(Un)like anything you’ve ever seen

by Jinryu

Time: 4:45AM September 22nd

If any of you worked in this hospital, you would totally change the way you think about healthcare.  It’s one thing entirely for you to be someone who is coming in as a patient, or as family of a patient– most of you will get this experience at least once in your lifetime.

It’s entirely different to have the insider’s view of a hospital though.  If you could see just what goes on inside these walls, you’d be speechless.


Today, the hospital implemented a new version of a patient management application, code named “Siurge”.  As far as I was previously told, this system only affected triage nurses.  It integrated an electronic triage input, replacing the old chicken scratched hand-written triage sheets with a click and drag equivalent.  The idea is that this system makes for a more complete medical records database, and reduces error by eliminating the need for handwriting.

Unfortuantely, integration is never as smooth as projected.  That’s to be expected.  You might say things going less smoothly than projected is to be the projection.

Tonight was rough as a result.  Training was a big issue.

Because most of the training for Siurge was done during the daytime many of the dedicated night crew either had scarce training, or no training at all.

There was also a misinformation– from the administrative point of view (my sector of Emergency), we were told that the Siurge installation wouldn’t affect us in any way.  That turned out to be a lie.  The Siruge installation changed about half of the computer fuctions, and somehow managed to kill three essential print functions.  We weren’t trained with the new Siurge, much less how to fix anything in the new OS whenever something got borked.

So, the first few hours of work for this shift were nothing short of Warzone– the ER department was figuratively ambushed because we went into the night thinking that we had our guns in order, and then suddenly, everything jammed.

Triages that normally take between 5 and 10 minutes ended up taking over 15 minutes each, clogging the boards and backlogging registration.  Registration, on my end, was madness– with the primary printer down, I had to run over to to the admitting department and manually print each form for every patient who came in.  It only takes about 30 seconds more per patient, but it’s a huge hassle because it takes me away from my primary post and leaves the phones unattended.  Especially when I first come in, the phones are usually ringing off the hooks because we’re trying to line up patients for tests or consultations before the consultant departments leave for the day.  It is a mess, really, and while it is true that I was hired so that I could deal with tough situations and multitask, I think that it’s a bullshit situation when we go into an overnight with reduced staff under such conditions.

And while patients’ and their families can be annoying, that’s not what I’d like to address– it’s the management.    There will always be days with 7+ hour waits in the Emergency department– that’s just the way it is, and I accept that.  But what is unacceptable is that I go into this night without the proper training to deal with that sort of situation.  It’s ridculous, and further, it’s dangerous. And it is not my job to get myself trained– this is a management responsibility, because I (and I’m not the only one) as a clerk was lead to believe that the Siurge installation wouldn’t change anything for us.  How was I even supposed to know?

And that’s just a tuesday.


Time:  8:15AM September 22nd

In the morning, after I finished my shift, I ran into my boss– she had the nerve to tell me “Someone told me that you aren’t doing the MD labels at night.”

“That’s… not possible.  It happened once, and I talked to Linda about it, and it was handled. Every other time, I’ve made sure they’re done.”

“Well, someone said you weren’t doing them.  I’m just passing on the message.”

In my head, I’d already killed my boss 20 times in that span of 10 seconds.

“Well that’d be fine,” I said, gritting my teeth, “if the message was valid, but it’s not, so there’s no need to pass it to me. I’m always the N1, and that’s the N2’s job.   When’s the last time I worked N2, and further, when was I ever N2 and didn’t do the labels except for that one time, which I told Linda about, so it was handled.”

……………..  I just irks me when management comes in with their bullshit concerns; meanwhile, the department is a madhouse because of idiotic higher-up decisions and mistakes, and it’s us on the front lines who have to clean up their bullshit.