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Part of Starbase Bravo: Q2 2400

The Nurse Counselor

Infirmary 4
3.21.2400
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Infirmary 4 – 0800

“You’re very…particular, Nurse.”  The patient was lying on a bed in the hospital section of the infirmary as Asato Hiro went about the process of ensuring the crewman’s injuries were stable.  He’d been working on a junction box and made the mistake of overcharging the power conduit connection.

She gave a quiet smile, “I come from a very particular family, crewman.  Your injury requires care and proper healing.  Healing is also not just a physical act, but a mental one as well.”  She scanned the burns on his arm.  The dermal regenerator had worked to slow the decay of the skin.  She picked it up again, “You enjoy your engineering rotation?”  She listened as she activated the unit.

“It’s…ok.  I didn’t think it’d be this crazy.”  He sighed, “I think I shoulda’ paid more attention in class when it came to power regulation during and after repair work.”

A nod from Hiro, “It is good practice to know the practical and the procedure.  Being a nurse is similar, but we work on living things versus computers.”  She continued to run the regenerator over the skin, seeing the healing working well.  “Your mistake may give you a scar.  My mistake”, she gave him a look, “can do serious harm.”  She finished running the unit over his arms and returned with a medical tricorder.

He was quiet as she scanned his formerly burned arms.  He looked up at her, “You’re warning me about making sure I know what I’m doing, right?  That if I don’t take care to know my job better…I could hurt more than just myself?”

She read the readings and smiled, “You’ve learned something today, crewman.  This station is a big place with lots of people and moving parts.  If some parts aren’t working well or fall apart – things tend to get messy quickly.  We all need to be looking out for each other.”  She handed him a PADD to sign, “You’re clear to return to duty.”  For the first time, he smiled.  Signing the PADD, he thanked her and left the infirmary.  She watched him leave, hoping he wouldn’t make the same mistake twice.

Infirmary 4 -1000

Hiro sipped at her traditional tea as she completed her morning reports.  She’d arrived at Bravo in January and the adventure hadn’t really stopped since – not that she was complaining.  Her need to learn, to work, and to move kept her in motion from start to finish.  The tea was one of the few home comforts she enjoyed at work.  She preferred to keep her mind on the patients and the doctors and the station while she was on duty.  Her quarters were her oasis on the sprawling station.  It had taken a few months but she’d facilitated plants from home and even paintings from local artists arrayed the walls.  Home was still where her heart was and would always be – but space was the next adventure on her life’s journey.  It had started abruptly with a recommendation in nursing school – her skills and talent would find a good home in Starfleet.  Her family was confused, and so was she.  She’d never thought of joining, but it seemed a good idea at the time.  Three years later and she was quietly satisfied with her station.  Her parents had asked her if she’d ever consider moving into being a doctor or something else but she wasn’t sure.

“Nurse, you have a returning patient.”

Hiro frowned and set her tea aside as she walked to the check-in area to find the crewman standing there, looking pensive.  “Can…I talk to you, Nurse Hiro?”  She glanced at the check-in and nodded, leading the young man to an exam room, and closing the door behind them.

“What can I do for you, crewman?”

He sat down roughly on the exam table, “I don’t think I’m meant to be an engineer.”  He started sniffling and wiping tears from his eyes.  “This is my first assignment…and I kept telling myself I could do this and I could learn that…but…I don’t think this is what I should be doing.”

Asato pulled out a medical tricorder and began her vital reading process, “You know I’m not a counselor, crewman.”  He rolled his eyes as she checked his blood pressure, pulse, and assorted readings.

“Yes, ma’am.  I know.  But…it’s hard to trust people sometimes, you know?”  He looked at the tricorder she was working on, “I’m healthy, at least?”

Hiro gave a slight nod, “Your heart rate is elevated and the blood pressure is pushing a little more than we’d like to see, but given that you’ve got some…conflicting feelings about your assignment it’s understandable.” She put her equipment away and turned to him, “So, not an engineer?”

He sighed, “My parents pushed me because I liked to work on old earth engines as a kid.  I sorta liked it at the start but then…it just didn’t make sense all the time.  I barely passed the academy.  I think they tossed me up here to see if I’d survive.”  Another heavy sigh, “I just don’t know what to do.  My parents will kill me if I go wash out.”

Asato considered the young man for a moment.  He was barely 20 years old, and younger than he looked.  “Ok, I’ll make a compromise with you.  I’ll write an order for a three-day rest from your duty shift.  Part of that order is to see a staff therapist, but also to explore other options and paths onboard Bravo.  A transfer is not the end of the world, crewman.”  She made a note on her PADD and signed it, “You’ll report back to me in three days with a progress report.  We’ll take it from there.”

The crewman looked relieved as he stepped off the biobed, “Thank you, Nurse Hiro.”  She gave him a nod as he left.  She returned to her reports, making a note to follow up with the crewman in three days.