A hospital taxonomy

The Apollo Hospital in New Delhi employs a multitude of staff in various different roles. To aid in their visual differentiation they usually wear different coloured uniforms. I have described the types below according to my experience of them.

  • Blue Shirts - Generally unpossessed of English or alternatively forbidden from talking to patients. Quite lowly, frequent surly look may indicate dissatisfaction and possibly plans of uprising against superiors. Known wheelchair thieves, always be sat in yours or have hidden it in toilet when a Blue Shirt is around.
  • Red Shirts - Housekeeping. English also tends to be limited but is given freer rein than that of the Blue Shirts. If something must be picked up from the floor then these people must be called, no-one else is qualified. Sometimes employed as limb support during bandage changes with varying degrees of efficacy.
  • Yellow Shirts - Rarer than Red Shirts, possibly a sub species as have similar habits/habitats. Have not been observed in the wild often enough to form any firm conclusions, research ongoing.
  • Beige Shirts - Security. Main habitat is entrances/exits of hospital though a population also exists in the car park areas. Occasionally heavily armed but usually courteous, if you hold your hand to your head in a salute they will often mimic you.
  • Blue Tunics -  I believe these to be female Beige Shirts though  none carry visible weapons which suggests advanced martial arts skills or ability with spells/magic. Do not salute.
  • Green Aprons -  Catering. A very clear subdivision exists within the species, those who bring standard food and those who bring 'menu' food. Each will not clear the other's dirty dishes should they encounter them. Standard food consists of 3 meals a day although some days you may receive 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch and no dinner that is still 3 meals, consider hoarding. Tea is brought at 6AM whether you want it or not, whether you are conscious or not, probably whether you lived through the night or not (conjecture). 
  • Green Aprons (menu) - Bring food that is too spicy/flavoursome for ailing patients, strictly attendants (visitors) only. Should you tire of standard food the above rule can be circumvented by the following method. 1, Order desired menu food over the phone, no disguise of voice required. 2a, On food arrival if attendant is present no further subterfuge is required, wait for Green Apron to leave, consume. 2b, On food arrival if attendant is not present first explain their curious absence to Green Apron by pointing to the toilet* or indicating that they are smoking. Then with a wave of the hand (aim for nonchalance) direct the food to be placed somewhere in the room not close to you, this not your food and therefore you have no interest in it's whereabouts. Wait for Green Apron to leave, retrieve food, consume. *Green Apron may misconstrue and attempt to leave the food somewhere in the toilet, possibly in sink, try to prevent this. 3, On collection of dirty dishes make no attempt to disguise the fact that it was you that ate it. Do not attempt to explain continued curious absence of attendant, you will not be challenged. Wait for Green Apron to leave, delight in your cunning.
  • Pink Tunics -  Nurses. Always young, always female (though one is called 'Alan'), always from Kerala. The Doctors (see below) will refer to them as 'sister', they are not related. It is your choice whether you also choose to do this, having Afro-Caribbean ancestry may influence your decision. Main duty is replenishing the vast quantities of drugs and bandages you will require during your stay.Will offer bed baths, will not offer happy finish, don't inquire.
  • White Tunics - As above but <1 months training.
  • Doctors - No definable uniform though some wear shirt and tie combinations reminiscent of the magic eye pictures popular in the 1990s. You will likely have a doctor for each part of your body but the frequency of their visits will depend on your particular ailment, my belly button Doctor has been notable by his absence recently. Their main task is communicating via mobile phone (often delegated to Pink Tunics though) however they can combine this with other minor roles like surgery. Long hours have been known to make them lonely.

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