A/N: I'll eventually post all outtakes here so that I can focus on only sending out one at a time. Otherwise, I think trying to send old outtakes to late readers is going to get away from me. These are not beta'd, so all errors are my own. Hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer - Stephenie Meyer owns all things Twilight
Chapter 1 EPOV outtake
Gosh, I'm fucking tired.
Only two hours left. Two hours and then I have the day off tomorrow. It's my fifth fourteen-hour shift in a row, and my back aches, my legs are tired, and thinking is almost painful. I can't wait to go home and sleep for an entire day straight.
I only have one more patient to see before I'm done with all my work. Then, as long as there are no codes, I can grab a cup of coffee and focus on staying awake for the remainder of my shift. Not that a code wouldn't wake me up, but I fucking pray there won't be one.
On the floor, I search for the patient's chart. They're always so goddamn hard to find – never in the rack, that's for fucking sure. The secretary throws herself at me while I'm looking, which isn't unusual. She's cute in a Mary-Kate and Ashley kind of way. She's still too young and she giggles too much, but she always helps me find the charts I need, so I'm grateful.
I ask for the nurse to make rounds with me; this makes for smoother patient care, as the nurse gets the information she needs to care for the patient and isn't calling me an hour later to clarify an order. I head for the room and hope that she'll follow soon. I'm too tired to wait around – I just want this day to be over.
Mrs. Benson is a sweet patient who's suffering from the first stage of dementia. She has a severe case of osteoporosis and can't get around well and yet, no matter how many times she's told, she constantly tries to walk around her home without her walker or any other form of assistance. She's fallen twice, and the last fall fractured her spine.
The nurse is in the room now. I glance at her. She must be new, because yesterday was the first day I saw her. And I usually remember faces well, so I'm sure my memory isn't to blame.
She stands watching me, arms crossed, and patiently waits.
Mrs. Benson clasps my hand, pleading for something stronger for pain. The Darvocet just isn't cutting it.
"I'll change your pain medicine to Vicodin," I say. "You can have one to two tablets every four to six hours if you need it, okay? Just ask your nurse. Do you need something for pain now?"
She nods. I turn to the nurse. I've forgotten her name and her name tag is twisted around, the back side facing out. "Miss, umm…"
"It's Bella," she says pleasantly. But the sweetness of her voice is false, as is her smile.
I frown. "Bella, will you get Mrs. Benson something for pain, please?"
"I actually don't think your choice of pain medicine is a good idea."
Surprised, I pause, turning to look at her, and I see that she's completely serious. I can already feel my irritation building. Fuck - is she going to be one of those nurses? The ones who think they know goddamn everything and want to question every fucking order?
An hour and twenty-six minutes left. An hour and twenty-six minutes…
My next statement probably comes out harsher than it needs to be. At the moment, I don't care. "Oh? Well unfortunately for you, you're just the nurse, Bella. You don't get to make that call."
Her eyes narrow. She'd normally be pretty, but right now she's standing firmly between me and my sanity. On the bright side, I'm suddenly much more alert.
"I'm just looking out for the interest of my patient, Dr. Cullen." She turns to Mrs. Benson. "Isn't that what you'd like for us to do, Mrs. Benson?"
And what the hell is wrong with my order? I prescribe it all the time. It's common.
So I ask her. "Please enlighten me, Bella, as to why you think my choice of pain medication is a bad decision."
She sucks in a deep breath, obviously preparing for a heavy speech. "Well, Dr. Cullen, Mrs. Benson was admitted to us with a fractured spine, which causes her to complain of pain almost constantly. We can assume that she'll be relieved by the Vicodin, but based on my previous experience with spinal fractures and osteoporosis, I doubt it. Assuming that she's not relieved, she'll be requesting the maximum dose of two Vicodin tablets every four hours, which is 1000mg of Tylenol every four hours. That ends up being 5,000mg of Tylenol a day. Seems a bit much for an eighty year old woman, don't you think?"
You've got to be fucking kidding me.
"Bella, I set the parameters for a reason. It's your job as a nurse to monitor her intake and ensure that she is not being overdosed."
"Dr. Cullen, you can try to justify that all day long, but the reality is that the next nurse is going to give her her pain medicine when it's due. The way you ordered it. And it will put her in danger of liver failure."
I'm pissed. Livid, even. I'll be damn lucky if Mrs. Benson doesn't request a new doctor – assuming she remembers this in ten minutes, that is. But that's besides the point.
"We'll finish discussing this outside," I grit between clenched teeth. At this point, I imagine my face is probably turning red. And I'm relieved and yet annoyed when Bella turns tail and practically runs out of the room.
"I'll make sure you get something for your pain, Mrs. Benson," I say calmly, and she nods with wide eyes. I walk hastily out of the room, eager to catch Bella before she makes a getaway. I don't expect her to be waiting by the door, and I'm right – she's already heading down the hall.
"Bella!" I call, but she ignores me. Goddamn it. So fucking infuriating.
I catch up easily – she's not as fast as she probably thinks she is – and grab her arm to stop her. She whirls around to face me, her eyes wide and blazing.
"Just what do you think you're doing?" I hiss. I don't want the whole hospital to hear, but damn, I'm airing the shit out right now. Questioning me in front of my patient wasn't appropriate.
She suddenly snatches her arm out of my grip. I hadn't even realized I was still holding her.
"Just protecting my patient from harmful medical errors," she says angrily.
"There's a time to discuss those things, and that doesn't include at the bedside. And most definitely not in front of my patient," I say coldly. I don't worry about being too harsh; she needs to understand the line she crossed.
"Yeah, well, there's a time to discuss your complaints with a nurse if you don't like what she's doing. And most definitely not in front of the patient."
Now I'm confused. I'm pretty sure this is the first time we've ever spoken. "What are you talking about?"
"I'm talking about you humiliating Angela in front of her patient the other day."
I suppress a groan. Angela. She may have good intentions, but I swear she tries my patience. And you can't look at her the wrong way without her bursting into tears.
But I have no idea what this has to do with Bella. "What happened between me and another nurse is none of your concern. You'd be wise to worry about yourself, Bella."
She jabs her finger in my chest. It would actually be a little funny if I wasn't already tired and cross. "Well I find that a little difficult when my friend is crying her eyes out in the bathroom over what you did!" she hisses.
I didn't mean to make her cry. Honestly, I didn't. But I can't walk on eggshells all day long.
"Maybe your friend needs to grow a spine. It's a dirty world, Bella. Not everyone is going to hold her hand and be nice to her."
She pushes away from the wall. Her glare could wipe out an army.
"It's called humanity," she spits. "Common courtesy. Don't shit on your coworkers. We're a team, Doctor. Not your slaves."
She doesn't wait for me to respond. She stomps back to the nurses station, leaving me alone in the hallway. I run a frustrated hand through my hair as I watch her retreating form.
No one has ever stood up to me that way. I've had a nurse or two question my orders, but they constantly cower when doctors get in their moods. While I normally try to be nice, I won't lie and say I constantly exert the energy it requires. But the nurses always back down. Always.
I'm frustrated. I'm angry. But more surprisingly, I'm intrigued.