A universal truth- hospitals and restaurants

Jane Austen opened Pride and Prejudice with the lines “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” She wrote these much adapted words in 1813. In Regency England, this meant that mothers wanted to marry off their daughters to a good match. Whether or not they loved each other was beside the point. Man with money, girl who needed to get married as she had no prospects alone, having no rights= match made in Mama’s head and in the ton.

It is much the same with hospitals and restaurants. I’ve never met a hospital that wasn’t surrounded by places for food. Nowhere; San Francisco, Sonoma, Sacramento, VA in Martinez, CA, Denver, CO, and the two hospitals that I have worked in here in the South, and several of their sister hospitals. All are surrounded by restaurants and with the expansion of food for delivery, the circle is getting wider.

Patient’s families have to eat. Especially if it is in the middle of the night and they are trying not to be frightened.

Hospital employees have to eat. Especially if it is in the middle of the night and they are trying to stay awake.

I have likened the OR as a battlefield. This just broadens the metaphor. Soldiers need to eat, entire wars have been lost because of supply line disruptions. The supply line is disrupted, the soldiers run out of bullets, but more importantly they run out of food.

Hospital administration knows this. It is why every opportunity for celebration in the hospital is met with food. It is also why Cookie Thursday is a Thing exists, not the sole reason but a big part of it.

Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast, said William Congreve in the 17th century. The quote has been bastardized to music tames the savage beast. Same difference. But food keeps the soldiers happy.

And a well timed cookie makes the surgeon calmer.

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