Friday, January 24, 2014

The Nurse, Ethel Buff


There is much adieu about doctors, but have you ever known a REAL NURSE?  I believe the first real Nurse I ever knew was Ethel Buff, RN. We lived in Rutherfordton and she attended our church. Very sweet and understanding lady.


I was asked to visit a sort of derelict guy who was in the hospital there, he wasn’t homeless but lived in an old school bus on some property left him by the family. I visited we talked, and he asked if I had an electric razor he could borrow. So the next day I took it to him. I talked with his Doctor who said, “He is a VERY sick man.”

As I was leaving Ethel caught up with me in the hall, she always called me ‘Brother Darnell’. “Brother Darnell, did you get to talk to his doctor?” I said yes and what he had told me.

She could tell I did not understand ‘VERY SICK’ as it was used then (not sure about today). She said that means he will probably die soon.  “I saw you with an electric razor. If you get it back throw it away or allow me to clean it, his VD count is off the charts. The Doctor should have warned you!”

I left the hospital and went home to do some very deep cleaning, the man died a little later I never did recover that razor.Surprised smile


As I understand it there is a lot a nurse is NOT allowed to tell you. But many will break a rule if necessary to protect you……………


I know plenty of seniors who would prefer to be diagnosed and counseled by a nurse. Older patients get the idea the Doctor is just too busy to bother with the OLD guys and gals. Also there are many nurses who actually seem to be more insightful than some doctors.


Incidentally we now have a Nurse Megan Darnell in the family and will soon have Nurse Jennifer Darnell also. Both these ladies I would trust with my life. Some who know me know that I have a special place in my heart for the family ’Conrad’. Mother Eileen would have made a very caring nurse (or doctor), she has daughters who excel in the medical world as nurses and home care, compassionate to the core.


…………….After leaving Rutherfordton I do not remember any contact with Ethel again UNTIL…… 1972. I was stationed in GITMO. My dad was in the hospital in Charlotte, NC. I received an overseas call from BIL Dick. “Jack the Doctors will not contact the Red Cross yet because they are not sure about your dad, but do you remember Ethel Buff?”

Sure, YES.”

“She is on staff here in Charlotte now, she asked the Dr. for permission and did not get it, but told me anyway, she said to tell you, if you want to see your dad alive you had better get here as soon as possible.”

My Command took my word for dad’s condition and flew me home. Unfortunately the weather was bad and dad passed while the plane was finding a place to land a couple hundred miles away. But I will never forget Ethel Buff, RN!


Of course a Doctor is under a lot of pressure with the schedules most have. The nurse is also under the gun, but for some reason they have time to be more human, it seems. God Bless the unheralded NURSE!

I hope one day they are allowed more latitude in diagnostics.

Nite Shipslog


Sorry for the length, but I was just thinking of Ethel and the nursing field.  If I had not interrupted my Sherry’s life that is what she wanted to be, and would have been a GOOD one.



The Citreon 4x4  1974


shirl72 said...

What an interesting life we both have had some good and some bad. Glad you didn't get the razor back. I remember the day very well. I think you lost some of your things on the road before you arrived in Charlotte. I could have been a nurse we have taken care of so many people and don't regret those times just our job.

Glad to know about the two nurse
in our family now I feel better.

Jean said...

I agree with you about the nurses we had some real nice ones during Grover's and my hospital stays, and the home help we had. I don't remember all the doctors, but want ever forget the nurses. Great entry as always. Jean

Rose said...

One of my best friends is a Nurse Practioner. She was most helpful to me when I lost my job years ago and had no health insurance.

She is smarter than most doctors I know.


Without nurses there wouldn't be doctors.

Chatty Crone said...

My best friend was a nurse.

Anyhow with Obama's care - we are all going to be seeing nurses and not doctors - cheaper!

Paula said...

We had a nurse in our town who was so kind to all the people and helped so many by giving shots and such since we didn't have a doctor. People in our town went together to buy her a nice Mix Master. They wanted to present it to her at our Methodist church but she was Catholic. I think back in the 50's Catholics weren't allowed to go to another church so someone went to the Priest to get permission for her. They told her some story that someone was ill and needed her and then surprised her. Her name was Mrs. Kurtz.

betty said...

A good nurse is worth her weight in gold. It seems more and more are expected of them these days, yet they rise to the occasion and do all of that and more. The doctors "fly by" with their orders, briefly see patients, and leave the nurses to do the "scuttle work". I truly do admire those that can be nurses! Good that your family have 2 of them!


Louis la Vache said...

«Louis'» mother and her sister were both RNs and «Louis'» brother IS an RN - and his daddy was a drug dealer. (His father sold prescription drugs, calling on doctors and pharmacies...)

«Louis» is enjoying the "frogmobiles" you've been showing the last couple of days. :-)

DD said...

Interesting and true, as always.
Take care, DD

shirl72 said...

I just thought about Hattie in Burlington think that was her name a retired RN. She was Mother's friend and would come and help Mother. She would tell some of the funniest stories that happen during her career. I was jumping board out back and she told Mother to have me stop because I might re-arrange everything in my body. I think I was 12 of 13.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Nurses are very special people. I agree they make time for the people more than the doctors do. What a blessing they are to many.

Jimmy's Journal said...

Most hospitals and staff seem to have the "slam, bam, thamk you Ma'am" attitude today. I understand that the pace has to be kept quick to see each and every patient and there's no time for idle chatter.

That said, I was trained as a combat medic in the U.S. Army and thre are times that a little extra time needs to be given to some patients.

One can be trained in the medical field yet have no idea of a good bedside matter.

I've met some damn good doctors and nurses over the years and they are priceless in the good that they do for other people.