Tuesday, January 10, 2012
The League Of Custodial Healers
The leader was an elderly gentleman with a thick creole accent. He learned the Voodoo art during his first assignment at Charity hospital in New Orleans. Since then, he had taught thousands of custodial assistants the refined art of patient healing. His eyes became large and hands moved in an animated sweeping motion as he described to the group the ancient technique.
For centuries, doctors and nurses felt that the surgeries and medicines they provided were curing their patients, but the truth was an underground group of custodial healers was actually saving the day. They would sneak into the room and perform their sweeping rituals before it was too late.
At this point the old man grabbed his broom tightly and looked out at the crowd.
Why do you think so many people die in the ICU? It's because we have limited access.
He then placed his broom on the floor and demonstrated the ten cardinal techniques and their appropriate application. Leandro scribbled on a scrap of progress note paper as the demonstration continued. The presentation ended with the circular method. This method, only for the most dyer situations, began with a twisting motion in the middle of the room, and worked its way out to the far corners.
Although Leandro was skeptical, he honed his skills late at night in dark hallways of the hospital where patients slept soundly or were to ill to notice the lowly janitor cleaning their room. With time and practice, his skills improved.
And low and behold, the majority of the patients got better. They awoke from comas. They withstood chemotherapy. They conquered pneumonia.
Six months later, Leandro had perfected his technique. Each morning he would round on his recently treated patients before signing out of the night shift and going home to his family. He felt invigorated and connected. The patients and doctors may not know about the important service he was delivering, but he could live with that.
At the end of his shift, he tucked his trusty broom under his coat and left the hospital. He couldn't leave such a valuable and powerful tool sitting around for just anyone to use!
Upon arriving home one morning, Leandro found his wife cowering in bed. She had been vomiting and having diarrhea all night, and the baby was at his mother in laws. When Leandro looked down at his ailing wife, his clinical skills took over. Her face was pale and her skin was dry. He put his hand on her head and felt her temperature. She was hot! His intuition told him something was very wrong.
Leandro panicked. Even after all he had seen in the last six months, he packed her into the car and brought her to the doctor. When they arrived, they sat in the waiting room for what seemed like hours.
Eventually they were ushered back to the examining room. The doctor walked in and without introducing himself, began asking questions. He sat with his head buried in a lap top computer and his eyes never left the screen.
After a hasty examination, the doctor declared that his wife had a viral gastroenteritis that would resolve over the next few days. Leandro couldn't believe his ears. He started to explain that his wife had never gotten sick like this before.
The doctor looked at Leandro, and then up at the clock above his head. He was already an hour behind and had to return to the hospital to do rounds. He could either take the time to explain to the agitated man and his wife, or he could give them a prescription to placate them.
Leandro took the prescription to the pharmacy and ushered his wife back home to bed. He gave her the first dose, and then waited till she fell asleep. When the room was absolutely quiet, he snuck into the closet and pulled out his trusty broom.
He knew that this was a situation which called for the circular technique. As his wife snored in the background, Leandro performed the centuries old ritual. He stopped when he had successfully cleared each corner of the room.
Five hours later his wife awoke refreshed and feeling healthy again. Although she praised the doctor and antibiotic, Leandro knew what was really responsible for his wife's miraculous recovery.
After all, both Leandro and the doctor had their own form of medical Voodoo.
But at the end of the day, Leandro's method had one major advantage over the physicians.
At least the floor got cleaned.
Posted by Jordan Grumet at 5:08 AM