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Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind

Creator: Frank L. Wright, Jr. (author)
Date: 1947
Publisher: National Mental Health Foundation, Inc.
Source: Available at selected libraries
Figures From This Artifact: Figure 2  Figure 3  Figure 4  Figure 5  Figure 6  Figure 7  Figure 8  Figure 9  Figure 10  Figure 11  Figure 12  Figure 13  Figure 14  Figure 15  Figure 16  Figure 17

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"That wasn't hard to clean up, was it?"


"It caused plenty of mess. And the patients have been pestering me ever since for something to read. Another time she made a ball out of old rags and had the patients playing with it in the yard. If I hadn't taken it and burned it up, she'd have had the whole ward yelling and screaming down there every day."


"I think I see what you mean. Anything else?"


"Yes, there is. I just got back from my hours off duty and found a terrible commotion on the ward. That crazy girl had those patients singing and marching around the room. Old Crazy Kate was dancing and clowning at the head of the procession. Well, that was enough for me. I came straight to you."


Miss Adams thought she saw a good opening here to try to tell Mrs. Beaver something she ought to know, but she didn't know just how to begin. "Mrs. Beaver," she asked, has anyone been hurt since Miss Levin has been on your Ward?"


''No, no one hurt. But she had Marie wiping up the day-room floor the other day when there were worker-patients right there to do it. You know you can't trust that Marie."


"It seems to me that all the things you have reported so far have been good for the patients."


"Humph! Good for the patients! She's not doing them any good. She lets them play around and walk all over the ward. Then I have a time getting them quiet and making them work. Leave her on there another week, and my patients won't be worth a darn!"


"A little relaxation won't hurt the patients any."


"Humph! If that's the kind of hospital you're trying to run, you can count me out. We used to have a real hospital when -- "


"That will do." Miss Adams was tired of hearing about the exploits of her strait-laced predecessor. She was also tired of Mrs. Beaver, and she knew very well that Mrs. Beaver would never leave the state hospital as long as she could draw a pay check from it. "Miss Levin will get along with your patients very well. Now you go back and get along with Miss Levin. If you can't, we'll try to find another ward for you."


Mrs. Beaver was speechless. She reached the door of the outer office before she found her tongue. "Prissy-pants!" She hissed. "Me being told off by a prissy-pants!"


(Based on reports 913, 937, 993 and 1065)


Blind Mary was clapping her hands on every third or fourth beat of the music. Blackie was singing the words of "Darktown Strutters Ball," not knowing nor caring that the tune was "China Boy," and old Laura, who usually just sat and grumbled, was going through an elaborate waltz step in ragtime. Never had there been so much gaiety on the shut-in ward in Davis Building. Everybody was enjoying the afternoon.


The center of the fun was an old pump organ which had been gathering dust in the Davis Building attic for several years. Lois and Irene, two attendants on the ward who could play the piano, had dusted it off, repaired the pump-pedals, and brought it to the ward.


Their first concert had been in full swing for almost half an hour, when Miss Lang, the building supervisor, came to the ward and told Lots and Irene they would have to put the old organ back in the attic right away.


"Why?" asked Lois. "It wasn't doing anybody any good up there, and here it brings a lot of pleasure."


"Maybe so," Miss Lang said, "but it belongs to the recreational therapy department and can't be used on the medical wards."


"This is recreational therapy," Irene protested.


"Only employees of the recreational therapy department are permitted to use the department's equipment. Now take that thing back where you found it."


So the organ is back in the attic gathering dust. And Blind Mary, Blackie, Old Laura, and fifty-seven other shut-in patients are wondering when they can have another concert. And the recreational therapy department continues to complain that its activities have been curtailed this year because of lack of employees. And Lois and Irene are getting more and more disgusted that hospital rules and jealousies and short-sightedness keep the patients from getting the care they deserve.


(Based on report 278)


"I see some more plaster fell down last night, Mr. Allman."


Miss Whitmore, the supervisor, was making her morning rounds of Old East.


"Yes, ma'am. It didn't hit anybody, though."


"We were lucky this time."


"I was meaning to speak to you about that plastering, Miss Whitmore. We've been needing it done for over a year now, and nobody ever patches it up."


"I know. The maintenance men are very busy."


"That's right, ma'am. But I found out last night that old Roy Smith was an expert plasterer before he came in here. He says he ain't been asked in all them five years what work he done. He's sure he could patch up this ward good as new."


'"Well, I don't suppose that could be done, but -- "


"Another thing. Miss Whitmore. We've been humping along with a toilet out of fix for months, and them showers don't hardly run any more. Well, Abe Jones is a plumber -- at least he was on the outside -- and he's been pestering me to let him fix 'em."

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