A WATERFORD child is being treated for exhaustion and stress after a game of “doctors and nurses” became a little bit too realistic, resulting in a 19-hour shift in dangerously under-funded, poorly equipped conditions.
Mikey Brennan, 4, had been playing dress-up with his friends at creche early yesterday morning, opting to dress as a junior doctor because he thought it would be fun to pretend to make the stuffed toy ‘patients’ feel better, healing their boo-boos and making them good as new again.
However, it appears that Brennan did not take into account the pressure-cooker atmosphere of the working hospital environment in Ireland today, and was forced to remain at his post tending to a never-ending stream of ill teddy bears all through little break, garden time, and right past home time when all his pals left with their mummies and daddies while he tried desperately to stem the flow of stuffing out of the side of a toy elephant.
Finally finishing his workload after midnight last night, Brennan arrived home, ate a Cheesestring, then collapsed in a heap on the sitting room floor out of sheer exhaustion.
“The shift yesterday only lasted 19 hours because it was a make-believe playtime thing. If that was a real shift, he’d still be there right now,” said Dr. Pavel O’Neill, who treated young Brennan for an acute case of reality.
“Maybe he wants to take a leaf out of real junior doctors, stick it out here in Ireland until trained, and then bugger off to England or wherever, where you can get better pay, better conditions, better hours… or alternatively, you could wait for the government to loosen the purse strings and funnel some cash into the HSE, but I think playtime will be well and truly over by the time that happens”.
Brennan’s classmates who dressed up as policemen and firefighters fared no better, with those who dressed as cops being forced to stay silent on serious breaches of procedure, and those who dressed as firefighters getting pelted with Lego as they attended bogus 999 calls.