Calling in the Script

Psychiatric TimesPsychiatric Times Vol 35, Issue 10
Volume 35
Issue 10

Covering for a colleague I begin to startle after the tenth call-med refill requests, side effect questions, and suicidal thoughts...

Errors in technique are forgivable; failures in humanity are not.
- Ralph Greenson

Covering for a colleague, I begin

to startle after the tenth call-

med refill requests, side effect

questions, and suicidal thoughts

I assess between my own patients

rustling People in the waiting room.

I’m strong all day, but when night

comes on I tire, need food, time

to reflect and catch my breath.

At eleven, it’s the phone again.

She’s anxious, can’t sleep, lost

her script, can I phone it in?

I question her hard, too hard,

convinced I’m being scammed.

Against my will, my voice becomes

sandpaper, and I sand until she cries.

Satisfied, I phone in the script.

Fifty thousand calls in a career?

Fifty thousand chances

to get one wrong.

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