It was like the Olympics opening ceremony all over again. That night she'd been working because Dave had called in sick – yeah course you are Dave – and she'd been summoned at the last moment. Tonight he'd done the same so she was missing a night out with her school friends and you couldn't put that on to Sky Plus.
She couldn't deny, the money from an extra shift came in useful, but nights off were so rare she resented having to work on one of the few she had. She was used to the phone ringing when she was on-call and she could count on one hand the nights she'd left work at the time she should. The last year had been littered with missed movies, cold dinners and mumbled excuses.
It was nothing like they made it sound at uni. It was much less a noble career and much more bewildering drudgery with little pay and even less respect. The white coat sometimes made her feel like the lowest lifeform in the ward.
She picked up the chart and looked at the details of the next patient. He'd been into hospital several times the last few months and she was surprised she'd not come across him before. It was unusual to see patients more than once but this guy had been in and out almost as long as she'd been here.
As she pulled back the curtain and went in, she saw Dave lying in the bed. He was barely conscious and looked really unwell. She woke him up to take a blood test.
“Hi, I just need to take some bloods. You OK with that?” she said.
“Yeah, course,” he said. “Sorry you had to work instead of me.”
“We'll take these samples and take some details from you.”
“I'm glad it's you. You always look so in control. I can see why the patients all love you.”
She started to look after her friend, confident they could finally work out his problem