12:30pm Edit: I just got back into my office. This wouldn’t
normally be a feat, but I locked myself out by accident, and the keys
were inside. Thank god it was just the door’s slip bolt thing, not the
Spare keys? Only I have the keys. I have a postal card (like a
thin credit card) which broke into 3 peices when i tried to slip it to
unlock the door. Also tore up a hospital brochure trying to slip
the lock. Finally managed (after trying everything from
paperclips to folded disketes, a coat hanger and even a paper plate) to
get the damned door open with a sheet of plastic bookmark (flexible,
yet strong enough) that I stole from medical archives. I’ll go
put it back now.
Mental note: don’t do that again.
Damened World War 2 elevator. The doors opened again for the 3rd
time, and I’m still on the first floor, not the fifth. So I hit
the key for basement, and the damned thing finally starts moving.
Then I key in 5, and it finally works.
The little tricks of the trade I suppose.
When I was on fifth later that day, the respiriratory tech, a
30-something year old women, just started crying. She wasn’t
losing her mind or anything, she wasn’t hurt– she was just stressed
out, and confessed with some embarassment that when she gets stressed
enough, she just sorta starts to cry like how some of us might find it
hard not to frown. She and the other respiratory techs, or,
INHALOs, as they are officially code-named, were the only ones who
showed up to work yesterday, and they’ve single handedly had to cover
all 8 floors of our hospital. That’s about 70 patients.
I had to help out the porter yesterday to transport a patient from
fifth to the operation room. The patient’s entire bed had to be
moved– she weighs over 300 lbs, and in her condition, is unable to
even stand up, and doesn’t fit in any of our wheelchairs. So we moved
the entire bed. We had to make way in the hallways, moving every
chair, every table, every cart, and after keying in the elevator button
I had to run down the stairs to the floor where she was going to come
out because with the bed it’s impossible for me to fit on the elevator.
I’m feeling light headed because I’ve been wearing the M95 mask for the
past 30 minutes, pushing around a 300lbs lady with the porter, and
we’re finding it difficult despite the fact that neither of us is
weak. It’s just that when you’re wearing something like this on
your face, it’s like trying to get a cardio workout trying to breathe
through a pack of coffee filters.
Later in the day while disinfecting my hands with the alcohol wash,
some of it gets in my fucking eye– AGAIN– and I can’t help but cuss
I had been working since 8 am, and it was 4 pm, and I still hadn’t had
my lunch break. The rest of the hospital had similarly been
overworked– by the end of the day, seven people had registered for
overtime pay for not having had the time to take even their 15 minut
coffe break. Yesterday was really like a game of contra– non
stop. Keep runnin. Keep gunnin.
I found myself leaning on the walls of the elevator as I went from
floor to floor. It was something I noticed my superiors doing
when I started this job, and now I’m doing it to– it’s just the
natural thing that happens when you’re this tired.
At the hospital, there is no such thing as Thank God It’s Friday.
In fact, Friday is easily the worst day of the week, even surpassing
monday. The reason being is that most clinics, external test
services and laboratories close for the weekends, and all doctors
except the Medcin-de-Garde are gone. So on friday, everyone tries
to get shit done all at once. We discharge patients to offload
tasks for the weekend crew, who we know are going to be understaffed,
and we try to get all the tests and operations done before the
departments close. That makes for transfers, transfer, and more
transfers, tests, operations, all up the wazoo. It’s a tough time
for everyone I think.
I’m starting to get a bit into the heads of my co-workers now, and the
name “Batman” comes to mind. Not the Batman from the movies, the
ones from the comics. See, my opinion is that in some
interpretations of Batman, he doesn’t do his saving Gotham bits because
he cares. He does it because he feels its his duty. He’s
not a nice guy– sure, he has his soft spots, but at the end of the
day, Batman saves people because he has no choice
I’m begining to wonder of health care workers are like this too.
They come to work, give it their all to the point of breaking down in
tears. There’s a psychiatric hotline for med staff for
chrissakes, it’s for staff who feel that they’re burning out.
And for what?
Is the sense of ‘helping others’ good enough?
In many cases, I don’t think so. It’s the pay.
If it weren’t for the pay, I’m certain that a lot of people who are
here wouldn’t be here, because though on good days a hospital is a very
inspirational place full of love and hope, on the worst of days it is a
place of chaos and despair.
I have co-workers who are not nice people. In fact, I could
go as far as to say they’re basically mercenaries– some of them are
part timers who only do the overtime shifts for 1.5x pay.
Otherwise, they wouldn’t touch this place with a ten foot pole.
But despite this, can I really just pick someone off the street and expect them to do any better?
The other day, I started filling out a Patient Death form. But it
was supposed to be an Admissions Form. I don’t know if this is
some sorta subconcious sense of black humor that my left half brain was
playing with the other half, or just an honest mistake.
When I realized what I had done, I told my co-workers. We’re not
superstitious about those kinds of things– in fact, we all had a good
The INHALO who was crying stopped when she found out that one of the
discharged patients had bought enough Lindt chocolates for everyone on
The chocolates were good!
7:33AM– Today. Back at work, been here for an hour already. I’ll write more later.