“Always have a job and a hustle.” That’s what Cheré’s mom told her.
Cheré Amor Vassell has followed her mom’s advice. In her 13 years as a nurse, she has worked in Virginia, Japan, Florida, and now San Diego. “I taught nursing for three years, have a master’s as a nurse practitioner, am completing a doctoral thesis in self-care.”
And always she has kept on doing a side-hustle. What’s her hustle here?
“I cure hangovers.”
She’s not kidding. “They call it concierge medicine. Or ‘Uber for nurses.’ We rehydrate people who are suffering from hangovers, jet lag, fatigue. We get them up and active within an hour. And the special thing is we’re mobile. We can go to where the patient is.”
Like Uber drivers, she can work when she has a spare moment. This is for The I.V. Docs, a 21-city operation that links largely hung-over people to doctors who can prescribe the correct formula and send RNs running with an IV bag to do the most essential act of mercy for a guy (and it is mostly guys) who is severely dehydrated: drip those electrolytes back into him by the fastest method known — through the bloodstream. Cheré gets calls to go to hotel rooms, or even to a lounge to help guys out of their misery, right there at a bar.
“So, it’s great for me. I finish my regular shift, call up the I.V. Docs office on the way home, and they may have a customer in, say, Rancho Santa Fe who’s drunk too much and has to be on deck in the morning. I take a liter of saline fluid, and depending on what they ask for and our doctor recommends, we could add, say, 15 to 30 milligrams of Toradol, an anti-inflammatory, and maybe 4 milligrams of Zofran for nausea, and we just start a drip. After half an hour, this person, who was absolutely wanting to die, is sitting up and saying, ‘I’m hungry!’”
She says some corporate groups who visit San Diego for a convention will provide their people with this drip treatment ahead of drinking time, to lessen the damage.
Cheré gets a cut from the I.V. Doc people and a possible tip from the patient. She may arrive home a couple hundred bucks richer.
All right for some, but why aren’t we all using this service? Money, of course. A basic saline-drip visit runs $199, and it can go to $400 and beyond. Four-hundred-buck hangovers can start to add up.
Still, this may be a harbinger of a future when connected docs will be back making house-calls. We can only hope.