Published on 8th July 2016 by Roya
What is the CQC? Meet the CQCobra!
What is the CQC? Meet the CQCobra! Illustrated by Lynda Richardson.

The internal affairs officers of the healthcare habitat, the C.Q.Cobra’s name abbreviation actually stands for Care Quality Control. Personally, I’m sure there would be far more applicants to the job if they actually replaced the “control” in their name with cobras.

Time to get clued-up ASP…

The CQC is responsible for ensuring that all other denizens obey the laws of the jungle. It ensures patient care standards and safety remain at a high level.

No species puts all other denizens of the healthcare habitat on edge quite like the CQCobra. The arrival of this formidable being into a ward produces an effect akin to Darth Vader’s arrival into an Empire staff meeting. All those in the local vicinity enter a panic state, all the while trying not to look like they are panicked.

This is because all inhabitants know that if a CQCobra finds something on inspection that does not meet the high expectations set by the powers that be, there will be consequences.

OK, unlike in the case of Darth Vader, “consequences” are less likely to involve being throttled by an evil space wizard, and will probably be more on the lines of a sternly worded report or instruction to attend specialist training. But still, neither outcome sounds particularly fun.

They serpently know how to set a trap

Some of the more devious of the species are even known to set traps for unwary prey. Look out for CQC staff leaving their watches on, insisting on wearing a jacket, or not wearing a name badge when accessing the ward.

These little tricks are designed to ensure that protocols are followed, and can catch out those having a particularly hectic day. If you notices a trap, it is a good idea to point it out to another individual – they will appreciate and remember the assist and your kindness may enable more opportunities on the ward in the future.

Seal it with a hiss

For med students, encounters with the species are somewhat anomalous. Despite the threat that they can present to other species, CQCobras pose absolutely no danger to current medical students. Sometimes, they may even use you, a lowly med student, to test the mettle of others.

Though they may ask a few questions of you, particularly regarding how you are enjoying your time at Medical School (this may be a good time to mention the Consultasaurus’ general rudeness by the way – vengeance can be sweet), the CQCobra is not attempting to find fault in an untrained student’s technique. They are too busy scrutinising the other species. Still, best to avoid doing anything too malpracticey. They may not be observing you specifically, but will still file a report if you uppercut a patient in front of them.

The biggest risk comes not from the CQCobra itself, but from everybody else. With tensions running high, other hospital staff can be more hostile. Fear of committing some error that could be reported – suddenly, leaving your backpack out of the way under a chair (as you have done every other time you have visited the ecosystem this week, without complaint) becomes a crime on par with grievous bodily harm, indecent exposure and mass genocide, and apparently warrants a good telling off. Students, however, need not worry about being reported for behaviour, but their improper actions may still provoke the rage or scorn of the other species.

In summary, surviving an encounter with a CQCobra is relatively easy. However, you must do your best to aid the targets of these predators, remembering that one day, when they have metamorphosed into species that the Cobras consider prey, it will be your turn to be judged, and you too will need all the help you can get…

Uploaded by Eric Richardson on 8 July, 2016


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