Monday, June 2, 2014

Backing Off, Part Two

The ward was inherited at 7 a.m. with an overflowing toilet in one of the patient's rooms.  No, night shift did not notice because "we worked short."  A patient stuffed shoes and clothing into the toilet and kept flushing, flooding his room and the room below it.

I summoned Housekeeping and Maintenance.  The process: housekeeping mops the water, maintenance fixes the plumbing issue, and then housekeeping cleans again.  There was a snag with this situation, however.  Both departments claimed that they cannot go near the problem because they are not permitted to touch personal items that belong to patients.  While I was running around, busting my ass, the workers and their supervisors held a meeting in the hallway, discussing who should pry the shoes and clothing from the toilet.  Their conclusion:  The Nurse.

The gang approached me with the news of my assignment.  I told them no.  They offered reasons why this was actually my job and not theirs- while I was giving medication to patients, taking blood pressures, answering the phone, and on and on.  They stood there, telling me, "We'll wait until you are done."  I'm never done until my shift is over, darlings.

I was not going to fall into the trap of telling them, "Fine, don't do it, see what I care."  Because they would have walked away from the disaster and defended themselves by saying that the Nurse in Charge (who they never listen to anyway) "told us to not work on the flooding toilet."

I reminded myself that I have a working toilet for my use, both at work and home, so that I am not really affected by this stuffed toilet flooding problem.  I was not going to put my work on hold while I attempted to pry stuck items from pipes- while a bunch of people stood around, chit chatting.  I kept doing my work, which never stops flowing.  Eventually the floor below us complained enough that administrative people of importance got involved.  Then, like magic, housekeeping and maintenance worked on the problem and fixed it.


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