopped to check in and were led to Room 312. An elderly woman recovering from pneumonia needed to be rolled onto her side. A staff nurse showed the girls how to do it without tangling the IV and oxygen lines.

Over the next several days they performed tasks such as emptying bedpans and helping patients to the restroom. As they became more comfortable with the work they began to read the charts and converse with the patients. Patients liked their cheerful countenance and began to ask for them by name.

Eventually they took patients to the tub room and helped with the baths or gave sponge baths where the patients were unable to get out of bed.

It was during one of the sponge baths of an elderly male patient that Ellie noticed his penis rising. She quickly flicked the tip and the member promptly collapsed.

“Sorry,” the man said. “That was embarrassing. I couldn’t help it.”

Ellie patted his arm. “I know. Don’t worry about it at all. It’s not like I’ve never seen one before, but I don’t want you to be embarrassed about it. I’ll take care of it if I need to.”

“Really?”

She suddenly realized what he meant and wagged a finger at him while laughing. “Not like that, you naughty boy.”

“I was hoping…”

Over lunch one day the girls met with their supervisor and presented an idea.

Diana said “We know from experience how uncomfortable it is to lie in bed all day. It seems we should be able to do something to ease that.”

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