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Leslie Borghini (author, writing under pseudonym “Angel of Horror”)

Hospital Administrator; Trauma and ICU Nurse for 24 years


A true story!


On my first day of clinical (when you follow a nurse around a hospital to take vitals, transport, and answer call bells), I appeared in spotless white orthopedic shoes and a uniform pressed so crisp it almost cracked. 


My first assignment was to take an elderly female patient into the shower.  Mrs. Morrison was in a wheelchair and was pleasant and agreeable, until I turned on the water.  “You’re killing me!  Stop killing me!” she began screaming at the top of her lungs.  Mind you, the water had not yet touched her.  Several seasoned staff came running in and were laughing hysterically.  Apparently, this was a daily happening.  Mrs. M. did not want to take a shower, but her nurse got one, washing her down!


Soaking wet, I had to deliver lunch trays.  Since breakfast had gone smoothly, I expected the same at lunch.  I entered Miss Grayson’s room and assisted her in opening all of her packets and placing everything within reach.  Then I left.  About fifteen minutes later, the call bell rang.  I raced into the room to be of assistance and found Miss Grayson reclining on her pillow.  Her sheets lay in clumps at her feet and her knees were pulled up. Cucumbers that had moved from her plate to her eyes dripped Thousand Island dressing.   Chocolate pudding covered her cheeks.  Stripes of whipped cream ran through the pudding and mingled with the dressing. 


Then I noticed the crumpled sheets, strewn with green beans, and Miss G’s fingers, covered with butter.  Her rump was a smooth dome of yellow.   “I’m ready for my foot massage now,” she said, handing me the container of ice cream she’d been holding.  Back into the shower.


On my final round of the day, Mrs. Holiday yelled out as I passed.  “Honey, would you mind helping me?  I have to use the bedside commode.”  She wasn’t my patient, but of course, I went in -  she was a patient in distress!  I stood by the side of her bed and began the pivot turn, holding her against me to lower her onto the commode.  Just then she sneezed.  She reached up, stroked my face, and said, “Too late!”  I felt a warm trickle running down my legs, followed by plopping sounds on my sparkling-white shoes.  Since I couldn’t drop her, the liquid filled my shoes before I finished placing her on her throne.  I handed her the call bell.


Heading down the hall, I heard, “You did a great job, Leslie!” The R.N. in charge of my patients was walking toward me.  Suddenly she stopped.  My cap hung by a single bobby pin, my once-crisp uniform was stuck to my body like a wet tee, my white stockings were yellow, and my shoes squished with urine and poop.  Neither of us spoke.


I continued on to the nurse’s station.  “Will you be back?” my instructor asked, sizing me up in one glance. 


Trying to stifle tears, it took me a moment to manage a smile and nod up and down. “You’ll be a fine nurse!” she declared.  “But I think you should go home and get changed now.”


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Published in 2014 by Barking Cat Books,

an imprint of New River Press.

ISBN 9781891724183