The House of God - Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

Samuel Shem
This Study Guide consists of approximately 36 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The House of God.
This section contains 464 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)

Chapter 5 Summary

This is the third day of internship, and the day Roy is finally on call. He meets up with Chuck, who was on call the night before and Chuck tells him he's going to sleep with someone in housekeeping in order to get better housekeeping service. They do card flip rounds and "Chuck announces six new admissions. He has lunch with the Runt and some others and found that the Runt got stuck by one of the Yellow Man's contaminated needles. He's terrified that he's going to die.

It's Roy's turn to get an admission and he is on call with the Fat Man. In the emergency room, waiting his first admission, he learns the fifth law of the house: "Placement comes first," meaning that you have to think first about how you're going to get rid of the person first. He meets two policemen who frequent the ER, Sergeant Gilheeny and Officer Quick. He admits Anna O.—a gomer with congestive heart failure. She has no pulse and isn't breathing but, when the Fat Man uses the reverse stethoscope technique on her, she springs to life. He learns from the Fat Man that gomers are good for teaching medicine to interns and he learns rule number six: "There is no body cavity that cannot be reached with a number fourteen needle and a good strong arm."

Roy learns several techniques by practicing on gomers. Then he learns law number 7: "Age + BUN = Lasix dose" and how to buff Anna O's chart. He finds he can't sleep because he's worried about a cardiac arrest happening. While he lies awake, he's met by Molly who needs his help putting a patient back into restraints.

He meets Dr. Sanders, a patient who is suffering from multiple problems and admits him to the ward. He likes Sanders and enjoys treating him, even though it is 4 am. By the next day, it's all a blur to him and he learns the eighth law of the house: "They can always hurt you more." He learns that gomers are out to hurt interns and that it is just a fact of life. He goes home to Berry. It's his birthday but he can't really enjoy himself.

Chapter 5 Analysis

Roy's first night on call turns out as badly as it did for his colleagues. He becomes more proficient in doing procedures and is feeling more confident, despite the fact that the gomers keep getting to him. The rest of his colleagues are no better off and are struggling to get by in the House of God. Even now, he has a natural cynicism that only keeps growing as time goes on. Roy continues to learn the "rules" and the reality of life as a first-year intern.

This section contains 464 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
The House of God from BookRags. (c)2017 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.
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