(Response to CHALLENGE #5)
By Robin R. Neher

What did Dixie tell Sharon that cured her of her clumsiness
around Dr. Brackett in "Dilemma"?
The day had been miserable so far for student nurse Sharon
Walters. Every time she was around Emergency Room head
honcho, Dr. Kelly Brackett, she was a total klutz, making her
unable to carry out even the simplest of tasks. Sharon had even
sunk so low as to wonder whether she should choose another

Now as young Sharon carried her lunch tray, looking for an
empty table in Rampart's cafeteria, she prayed Dr. Brackett was
not there. Looking around, the future nurse saw, much to her
relief, that the raven-haired doctor was nowhere to be seen. As
Sharon continued looking for a place to sit, a familiar voice
called to her.

"Sharon!" Dixie McCall called. "Over here!"

The red-haired nursing student looked over and saw, Dixie, her
tough but fair head nurse sitting at one of the tables outside.
Sharon made her way outside to join her.

Sharon joined Dix a second later.

"Little crowded in there, huh?" Dix laughed.

"The only room in there is standing room." Sharon agreed.
"Dixie, I was a total klutz this morning in the ER-"

"Sharon, don't you dare think about quitting!" Dix cut her off.

"Who said anything about quitting?" Sharon countered. "This
whole thing with Dr. Brackett's just got me down. I do okay
with Drs. Early and Morton, but with Brackett, everything I do
turns into a huge mess! You saw what happened at the base
station this morning when squad 51 was transmitting that EKG!
Him yelling at me didn't help either!"

"Sharon, it wasn't you he was mad at." Dix told the younger
woman. "Dr. Brackett has alot on his plate. You try running an
ER , dealing with administration over costs, dealing with
running a Paramedic program, not to mention caring for
patients and their families. You'd get cranky too with all that on
your shoulders. Dr. Brackett is really a nice guy, it's just hard
for him to show it with all that he deals with day to day."

"Why am I a total klutz around him?" Sharon asked, taking a
bite of her salmon.

"Cause you work too hard to impress him." Dix replied,
between sips of her diet soda. "Like I told you before, you have
Brackett-itis.  When you look at him, you see him as someone
on high, like a God. If you'd just see him as a person. just like
you, capable of making mistakes, you wouldn't be so nervous
around him. Doctors are human beings too, Sharon. When he
yells, don't take it personally. Just do your job to the best of
your ability. Also, don't look to doctors or fellow nurses for
approval. It's not our job to constantly give you a pat on the
back. We're here to mold and guide you so that when you leave
nursing school. you'll be a self-confident and skillful nurse."

"But was Brackett really being all that unreasonable?" Sharon
asked. "I mean, shouldn't a nursing student be able to hold a
strip for a doctor to read or be able to take notes at the base

"Sharon, you're just starting out in Emergency rotation. Any
doctor you work with should know that you're a student who's
learning. Brackett should have understood that you'd never
worked in a base station before today. Also, if you're not sure
how to do something, just ask. You can't be expected to learn
everything overnight. It's okay to ask for help. Even us veteran
nurses need help from time to time." Dix told the up and coming
nurse. "Ready to get back to work?"

Sharon nodded.

"Hey, Dixie?"

"Yes?" Dix asked.

"Thanks." Sharon smiled.

As Sharon carried her tray back inside to the main cafeteria, she
felt that she just might make it as a nurse after all.