At lunch time, Kit grabbed her packed lunch from the break-room and headed up to the roof. It was an unusually sunny October day and she wanted to take advantage of the sunshine while it lasted. The idea of being outside and away from Dr. Robert Whiting for a few minutes was a definitely plus as well.
She sat with Rachel on an old heating grate that hadn’t been used since the last update to the hospital, and picked at her sandwich. It had looked appealing when she’d put it together that morning, but after a few hours the mayo had seeped into the bread and made it a soggy mess.
“I heard you were rounding with Dr. Hottie all morning,” Rachel said between bites of her bagel. Kit groaned.
“Oh God, please don’t tell me that’s what they’re calling him upstairs.” After a nod of affirmation from Rachel, she continued on. “Okay, he’s attractive, I get it. But he’s such a…such a jerk. An asshole. He’s exactly what I was afraid he was going to be: a big-city doctor who thinks he’s too good for our hospital.”
“Hey, maybe you should give him a chance before you write him off. Maybe you can learn something from him that you can’t from our other doctors.”
“Like what?” She scoffed. “Like how to completely ignore patients and diagnose them based on some medical textbook that says nothing about the patient’s day-to-day life?”
“Like maybe how to treat patients without getting so dang invested in their personal lives.”
The comment made Kit pause for a moment. Was her best friend onto something? “I don’t think that’s what I do. I care about my patients. Every one of them. It’s what makes me a good nurse.”
“It makes you a great nurse,” Rachel confirmed. “But it’s also what’s going to burn you out before you’re 30. You already have the bags under your eyes and I see a gray hair popping up there on top of your head. Stop before you look older than me.”
“Hey now,” Kit responded. “That’s not very nice to say about yourself.”
“I’m honest, it’s why you love me. Now please, you’ve got a couple more hours left as Dr. Hottie’s personal nurse. Please for the love of all things holy, could you sashay your butt down there and show him how awesome you are?”
Kit returned to work after lunch with a renewed energy. It might have been the tough love from Rachel or it might have been the double shot espresso dunked in her already strong coffee, but Kit felt like she was ready to take on the world and more specifically Dr. Whiting.
“I can do this,” she whispered to herself as she came around the corner and saw the man himself. “Keep an open mind. See what he has to offer.”
“Kit,” he said when he saw her coming. “Interesting one here, care to join me?” He waved the chart in the air and beckoned her toward him.
His mood didn’t seem to have suffered the same fate that hers had earlier that day. In fact, he seemed quite content with having her follow him around the ER like a well-trained puppy.