“What a nightmare! Hospitals aren’t prostitutes! Die!” (Makina)
As soon as I entered the break room, I plopped down heavily and vented my frustrations.
To calm my irritation, I grabbed a bite-sized chocolate. My brain needed some sugar.
“Oh, oh, Kurogane-chan, you’re in a rough state.” (???)
“That lecherous old man again? I wish he would just discharge already. Ugh, he gives me the creeps.” (???)
The considerate words of my colleagues slightly eased my frustration.
It’s not just me who feels disgusted; other nurses also face the same situation. It’s a burdensome responsibility. Despite feeling a nauseating sense of duty, I, Makina Kurogane a nurse, sighed.
This job is already demanding, and the existence of troublesome patients only amplifies the mental fatigue.
They are what we call “Monster Parents” in patient form, and they come in all varieties. It’s exhausting, to say the least.
Of course, for hospitalized patients, the only ones they can rely on are doctors and nurses like ourselves. However, there are patients who shout loudly over trivial matters or relentlessly make unreasonable demands, like malicious complainers. And then there are those patients who don’t even pay their medical bills, simply criminals.
Dealing with such monsters all the time, it’s no wonder one’s mental health suffers. It’s understandable why the turnover rate in this industry is high.
“I heard he used to work for a big company, boasting about it.” (???)
“I have no idea about that. But if it were in this era, someone like him would be fired for sexual harassment, right?” (Makina)
Speaking of the times, it’s beside the point, but people of that generation lack ethical values. It’s just a prejudice, but I still think it holds some truth.
One of the elderly people whom I was in charge of is also one of those unpleasant individuals.
Every time I see that old man who sexually harasses me, I can’t help but fantasize about sending him to the afterlife with my own hands, but I can’t act on it.
I restrain myself, barely managing to keep the conversation to a minimum and maintain a dry attitude. Normally, if someone received such treatment, they would realize they are disliked and adjust their behavior. But that doesn’t work with monster patients.
However, it’s about time to kick him out. He may have touched my butt, but what he’s doing is nothing more than molestation. Maybe I should file a complaint and socially destroy him. At least I’ll let his male family members know. It’s fine if his daughter gives him a cold shoulder.
“By the way, have you heard, Kurogane-chan? Kimura-san is retiring. Apparently, she’s finally getting married.” (???)
“With Kimura-senpai leaving, it’s going to get busy again, isn’t it?” (Makina)
For me, Kimura was a dependable Senpai colleague who was four years older and had taught me many aspects of the job. I had heard about their relationship, so it was a joyous occasion, but when it came to marriage, it was inevitable for Kimura-san to retire.
The nature of this job involved night shifts, and above all, it would be challenging to continue raising a child in that state. Although there were options for maternity leave and childcare leave, it wasn’t too late to consider what to do after the child settled down.
Given the severe shortage of staff, I could return to work at any time.
I had some dating experience myself, but in most cases, when it became apparent that our schedules didn’t align, we gradually grew apart and went our separate ways. If I were to consider marriage, it would be difficult to continue with my current job.
I genuinely wanted to offer my congratulations to Senpai as I had been indebted to, but there was no doubt that my workload would increase.
“…Maybe I should consider changing jobs.” (Makina)
“Wait, Makina, please don’t quit too!” (???)
Apologies to my fellow nurses who were in the same year, but I started seriously considering a job change. I didn’t have the intention to completely switch industries with a fresh start, but changing hospitals seemed like one option.
“By the way Makina, your favorite patient hasn’t been coming lately.” (???)
“Ah, that expressionless guy that Makina always attends to.” (???)
“The hospital feels so quiet without that child around.” (???)
“Please don’t say weird things! It’s better if the hospital doesn’t have such patients.” (Makina)
Despite saying so, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed.
The boy who would come to the hospital every year with major injuries hadn’t been seen recently. At times, he would be brought to the hospital two or three times a year.
From my perspective, he always seemed to be getting seriously injured. Even though he wasn’t a troublemaker, I couldn’t understand how he managed to get injured so frequently. I would simply say that he had bad luck, but it seemed too extreme.
He should be a high school student by now, and perhaps he had become more careful and stopped engaging in dangerous activities.
While that was a relief in itself, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of loneliness because he had been a source of comfort for me.
While there were monstrous patients, he was an angelic patient.
I had known him since my early days as a rookie nurse. He never abandoned me when I was clueless and panicked, often making mistakes. On the contrary, he encouraged me and showed kindness as a gentle-hearted young boy.
Since then, a few years had passed, and Makina was now in a position to educate new nurses. Looking back, I couldn’t believe how patient he had been with me during that time. I had been quite awful back then.
At that time, when I was inexperienced and full of nerves, if I had encountered monstrous patients as a rookie, I would have had a mental breakdown and quit this job early on.
Now, I can make calm and accurate judgments in any situation.
Sometimes people say I have a cold attitude, but people change over time.
“Was it a fracture before? How many times? Do you remember, Makina?” (???)
“As far as I know, it’s the 4th time… no, the 5th time. He used to have frequent injuries even before we met.” (Makina)
“He breaks bones too often.” (???)
“Oh, speaking of which, he used to say that he lacks calcium and often drank milk with his older sister.” (Makina)
“Ah, that girl with the big breasts, right? So she’s the reason why it developed so much.” (???)
“How sinful…” (???)
He is someone who brings joy just by talking, and he is also my savior in a literal sense. While it’s natural for nurses to provide care and support to their patients, there are some individuals who misunderstand the intention. One male patient, after receiving kind treatment, developed a serious infatuation and became a stalker towards me.
He was the one who resolved that situation. When I was about to be assaulted, he stepped in with a broken arm in a cast and punched the stalker, driving him away. His cast cracked open, but he nonchalantly said, “I wonder if it’s healed by now,” while making a fist.
Seeing that, my legs gave out, and I collapsed weakly. He kindly helped me up, using the same hands that were still in a cast.
I wanted to express my gratitude, but he gently declined, saying that he was always taken care of by me, so there was no need. His modesty was another endearing point that tickled my maternal instincts.
Since then, I felt an even greater responsibility to take care of him. It was not driven by any ulterior motives or impure feelings, but purely out of gratitude. I can confidently assert that without any falsehood or deception.
“Listen, okay? They say you are an angel in white, but I won’t be fooled by such appearances. Inside you are a beast.” (Yuri)
“Yuri-san, what are you so alarmed about?” (Makina)
His older sister seemed to have an oddly hostile attitude towards me, even though I had only been taking care of him properly…
“Maybe it’s withdrawal symptoms. Haa, I just want to take care of him.” (Makina)
“Didn’t he change hospitals because of what you did, Kurogane-chan?” (???)
“Well, it’s only natural to take care of him when he has a broken bone and can’t move his limbs, right?” (Makina)
“I hope it doesn’t traumatize him… You’re going a bit overboard, Kurogane-san.” (???)
“He’s not traumatized.” (Makina)
“But, it’s a bit… for a teenager…” (???)
As we continued our conversation, the sound of a call bell rang.
This job is always busy. I quickly popped another piece of chocolate into my mouth and lifted my heavy body.
“I don’t even have time to rest anymore! Changing jobs… huh.” (Makina)
I seriously considered the idea. If I were to pursue a different career, I vowed to avoid irregular working hours, given the nature of my work as a nurse.