Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Verus Fabula

Once Upon a Time in a Galaxy Far, Far Away...

I worked as a medical transporter. I started the job while finishing my college stint ('77) on a part time basis (a few months after I left projecting movies behind). Most of the time, I was just transporting hospital inpatients to X-Ray procedures.

It wasn't a bad gig, and was somewhat rewarding in that I was making a (very) small contribution toward the benefit and care of a human being/patient. To be clear, in no way was it a clinical job. But, I did manage to become acquainted with a portion of the medical nomenclature in the performance of my duties. Throughout the work day, I gathered the patients from their hospital room, in a wheelchair or gurney, and brought them to their procedure (or returned them). And like the military (or us tech-heads), medicine loves its use of acronyms. The one you need to know for this decades old tale is NPO:

NPO - latin abbreviation (Nil [or Non] Per Os) for nothing by mouth

This post has been updated and moved to my current blog, which can be found here.


  1. Humor under stress, ya gotta love her!

  2. Yes, indeed. She was buoyant! Thanks for your comment and feedback, Corey.

  3. I like the version of the pre-surgery prep manual she read!

  4. That's hilarious! can't make that stuff up.

    I have always appreciated the nice transport people. It always feels so awkward and embarrassing having to be pushed around the hospital and so always welcome the thoughtful or funny ones. :)

    I think even the receptionists, transporters, dietary, maintenance, etc, all have an important effect on the patients. if they are all positive and supportive.. it helps to ease them somewhat... makes them more relaxed. I remember the kind people and the not so kind people... and really appreciate the good all levels.

    Great post! :)

  5. SeaSpray: you're right that all of those a patient comes into contact with has an effect on their (hospital) experience. You have to put yourself in the patient's shoes (so to speak). Every kindness helps, no matter where it comes from.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment. You're always welcome here (and your blog is interesting and insightful).