Amar was the first to get up the next morning. He sprung out of bed excited to discover the opportunities at his new school. He posted a selfie for the benefit of his friends back home (they’d be so jelly) and leapt into a workout routine to get himself looking good for his first day!
Then he made his way to the kitchen and helped himself to some of the salad his sister had made. YUCK!!! What on earth was wrong with those vegetables?!
Asha woke up feeling horribly anxious. She suddenly realised how far away she was from her home, her friends, and her parents, and was suddenly overwhelmed by the impact of their move. She had a little cry in the bathroom, before putting on a brave face for her family. It was Mahinder’s first day at work and she didn’t want to worry him.
When Mahinder arrived at work, he wasn’t impressed. The hospital was much smaller than he’d been led to believe. He’d been used to working in a large, busy hospital where he was in charge of a team, and he couldn’t shake the feeling that this was a downgrade, despite the fact he was being paid more.
He ventured into the hospital and eyed a questionable-looking nurse worriedly. The unhelpful receptionist didn’t seem to be expecting him, and pointed him in the direction of the staffroom with obvious disinterest. It was deserted. Mahinder helped himself to a coffee… and then another one… wondering what he’d got himself into.
After what seemed like hours, Mahinder decided nobody was coming to give him his induction and he’d have to venture out by himself. He wandered round the corridors until he found an experienced looking doctor running some lab tests. He introduced himself and asked what he was supposed to be doing. The doctor was quite brusque and just told him to get on with treating patients. Ok then…
Mahinder went back to the reception where he found two young boys waiting to be admitted.
‘Why haven’t these children been checked over yet?’ Mahinder demanded of the blasé receptionist.
‘I can’t admit them unless there is a doctor available,’ she replied in a well practiced drone.
‘Well, I’m here, so admit them.’ Mahinder insisted, greeting the boys and finding them beds. He checked them over and made sure they had something to eat.
‘Don’t worry. I’m here to look after you,’ he reassured them.
Mahinder felt like he was finally making a difference! Between washing his hands and making up beds, he received a text from his mother which made him smile. He checked in on a few more patients and filed all their notes onto the system. His mood was much better until he realised the nurse he’d seen earlier that morning had been with the same patient for the entire time! No wonder it felt like the ER was getting busier and busier, and that nobody was being checked out!
‘Hey,’ he called over, ‘I could do with a hand, the ER is getting busy now.’
‘Yeah, yeah, sure dude,’ the nurse replied with frustrating disinterest.
Mahinder wrote up some more patient notes, the lab doctor seemed to sense he was feeling under pressure and offered to run some tests for him. Mahinder gladly passed over the files and went back to the reception. More and more patients flooded through the doors and Mahinder made sure the children and teens were admitted as a priority. Finally the lab tests were returned and Mahinder started treating tpeople and getting them checked-out, freeing up beds for more patients. Luckily, nobody was seriously ill.
He’d been rushing about all day, and even stayed late until all the test results were returned for the children he’d admitted earlier. He hadn’t wanted the young ones to stay in the hospital longer than was absolutely necessary. When he saw the lazy nurse was talking to the same patient again he finally snapped.
‘You might as well go home,’ he said irritably, ‘I’ll take this patient now.’
It didn’t take Mahinder long to check the patient’s notes, medicate him, and send him on his way. What had taken the nurse so long?
The lazy nurse had really annoyed Mahinder, how could he be that irresponsible when there were so many sick children who needed to be treated? Mahinder went to complain to the lab doctor. He was in the middle of his rant when the nurse walked in! Unbelievably, the nurse launched into an attack on Mahinder! Saying he was trying to undermine him and had been rude, and that he was difficult to work with! He even started poking his finger at him. Mahinder was furious! The lab doctor looked startled and told Mahinder he could leave for the day while he spoke to the nurse. Mahinder left feeling enraged and frustrated.
(Note: all the stuff with the nurse happened autonomously! He really was with the same patient the entire time, and when Mahinder took over to discharge him, he really did follow him to shout at him! Mahinder was shocked!)
When Mahinder arrived back at home, his wife was still at work. He found his children in the dining room doing their homework and Jasminder had made dinner! He was so proud of them both. They seemed to be enjoying school and chatted quite happily about the interesting lessons and funny classmates. Mahinder was relieved that they had had a good first day. When they asked how his day was he admitted it had been busy and that he was tired, but he didn’t want to worry them by mentioning the bigger problems.
After dinner Mahinder spent some time relaxing and playing chess with Amar. Jasminder started a small vegetable garden to try and grow some better quality salad!
When Asha finally arrived back home from the lab, she spent some time talking to her husband about his day. Mahinder finally let off steam and told her how disorganized the hospital was, how useless the receptionist was, and about the horrible confrontation with the nurse.
‘I didn’t even have an induction,’ he complained, ‘they just told me to start working. I’m not even sure I’m legally registered to work there!’
‘Well, thank goodness you are there!’ Asha exclaimed, ‘It sounds like they really need you!’
When Mahinder asked about her day she smiled tightly.
‘Yes… yes.. it was good,’ she lied, ‘Everything was fine!’ Her day had been terrible, but she didn’t want to heap her concerns on top of his.
‘Ah, good’ yawned Mahinder, ‘at least you and the children are happy. That’s the most important thing.’
He stretched and wandered off to get ready for bed.
‘Yes…’ said Asha with a fixed smile, ‘Yes, that’s right…’