The nurse who changed my dressing was a battle axe, and managed to use the tweezers with which she was armed to such effect. She was heavy-set, with glasses, nearing the speed barrier of 40-years of age that seems to sour so many faces.
She was so barbaric in her attendance and devoid of empathy that I shouted at her through the pain she was uneccesarily inflicting to pay attention to what she was doing. She tore the bandages from my fingers without waiting for the peroxide to do its work, impatient to get back to text messaging on her mobile phone. One of the fingers began to bleed again.
I took the first new wrapping off myself, for her to redo, she had swaddled it so poorly. Admittedly, the doctor at the same hospital who had changed my dressings just two days before was careful and considerate, a real gentleman. The contrast could not have been greater…
I devote an entire chapter of my book “China Inside Out” to the services dilemma in China. In my upcoming book “China Fast Forward” (Wiley, Spring/Summer 2012), I focus on the challenges the leadership has in staffing and training employees for the services outsourcing sector Beijing wants to grow.
And as for my demonic nurse: I hope – as Dante would have had it – she retires to the seventh circle of Hell, where former patients take turns changing dressings on her that reflect their own injuries, and changed in such a manner as she recalls the original incident. Again and again.