slow down, you crazy child. you're so ambitious for a juvenile, but then if you're so smart, tell me: why are you still so afraid?
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unsure of quite how long he’d been stood in the x-ray room, analysing a rather dissembled set of ribs atop the luminous board they hang over, he sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose and racking his brain for a more simpler solution than to just delve into the chest cavity and try to rearrange her misplaced bone structure. the patient was old, and as he’d witnessed before, the elderly did not recover well from such procedures. with that in mind, he snatched the x-rays from the board, his face almost stoic with the idea of placing an 84 year old woman on a non-rebreathing facemask in the hopes that oxygen saturation would minimalize her risk of pneumonia. he was almost angry in the fact that this was the fifth patient he’d seen this year with a flail chest and there was little he could do other than ensure the lung beneath was healthy and well.
with this attitude set in place, despite the slight feeling of helplessness settling in, the doctor stepped from the x-ray room, slipping into the corridor and plastering a slight aloof expression across his features in the hopes that people would avoid confronting him on further issues. pacing back to his station in hope of being able to find a nurse to file away his case folder, the male’s eyes settled on a smaller brunette, one he had yet to see around the hospital and would have mistaken for a patient were it not for her uniform. meadering off course to greet the woman, his smile became somewhat warmer upon her greeting and almost shy endeavour at introducing herself, him handing the folder to a nurse passing by without care as to where they may be headed. nodding his head in realisation and recognition of the face round about the hospital, he ran a hand through his hair, glancing at the wall clock before back to the woman in front. ” a pleasure, miss vance. have you been waiting long? i’m dreadfully sorry for the wait if so, but if you’d like to come with me a moment, we can address schedule’s and a quick run over of routine as we go? ”
without question, he turned on his heel and began to speak behind him in the hopes that the intern had already set about following him. ” i’m just headed to amend a patient’s treatment before we get down to business, but i feel i should speak to mrs. van der vyre of her condition opposed to letting the nurses attend to her and leaving her in the dark, you agree? ” another practitioner holding the door open for him, he turned to hold the door open for lydia, before falling into step slightly in front until they reached the patient’s private room. ” mrs. van der vyre had an unfortunate fall down a flight of concrete stairs just this morning; she suffers from four fractured ribs on the left side of her thoracic cavity, and one at the right, therefore suffering from a flail chest on the left of her thorax. since ribs heal naturally, the only thing we can do for her is introduce a slightly stronger dose of opioid to accompany a continuous epidural and ensure her already weak lungs take on no further damage from the injury. 100% oxygenation via facemask, insertion of a chest tube to prevent emphysema and aggressive pulmonary toilet to prevent infection; unfortunately she’s too frail for surgery and as a result, comfortable stability is the best we can offer while maintaining her current well-being. “
already, the environment was proving to be more intimidating than the girl ever could have envisioned. she’d seen television shows since her youth, glamourizing the life and times of those that spent countless hours in hospitals. and while she was absolutely excited by the prospects of helping patients, the stark reality of her clinical was slowly sinking in. lydia could feel nerves in her stomach, bunching and clenching with utmost ferocity; and while a cup of water, or swig of coffee might’ve helped to settle jittery nerves, she didn’t want to let people see her nervousness. previous professors taught that authority in the situation would make her more respectable to future employers— a task much easier said than done.
” no, er, not long at all. i was just uhm, acquainting myself with, the, er — … area? ” mentally, she berated herself for stammering quite so much. soft-spoken and reserved to a large extent, it was harrowing enough to embrace having to spend time with patients, let alone renowned and practiced doctors. and indeed, though they’d only just met, the girl was rather astounded at just how intimidating doctor hopkirk appeared. so self-sure, so very proficient and apparently adept at his job from what she’d heard, it was difficult not to dissolve into a stammering idiot then and there. she was about to launch into further introduction, when the man began walking; rather than to seem like even more of an idiot, she followed behind, struggling to keep pace.
” i — wait who? ” oh goodness. oh goodness. she had to walk faster to listen better, to catch every little detail. a part of her wished she had pad and paper to take notes of everything he was saying, but another part realized that would only scream newbie. ” i’d hate to be left in the dark, so i assume it’s best to, er, well speak to her. better from a doctor than nothing at all? ” cheeks flushed immediately, the young woman finding her words sounding stupid in her own head. but there were patients, evidently, to attend to and a fair degree of conversation to be held with her assigned doctor. focusing on the patient would be an easy way to relax, she remembered— as intimidating as tall and proficient doctors were, she would always love finding ways to help people. a slow breath, and lydia nodded some, processing everything. “ i don’t imagine she’ll be too pleased to have to stay in care here; hospitals, even ones as nice as this one, lack a certain degree of warmth. there isn’t any family member to be contacted, is there? i’m sure they’d come and visit her, facilitate a more comfortable tenure of stay. poor mrs. van der vyre, though; that’s awful. “
crisp clinical smell never did much for the girl’s senses, though she’d always been more at home with vibrant country scent, with fragrant blossoms, and breakfast on the stove, and just a hint of rich earth. it was therefore, with just a touch of resentment that she allowed the sterility of ‘hospital smell’ to wash over her, to greet the intern at the start of the new day. she’d been assigned to a particularly prestigious ward, yes, and the doctor responsible for her time apparently merited some special considerations. all the same, lydia would much rather have been at home on the family farm, tending to the animals there instead of mundane, sick patients.
she’d been shown previously how to sign in, where to fetch medical coat from and where to store her personal things. and while a majority of the staff were indeed nice and welcoming to the new intern, she couldn’t help but to feel overwhelmed. eighteen months seemed a forever ways away, and true— she’d learn from some positively brilliant minds; but at what cost? homesickness was already settling in. all the same, lydia bucked up: no need to seem melancholy when meeting the doctor she’d be working for. another showed her to his station, pointed out that he’d be present once finished up with his current patient, and left the girl to her own devices.
she fiddled some, with the loose papers, glancing over them and trying to discern just what the scrawled handwriting said. said task required some mighty focus, and it was therefore that his footfalls coming nearer spooked her, the girl jumping some and consequentially berating herself for being so silly. ” doctor hopkirk, ” she offered, slightly breathless, ” it’s such an honour to meet you. i’m uh, lydia. lydia vance. the receptionist just told me to come down here and wait, and here i am and — … uh … hi? “