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Spitefic: Hospital Rules

Title: Hospital Rules
Author: gehayi
Fandom(s): Twilight (1st book)
Rating: PG
Word Count: 660
Summary: Real nurses don't hand out sedatives on the say-so of a stranger. Not even when the stranger is Edward Cullen.
Inspiration: Written in response to a scene in Chapter 24 where Edward calls the nurse to come to Bella’s room and sedate her when he wants to end the argument.

As we argued, Edward pulled the cord lying on my bed to summon the nurse.

Who didn’t materialize. This appeared to puzzle Edward. For the first time, I wondered just when—or if—he’d ever used that alleged medical degree of his. I’d only been in the hospital a few days, and I knew that nurses and orderlies didn’t react to a bell pull like Aladdin’s genie being summoned from a lamp.

Edward went out into the hall and returned a few minutes later with a nurse. “This is not my area,” she was protesting in an Eastern European accent. “I should be down the hall, not here. She is not my patient.”

“Well, it doesn’t matter, does it?” Edward asked in a thoroughly reasonable tone. “All you have to do is give her a sedative. She needs one.”

“No, I don’t!” I protested.

“Bella, please. It will be better for you if you have one. Isn’t that right?” he asked, turning to the nurse.

The nurse gave him an unreadable look, then walked to the foot of my bed and read my chart. “She is not scheduled for sedative. She has head injury. And she has just awakened. There is danger she may slip back into coma. Painkillers, yes, every four hours. Sedative, no.”

I could see Edward getting frustrated with this. “But—you can see she’s agitated. She needs to rest.”

The nurse shrugged. “Then leave, and let her rest.”

“She needs a sedative.”

A huge why-must-I-deal-with-fools sigh. “Even if she did, which I can see she does not, I could not give. Her doctor would need to change her treatment and prescribe sedatives. I do not have authority to change treatment. I am not doctor.” So saying, she turned to go.

I’m a doctor! Doctor Edward Cullen!”

The nurse’s expression was dismissive. “No. You are not—what is name?—Doogie Howser. You are teenage boy. And even if you were doctor, you do not work for this hospital. You do not work here, you are not her father or mother, you do not have authority to change treatment. Even if you did work here, you could not change another doctor’s treatment because you did not like it. There are rules.” She crossed her arms over her chest. “You understand, da?”

That was a no if I’d ever heard one. But Edward didn’t acknowledge it. “What if Bella wanted to change her treatment? What then?”

“She is patient,” the nurse said. “Patients are not supposed to self-prescribe. Is bad idea. She can talk to doctor about this tomorrow; it will be up to doctor and parents whether to change or not. She is minor. Like you.”

That earned her a glare. “My father treated her.”

“Your father does not work here. Nor do you. And she does not need sedatives. No.”

“Get her sedated or so help me, I’ll have you fired!”

The nurse gazed at him, poker-faced. “Very well.” She walked over to the wall, picked up the phone, and pushed a few buttons. “Hello? Yes, I have code green in ICU. Patient is agitated and demanding sedation. I need full team immediately.”

Within minutes, a team of people arrived—but not a team of doctors and nurses. These were at least five security guards—young, tall and strong. Following them—at a discreet distance—were a couple of janitors and housekeepers. If there was a fight that damaged or destroyed medical equipment or spilled blood, the clean-up crew would take care of it before it had time to become a health risk.

“This,” said the nurse to the guards, “is Edward Cullen. He will be leaving now.” She whispered something else to the guards, who paused, stared at Edward for a moment, then walked over to him.

“Excuse me, Mr. Cullen,” said the biggest security guard, “I think that your visit’s over. You should allow Ms. Swan get some rest. Let us walk to your car.”

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