Nursing Voices

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Healer

Permabook edition published June, 1956. Cover painting by Tom Dunn

This is a book I recently added to my book collection that was written by one of my favorite cheesy-trash authors, Frank G. Slaughter. A best selling novelist and physician, whose books sold more than 60 million copies, Slaughter said he drew on his experiences as a physician when writing his books. Good grief, if I didn’t know what really went on in a hospital, I’d be afraid to let a doctor touch me after reading one of Slaughter's books. I’ve never been able to figure out why a guy that studied at Duke University, and received his medical degree from John Hopkins Medical School, Baltimore, would write this stuff, but I’m sure the money was good, or else he would have gone back to practicing medicine.

Today’s selection is about a doctor that had to choose between saving his patient, a sexy surgical nurse, and going to jail. The caption reads, “If Dr. Carter saved this woman’s life, her testimony might ruin him." My, my, the decisions some doctors have to make. It sounds so stressful.

Here’s our hero, Doctor Don Carter, fresh from the OR, wearing gross red surgical gloves, and looking dazed and confused. The book is about the “special” relationship Dr. Carter had with his surgical nurse, Laura Jordan. She’s the hot blond sitting in the witness chair. She looks appalled that her coworkers let Dr. Carter leave the hospital while he was still wearing his surgical gown and gloves. Didn't they know he was coming to court? The book describes Jordon as “a grimly efficient surgical nurse,” but a nurse that was “all woman” outside of the hospital.

Here’s the plot:

“Dr. Don Carter opened his gloved palm to receive the scalpel. The steel was cold to his touch. For a moment the knife was poised above Laura Jordan’s skull….

‘If I save her, she may ruin me,’ Don thought. ‘If I don’t, I can never face myself again.’ Suddenly the knife inscribed a long-practiced incision. The operation had begun.

Ever since one of his patients had died, Dr. Don Carter had been tormented by the fear that he might have been careless. Only Laura, his operating-room nurse, could tell him the truth.

Then she lost her memory in an accident. Don Carter faced this terrifying dilemma: could he bring back Laura’s memory and with it perhaps the one fact that could expel him from the medical world forever?”

Like in all of Slaughter’s books, everyone lives happily ever after. Carter learns that he didn’t injure his patient in the OR and the court case against him is dropped, and Jordan gets her memory back and dumps Carter for another man. Now that’s what I call gratitude, but don’t feel bad for Carter, he dumps his bitchy, domineering wife for a beautiful, rich socialite. And so goes the life of a healer.


Blogger kario said...

I sincerely hope Slaughter was a pen name. I can't imagine going to see a doctor whose surname was so completely the opposite of what I wanted him to do to me.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Mother Jones RN said...

Wow, I never thought of that. Maybe that's why we left the OR and started writing books. His name was bad for business:-)

1:49 PM  
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