The sudden harsh, shrill scream of a child in pain filled the ward.
It came from a side room where the howling child was being comforted.
"She fell and hit her head on the bed frame."
She's got a real keeker on her right forehead.
Ice, the inner nurse tells me, ice will reduce any swelling by constricting the capillaries.... I'm on it already. It's only my third shift here, but I know where the ice maker is. I hurry to the treatment room.
What are you going to put the ice in? the inner nurse asks. You'll need a plastic bag.
I look forlornly round the treatment room. If this was the Eye Pavilion you'd know exactly where to lay your hands on the polythene bags you normally use.
But they use orange disposal bags for dressings!
I grab one, pile the ice cubes in, then look for something heavy.
Everything in the treatment room seems to be made from flimsy plastic.
You usually batter the ice with a jar of coffee.
There's a kitchen. Sure enough, it has a large jar of coffee.
Bang, bang, bang!
I turn ice cubes into snow.
I return to the injured toddler.
Who's not too happy about having a freezing bag of ice placed on her forehead.
A wet paper towel might be an acceptable substitute. The water is cold.
I grab some paper towels and soak them in cold water. Now, how to persuade the moppet to put it on her bump?
You know what you're going to have to do.
Yup. I know.
I kneel in front of her. I hold the wet paper to her forehead.
"This is the way we wash our hair,
Wash our hair
Wash our hair
This is the way we wash our hair
On a cold and frosty mor-ning!"