Monday, January 03, 2011


I saw these window washers on the outside of the hospital building this afternoon (look carefully, they are on a hanging walkway near the bottom towards the right) and the first thing I thought is: those guys are never going to finish. Here's another shot of the same building, reflected in the windows of another, equally glassed-in hospital building across the street, the window panes of which I'm sure these guys are also going to have to wash.

It just seems like such a Sisyphean task, because by the time you're done with the last window, it's probably time to start cleaning the first window again, especially so close to the traffic pollution on the highway, or in the spring when the pollen here is so bad. And then I thought: how fitting, because that's exactly what working inside the hospital feels like sometimes too. So many patients. So many issues. You finish one and the next one pops up. Endless. And, after a while, it can all start to run together.

But you keep going, and keep working, and at the end of the day, you can hopefully look back and see that maybe you made things a little better. And then what? More windows to clean. More patients to take care of. So you come back the next day and you do it again and again and again and try, as best as you can, to help.

At least, that's what I thought very briefly, in the three minutes it took me to walk from the ORs to my car. And then I drove home, kissed my kids, and got ready to do it all again tomorrow.


  1. Wow! That's some good stuff for only a three minute walk to the car. :) Slightly depressing, but I feel that there's some optimism to be found in such an outlook it as well. Be well!

  2. Anonymous11:53 PM

    yep. this pacu nurse agrees. part of what affirms my job every day is the repetition--similar yet different every day. and never ending...addictive??

  3. Anonymous12:54 AM

    Time to make the doughnuts...

  4. Anonymous2:22 AM

    But it makes a difference to the people looking out of those windows. As a doc, you make a difference in someone's life, even if to you it's just another day =)

  5. Anonymous4:16 AM

    thank god, i'm not the only one who feels like this....

  6. meadowlarkmark9:15 AM

    I still cannot believe you're driving...just like that!!

  7. Anonymous10:43 AM

    they must use lots of windex!

  8. This is completely unrelated, but when January 1 ticked over I had money in my FSA in it again. So I went to 39dollar glasses and ordered 2 pair based on your recommendation. They are being shipped now. Thanks for the heads-up about this site.

  9. Anonymous5:31 PM

    Hi! I'm pretty sure I've had a similar thought...especially this past semester of school when I looked at those windows multiple times a week from one patient's room or another. (I just finished nursing school in Atl and did my practicum at what I am 98% sure is your hospital). Never did catch anyone cleaning them. I pity the person who has to.

  10. Thats really sad, imagine what people needs to go through just to earn money for their family. These people deserves to be treated well with enough benefits for their safety.
    Kudos to them for their dedication & hard work.

  11. I totally agree! Hiding in the residents room gulping down coffee, about to do the remaining 7 hours of a 16 hour shift! I'd love for my patients not to run together but to be honest, past 12 hours on it's a struggle!