Nurses at the Greatest Hospital in the World are encouraged to treat patients like hotel guests. This mandate from on high has now reached a fever pitch since JC is expected to walk through our doors as we speak. No, I’m not talking about Jesus Christ. I’m talking about JCAHO, an annoying organization that views itself as a deity, hence its new name. Our hotel nurse just left a chocolate on a patient’s pillow and the concierge is making sure that everyone has a filled water pitcher at their bedside. Like the original JC, the hospital staff must walk on water when JCAHO rolls into town.

Here on the psychiatric unit, our goal is to make sure that drug seeking patients don’t make us look bad when JCAHO comes onto the unit. Those bureaucratic pinheads always ask drug seekers if they are receiving enough pain medication to make them comfortable. Yeah, right. Drug seekers whine, moan, and roll around on the floor while accusing the hospital staff of not meeting their needs. Since we don’t want that to happen, our psychiatrist, who usually won’t order narcotics for anyone, is suddenly giving out oxycodone like it was candy. He’s also writing orders for liberal doses of Xanax, Ativan, and Valium. We keep drug seekers stoned and happy when JCAHO is in town.

I’ll hand out pills but I’m not fluffing pillows. I’m a nurse, I’m not a bellhop.