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A Nine-to-Five Holiday
Cidalia, or Cid for short, is a petite, dark-haired woman with light skin and a faint but noticeable Portuguese accent. Her voice is light and lively with an air of comforting confidence. Her words are those of and educated and practiced nurse. Each work day, including holidays, Cid puts on her dark teal scrubs and slings her expensive, plastic-coated, candy-apple red stethoscope around her neck. She drives between an hour and an hour and a half from her cozy suburban home in Andover to get to the hustle and bustle of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. It is an acute care facility, meaning it deals with people who need short-term care from severe incidents and illnesses. The workers care for mainly adults of both sexes for injuries ranging from cataracts to broken bones.
After finding a parking spot in the labyrinth that is the city of Boston Massachusetts, Cid strides purposefully through the hefty glass double-doors into the hospital. A large stone foundation supports a generous number of glass windows overlooking the cityscape, welcoming visitors and patients alike. The first floor is host to a receptionist, a gift shop, and a coffee shop; a lighthearted entrance to a place of professionalism where those who are most in need can be provided with quality health services. As she moves upstairs to her place of business, the stale smell of sterilization penetrates the air of the long, pale hallways that surround the diligent hospital workers.
Cid’s highly intricate and tactical expertise is put to use in the recovery room. She takes care of patients that have just had surgery and are waking up from anesthesia, more often than not in a lot of pain and rather confused. On a regular day, if there ever is such a thing, she must monitor patients’ blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature, and various other important factors. She then takes the information she has gathered from this monitoring and observes for dangerous changes in the patients and treats accordingly, usually with the use of medications. The nurses at Beth Israel are required to provide this care until the patient is fully awake and recovered from surgery. Once the patient is ready to leave the hospital, Cid begins teaching them and their families how to live with and continue to recover properly from their disabilities. She teaches them to manage pain and treat their wounds properly, the kinds of activities they should and should not do, and gives them nutritional guidelines to follow. Her work is specialized, difficult, and requires a large amount of training and ability. Not just anyone can cover for her on the holidays. “It is hard work, but it’s something I can wake up and feel good about doing,” said Cid in a soft voice with a genuine smile.