What would the perfect automated house for nurses look like?
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I wish somebody would come up with a fully automated house, like in The Jetsons…or in “There Will Come Soft Rains.” But without the whole nuclear-destruction angle in the latter.
If I could build an automated house from scratch, it would have some special nurse-friendly features.
As you open the front door, an ultrasonic widget gets activated (I’m sure Dyson could come up with one) that knocks all the nasty bacteria you’ve brought home from work off your clothes and shoes and into a holding tank that’s exhausted to the outside. UV light in short bursts would make quick work of tuberculosis bacteria. Nothing you brought home would make it past this antimicrobial watchman.
Moving into the front room, you’d find that the automatic surface-dusters and floor-vacuumers had been at it all day while you were on the job, leaving you with a sparkling clean house. There would, of course, be the drink of your choice ready for you on a side table, which would then take back the empty glass and wash it.
When you sit in your favorite chair, the automatic massage feature would kick in. It would adjust its settings to the amount of tension it sensed in your neck and shoulders. A foot massage would require only that you remove your newly germ-free shoes and put your aching feet into the special foot-massage well in front of the chair.
Feeling peckish after a long shift? Your favorite snack would be ready the minute you wanted it. An automatic inventory system would send you text alerts when it was time to pick up more brie or strawberries.
After a shower (preset temperature and massage controls, of course), you’d be ready for bed. Your bed made itself this morning; all you have to do is climb in.
In the morning, the bedroom would wake you with soft, full-spectrum light and a recording of chirping birds. If you’re a snooze-alarm pusher, the room would gently up the ante until finally, as a last resort, the bed would upend and push you out onto the floor.
And, of course, given that this is a nurse-friendly automated house, there would be caffeine. An automatic coffeemaker would have ground the beans, brewed your morning cup, and milked and sugared it to perfection while you were stumbling into the bathroom.
Pick out a pair of scrubs from the automatic scrubs-presser that’s located inside your closet, get into the shoes that had been polished overnight for you and you’re ready to head to work.
Speaking of work, somebody needs to get to designing my perfect automated house. Making my own coffee is a challenge after two or three hard shifts.
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Agatha Lellis is a nurse whose coffee is brought to her every morning by a chipmunk. Bluebirds help her to dress, and small woodland creatures sing her to sleep each night. She writes a monthly advice column, "Ask Aunt Agatha," here on Scrubs; you can send her questions to be answered at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Agatha Lellis