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Topic: Stories of a Nurse...
Message: Posted by: Jay (Sep 5, 2002 01:07AM)
Hello all. I feel like posting a few small anecdotes regarding experiences of me, magic, and my workplace. First off, let me say that Jeff McBride has called me "probably the best male-nurse-magician in all of Northern New Jersey"--->An outstanding distinction by my all-time magic idol. Realizing he said it tongue-in-cheek (really, how many of us are there?), it was still a great thing to hear.
I try to offer my patients and their families a little diversion at times, when it's really needed. Maybe they are depressed or lonely or scared and need a little distraction. I call it "Magic, PRN" That means 'Magic, as needed.'

-A 14 year old boy was visiting his father, who had just become a quadriplegic. The boy was sitting at the table in the room, looking depressed and a little scared. He had a deck of cards he was getting ready to play go-fish with, with his mom. I had a deck of cards in my scrubs pocket, as I always do. This one was set for Card Warp. I asked if he liked to play cards, and he responded with a shrug. I told him that PLAYING cards was boring, but I have a really neat thing you can do with a deck. I went into Card Warp, and his face _lit up_. He couldn't stop smiling and grabbed the now ripped pieces from the table, grabbed my surgical tape out of my pocket and tried to reconstruct the trick. He BEGGED me to tell him the secret. I gave him two unprepared cards and told him to try to figure it out by himself, and if he really tries, then I will explain it to him the next time he comes to see his Dad. Well, the boy went bananas...he did a full turn-about from not wanting to come see Dad in this place, to "Mom, when are we coming back here? Please, can we come back tomorrow?" Mission accomplished, I'd say. Haven't seen him since, as they live rather far away from the place I work, and only visit on the weekends, but I expect to have to teach him Card Warp when I see him next, and I don't mind a bit. How cool will he be at school when he shows THAT to his 14 year old friends? I know that a "Magician never tells his secrets", but 'never' is such an absolute word, and sometimes you've got to think of the greater good. I gave the kid something to look forward to, and it feels great.

Quick Hits:
- I am currently working on a modified Needle Thru Balloon, entitled "Syringe Thru Rubber Glove"

- It is a REALLY bad idea to use I.T. when you are bathed in flourescent light, wearing a white scrub uniform. I found out that my Hummer Whirling card looks like a card on a s****g. Won't be doing that one there anymore.

- I carry a small square bag in my larger work bag, the size of a videocassette tape, which holds close to 30 tricks that I am comfortable with. I don't have time for a routine, per se, but a well-placed trick here and there has made me a popular kinda guy.

- Any other nurses out there?

Hope you enjoyed reading this, as much as I enjoyed offering it. I'll write more, PRN. :bg:

Jay :D
Message: Posted by: Mya Angel (Sep 7, 2002 12:56AM)
:righton: That was cool!

Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Sep 7, 2002 04:32PM)
What a gift it is to use Magic to restore hope, and lift spirits!

And as for Jeff McBrides recognition of you as th ebest Male Nurse Magician in New Jersey (I know you humbly said Norther, but I will expand it to all of NJ!) That is Great.

Jeff McBride doesnt even know who the most of the rest of us are! So even if you just knew your name it would greeat. But since he knows you by Occupation as well, I think you have recevied quite an Honor!

Applause! Applause! Well Done!

Message: Posted by: GlenD (Sep 9, 2002 08:54AM)
Wow, thanks for sharing that. I hope you do get the chance to see that boy again and show him the trick. Those are the kind of non-monetary rewards that are quite priceless,IMHO.
Thanks again.

Message: Posted by: Hugin (Sep 14, 2002 08:55PM)
Enjoyed reading your post. I am also a male nurse. When Iīm in Norway I work at a cancer hospital. My patients are men mostly in their twenties. Staying in the hospital for 5-6 days they are bored to death. I try to entertain them with my magic. It can really make a difference. Love your syringe through rubber glove idea.

Message: Posted by: mvmagic (Oct 10, 2002 09:56AM)
AnOctopus, I am also a male nurse-pecialized in our work and more specifically abdominal surgery. In English I guess that would make me a scrub nurse? I worked in the O.R. for 4 years, but had to leave as I became allergic to even the hypoallergic gloves.

In my hospital years I did carry stuff with me and cheered up the younger patients. And occasionally the older ones too. I was especially popular with ladies over 60

One incident has a special place in my heart. We had a 6 year old girl in for operation. She was extremely scared about the whole thing, especially the IV line. I did some silk magic with TT for her-she didnīt even feel the needle. Played with DīLites and changed the lite into a small red ball which she held in her hand when she fell asleep. And that beautiful little angel lost the battle and never woke up again. I have very mixed emotions about it-but I do feel that the magic did somehing good. It's very difficult to say more.
Message: Posted by: Jay (Oct 10, 2002 10:03AM)
Thank you for sharing, mvmagic. What we do, as nurses AND as magicians (and especially as Nurse-Magicians!) is very special. I am currently under fire for performing magic at work, because of a few childish nurses who 'tattled' on me. The boss says there is no room at the hospital for this type of diversion, but the patients are complaining that I don't do magic for them anymore! I hope it works out that they'll let me do magic there again soon. I miss it, and the patients miss it, also. :bawl:

Jay :bg:
Message: Posted by: ralphdean (Oct 10, 2002 12:01PM)
Oh my, it is a shame that there is no room for something that can help so much. It is the difference of seeing patients as people or as product.
Message: Posted by: mvmagic (Oct 10, 2002 01:34PM)
That is so.... :mad:

I would understand their point if you were doing nothing but magic... sheesh

There are great ideals and theories. One of the most important ideals in modern nursing is the idea of taking care of THE ENTIRE HUMAN BEING-not just their illness or injury; but taking into consideration their background (like family and religion, etc.), their fears and hopes, the culture from which they come. I have sometimes come to notice that these ideals exist solely in theory. Especially in the nursing field where everyone is overstressed, underpaid and too busy. Productivity is the key-fast turnaround. Patients have ceased to be humans, they have become numbers, units, statistics. People in the position to give such orders as you have had, are very alienated from the actual work with patients and in many cases from the staff as well.

Maybe they see some day how much it means to the patients when someone listens or does something that cheers them up-whether it is a magic trick or just a hug, the result can be magical.

We as magicians have a LOT to give.
Message: Posted by: Nitnat (Oct 22, 2002 10:28AM)
That is awful!!!

I started off feeling really great about your first post... Now I'm just depressd!

... Tony :hrmph:
Message: Posted by: Mr_Nutkins (Dec 5, 2002 04:52PM)
I too am a nurse but I work in Mental Health, I used to do tricks for the patients but it can seriously freak them out... so I've stopped.
Message: Posted by: Mina (Dec 15, 2002 03:28AM)
Hi there, I'm not a male or a nurse, but I do want to thank you for the work you do. Being a nurse is as important as being a doctor and the stories remind me why I got into magic in the first place.

Jay I also hope they allow you to continue your magic at work. It is one of those things where showing someone a trick could be more effective then giving them that IV.

Magic is a powerful thing... Also a note on that boy you showed the card warp to.. Maybe when you see him next you won't have to teach him the effect at all.. maybe it inspired a trip to the local libary (all the secrets are in the books) and he will have a trick or two to show you :)

Thank you again
Message: Posted by: Boxav8r (Mar 23, 2003 12:18PM)
There's nothing more rewarding than bringing a smile to a child in a hospital. Though that's NOT my main audience, it is my favorite... I certainly get the most out of it.

Seems someone forgot to tell the kids they're supposed to be upset and dwelling on their pain and sickness. I have a lot to learn from them.

Message: Posted by: Jay (Apr 27, 2003 01:10AM)
Good news, everyone! I just got a promotion from Staff Nurse to Nursing Supervisor which means one very significant thing: Real clothes! No more lightweight opaque scrubs with only one back pocket. Now I get to wear casual neat clothing, like cordorouy pants and a button down shirt. My pocket management problem while at work just went out the window! I go to work with a nice amount of things loaded in. I think that this is going to get fun again. I have now [b]become[/b] the person who reprimanded me for doing magic some months back, so that's that! :rotf:

I will keep you all updated. I am so happy to be back in the magic-at-work game.

Jay :bg:
Message: Posted by: Chrystal (Apr 27, 2003 04:32AM)
Good stuff Jay!!!

The people are the hospital are lucky to have you on staff.

Hope you continue to bring smiles when it's needed the most. :angel:
Message: Posted by: Al Kazam the Magic Man (Apr 27, 2003 12:42PM)
That's good news Jay! Glad to hear it. While there may be argument that at certain times and circumstances, it may not be appropriate to entertain in hospitals. However, from my experience when the time is right and the opportunity is there, it can be so helpful, strenghtening, warm, tension relieving and just plain old fun, in an otherwise dreary, down, sometimes sad and depressing place.
Keep up the good work,