It’s funny how you can forget some of the details of how it all came about. It had something to do with encouragement and the suggestion that after the exams were over I would bake them a cake. That was well over a decade ago and since then I have baking a special treat, in June, for a group of talented young men and women. I’ve watched many young hopefuls enter into the speciality of orthopaedics and emerge successful five years later. I, and my fellow nurses, help develop their team work skills. We encourage them in the balancing act of becoming a surgeon. We aren’t teaching them orthopaedics but rather life skills if you will as we suggest, sometimes strongly, that they do it “this way” . We often use humour but we have also been known to use a sharp tone or our mother voice.
Somehow throughout it all they develop an affection for us and us for them. For those that have been around a really long time we have seen a lot of residents come and go in all of the services. There are times when we remember a story but the name of the resident escapes us. We try to keep track of where they have gone and what their subspecialty was but over the years it becomes a challenge. Those that return to work in our hospital have a relationship with the nurses that is the result of those five years, shared history if you will. It’s always interesting to watch them settle in and start their professional life. There are occasionally some personality surprises as they come out from “under” the resident role and become their own man or woman.
It’s been my pleasure to watch this group of dedicated students move through my life. I give back to them with a cake, or in today’s case cupcakes, after their exams are over. The timing of this has always been an issue because they start to move forward to their fellowship and occasionally I bake and deliver a special cake only find they left the building 5 minutes ago. Last year’s group invited me to their wind up party which was perfect.
The flavour of the cake is always decided by the resident who works the most with me in their senior year. This started a few years ago when it seemed like they were operating less and less that year. This year it wasn’t an issue as there is only one resident. So it was Black Forest cupcakes today. There won’t be many years left at work for me so I will enjoy the remaining time. The cake race is already heating up for next year’s big group. And for the one lone year that I didn’t bake a cake I will never ever live it down!