The Two Hoser ER Stethoscope
Finally, tiring of my wife gushing over a new edge of your seat TV drama, I agreed to watch it one evening. I saw Anthony Edwards, George Clooney and Eriq La Salle spit out medical gobblety gook STAT with a swinging boom camera moving from character to character like a drunken bee in a poppy field. Lusty nurses, hunky doctors, drama on the half shell. All of them wore five pound two hose stethoscopes purchased by a wardrobe manager on a budget.
I took one look at my wife. She was transfixed. The illumination of flashing images of her future in the dramatic world of nursing were beckoning her like a flickering neon Budweiser sign pulls patrons into a seedy pub from the rainy streets. "BP 56 over 20! Atropine! STAT! He's not responding! Chest Compressions! Hey! Who took my donuts?!!!" That was enough for me. It was just another form of General Hospital with a dose of blood, gore, screams, groans served up with melodramatic license. My wife loved it. She was in nursing school and had a two hose stethoscope too.
Like me, all the physicians I knew carried Littmans. Only the fictitious physicians of TV land could afford the $29.95 two hoser double tubed five pound chrome plated cool kids gear that the nurses at work carried. By contrast, the nurses on ER wore budget priced single hose stethoscopes with the heads removed to slip a roll of medical tape on the thing. I suppose they wouldn't want a pocketed roll of tape to ruin their figure.
Carter is giving a speech about the Joshua Carter center now, and my wife is still transfixed, misty eyed. The doctors in the bright box of fictitious medicine are now wearing Littmans as a piano plays chords to tug the heartstrings. There is not a two hoser stethoscope to be seen. "Whoop whoop errrrrrrrrrrr whoop!" Another ambulance pulls up to the wet and windy ramp. "Twenty-two year old female! Blunt trauma to the head!"
It's been a long day. The streets outside are wet...... and windy. I seek a muse illuminated by my computer screen, with a very real pager clipped to the collar of my T shirt, hoping it stays silent. There are no plaintive piano chords if it goes off.