Outtake: The Job #Camilla
Hey, loves! We're back for another outtake. Now, this one has been in the form for quite a while, and to the reader who requested this one, I apologize for the long wait but sometimes that is how the muse works. I write what it wants, and what it finds interest in.
If you have an outtake request for me, feel free to drop it into the form HERE.
A Camilla Outtake
Camilla's soothing hush had the small preemie in the domed bassinet settle enough that the heart rate monitor stopped beeping. She took a moment to check over the leads attached to the baby's chest with tiny heart-shaped stickers, and then jotted down a few notes into the file tucked into the shelf at the back of the bassinet.
No changes, really.
Nothing since the start of her twenty-four-hour shift.
In the case of premature babies, but especially one like this baby who was still so small that his cry hadn't even developed yet and he cried without sound, no changes weren't exactly a bad thing. When they did see changes, they hoped they would be steps forward in the infant's progress. Thing was, every preemie in this ward came in with a fifty-fifty chance.
And this boy wasn't out of the woods yet.
Sticking her hand back in through the holes of the bassinet that sealed around her arms to keep any air that wasn't carefully controlled away from the baby, she rested her warm, cleaned hands against his body. He was so small, they could still see his veins running throughout his body under his paper-thin skin. Her hands covered him almost entirely. And yet, his heart rate continued to lower the longer she held him in the only way she could.
They wanted touch so badly.
It was one of the best things for these babies.
The beep of her watch had Cam sighing because as much as she would like to stand right there and keep soothing the baby when he probably wouldn't get it again until the next shift of nurses came in, did all their rounds, and had five seconds to sit down and give the infant personal attention beyond his medical needs.
The hospital had a whole team of volunteers that came in to hold or rock the babies, and feed the ones that were capable of taking a bottle. However, that was in the daytime and evenings. And the nighttime hours were left to the nurses on the ward who, as it was, were already overworked in a high-stress job that had them watching fifty percent of their patients dying every goddamn week.
She loved her job.
Adored these babies.
But she absolutely understood why the stay-rate for a nurse on the preemie ward wasn't very high over the course of six months to a year. It was hard on the brain. Hard on the heart, and harder on the soul.
Cam was still here, though.
And she didn't plan on leaving.
However, she did need to take a little break, but not because the job was getting to her in any kind of way. But rather, because her father had traveled all the way to Ireland for surgery to correct an old brain injury that had been affecting him for years, and she wanted to be there to help with his recovery. Since his travel and surgery had been a little last minute, so was her time off that she put in for. But she'd been working here for years, never took time off without lots of notice, and didn't complain if her vacation time wasn't given because it didn't work for the hospital. She simply worked something else out.
This time, she put in for emergency time off due to family. There was absolutely no reason for her boss to refuse the time, but that really depended on the man's moods, to be honest. If she only had to go through the head nurse, then that would be one thing.
This was something else entirely.
Camilla made sure to clean up all her stations, and anything else that needed finishing last minute before she headed down to the spread of lockers where her stuff waited. At least, making sure she cleaned up helped with the shift of nurses just coming in. Less work meant more time one on one with the babies.
And god knew they needed that.
Waiting until she was dressed back in her normal clothes, and the second shift of nurses had come in and were settling in to their routine, only then did she head upstairs in the hospital to the office where her boss would be waiting.
He'd said by the end of her shift, he would have an answer for her. So, here she was, ready for that answer, and hoping it would be good news. Because otherwise, she didn't know what in the hell she was going to do for her father.
"Ah, Cam, there you are," her boss said when she came to stand in his open doorway.
He didn't look at her in the eyes.
Bad sign number one.
"So I looked over the request you put in for the emergency time off for your ... family thing," her boss started.
"And you refused it."
Finally, the man glanced up from behind his desk. "Well, you have to understand that the hospital is already understaffed, Camilla, and we can't really afford for someone in your ward to take time off right now when there are already two other nurses on their vacation, and Jenny will be starting hers next week when Tania comes back."
"Except this isn't regular vacation time," Camilla said, making sure each one of her words came out careful and measured. For now. "This is me putting in an emergency request for time off so I can fly to Ireland where my father just had major brain surgery."
"He's alive, yes?"
She blinked. "What?"
"Your father--he's alive, came out of the surgery fine, didn't he?"
Did not being able to speak, feed himself, or get out of bed mean he was fine? Because Cam didn't think so, and those were all things Calisto would need to relearn. She would rather be there for a couple of weeks to be one of the people helping him learn how to use his body again to take care of his most basic needs instead of strangers who would only undoubtedly upset him more because they were strangers. Everyone had their pride, after all, but her father even more so.
"Just say you're not giving me the time off," Camilla said calmly, although at this point, she didn't have the first clue how she managed it, "and keep everything else to yourself, if you wouldn't mind."
"Now, there's no need for the attitude."
"This isn't attitude. That's a line you don't need to cross. The fact my father still has a heartbeat doesn't negate the fact that he will spend the next several months of his life in intensive rehab before he will even walk again. So, if you could just say you're not giving me the time off, so I can then go ahead and find another route in this hospital to get the time off I need to help care for my father, I would appreciate it."
The man across the room stiffened in his chair. "You won't get the time off, and that's my final decision. If you try to go over my head about it, you won't have a job to come back to at this hospital, Cam. I hope you understand."
Oh, was that what he thought?
There were a lot of things in her life that Camilla tried not to do. Using her family name, her husband's name and status in Chicago, or even her contacts to get herself further ahead in anything in life was one of them. She just didn't do it.
"So," she said, "I suppose when I ask to speak to the board tomorrow and I casually mention how my husband will be pulling back on his five-million-dollar donation ... then they'll be in line with your .... position here, won't they?"
Her boss's jaw ticked.
Camilla shrugged. "Well, we'll find out, won't we?"
She didn't wait for a response.
She really didn't need one.