My mother and informant, KK, meets up with her friends from high school about once a month. They call themselves “club.” I was home when KK hosted “club” and listened to her and her friends, several of whom are nurses, swap stories about their shifts when working in a hospital.
KK and her friends were working the night shift in the hospital on the oncology floor. It was probably 1993.
KK and her friends decided they wanted to entertain one of their patients. Their patient was an 18 year old man hospitalized with leukemia. KK said, “We wanted to make him happy.” KK explained that the patient was always up late because his friends would come visit him late at night.
In order to cheer him up, KK and her friends stuffed their chests with pillows, barged into his room, and sang Jimmy Soul’s “If You Wanna Be Happy” and Cher’s “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss).” They called themselves “The Boobettes.” “And of course he laughed like crazy. He loved it,” KK said.
KK and her friend’s prank reveals what nurses do that lies outside of their job description. Rather than being a rite of passage, her skit demonstrates a kind of compassion that often seems to accompany nurses.