Saturday, June 20, 2015

Paper Wins

I secured computer access for myself to the radiology database.  Access was possible for years, but nobody ever wanted it, the tech guy explained to me.  Now I can see what x-rays have already been done and what the results were.  This avoids duplicate orders.  If a test would be helpful but is not ordered, I can point this out to the physician.

My supervisor was displeased.  "Why do you need to see this information in a computer when it is available in the chart?"

Several reasons:

  • Charts are not in my work area.  I have to travel all over the hospital to get to the needed chart.
  • Not all test results make it into the chart.
  • The charts are a mess, with papers in the wrong sections, in random order instead of date order.  I have to look at every page until I find what I'm looking for.  Not finding what I'm looking for does not mean that it never happened.
  • The clerks do not have to file, and most don't, so test results sit in piles indefinitely.


She stared at me for a moment, gathering her brain cells and suspicions, and stated, confused, "So what you are telling me is that accessing test results on a computer is a time-saving measure?"

I was a bit surprised by her ability to draw an inference, but figured that she has probably heard that computers save time, yet she remains unconvinced of this notion.  I explained that it takes only a moment for me to check in the database every test done for the patient in the radiology department.

By the look of horror on her face, this sounded like Black Magic to her.  "Isn't it true," she proceeded to try to undermine my claims, "that all of this information that you can see on the computer is also available by picking up the phone and calling radiology?"  She stopped with a slight smile on her face, as if she won.

"Yes, you can call, stay on hold, and then try to convince the busy person who answers the phone to look up the information for you, after spelling the patient's name multiple times and repeating the birth date.  If a test is found, you need to fill out another form, fax it, and then wait for radiology to fax a copy of the result.  By viewing the tests and results directly on the computer, I can print whatever I need."

In a move so classical of this place, she turned the topic into Nurse Enid Harasses People.  "So this person who keeps you on hold forever, have you filed a formal complaint?  This is an extreme length to go through, gaining computer access, merely because someone tries their best to accommodate your unreasonable demands . . . "

I walked away.  I knew the conversation was doomed from the start.  She can't seriously think she is employable anywhere else with her aversion to computers.

Friday, June 19, 2015

No Calm in this Storm

One of the patients has crippling anxiety disorder, coupled with several other issues, that make it almost impossible for him to live outside an institutional setting.  Living inside an institution is not easy, either.  Living is not easy for him.

He can't stay still for long.  He frequently paces and calls out, "What am I supposed to do?" and "I just can't take it anymore."

Several staff members don't deal with him in an effective or compassionate manner.  They will tell him to calm down, or worse, yell at him to sit still or stop shaking.

One day I heard him snap back, "I can't help it!  I have anxiety disorder!"

Yelling at him to "stop fretting" is kind of like yelling at someone with cancer, "Stop vomiting!"

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Plan B

A nurse is taking a Leave of Absence.  Nice to be off for the summer, if you can afford it.

She explained to me that she will be trying out another job during her Leave.  If the new position doesn't work out, she can easily return to her job here at the hospital.

Nice plan.

If I ever get a new job, this will be my strategy.  I may not be permitted to return easily, though.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Slipping Away


This is how I've been as of late.

I'm not feeling it at work, home, social, nothing.  Little writing.  Little desire to actually do anything.  Food in the fridge suffices for a meal, unless effort is required to assemble it.  I'd rather eat stale cereal than go to the store to buy more food.  If I crave a food, I squash the thought by reviewing the steps necessary to get the food- too much.  If I somehow muster up enough energy to make or get the food I craved, it doesn't taste good.  I remember this the next time I get a craving.

For example, getting coffee requires deviating from my route, which is just too much.  Extra time is required to avoid lateness, which I don't have because I can barely get out of bed.  Parking the car, finding the app on the phone, waiting in line, waiting for the coffee, hoping the app scans, remembering sugar, juggling keys and coffee to get back into the car, spilling the coffee in the car, getting out of the parking spot without getting hit by someone speeding into the lot, then carrying the heavy cup from the car to my desk.  The coffee tastes bitter, so I add sugar until I miss the boundary between bitter and too sweet.

At work in the afternoon, I'm content to stare at the wall until it's time to leave.  If someone calls, it's usually about something simple that they messed up and I'm expected to fix.  Brushing my hair takes everything out of me.  There's no way I'm spending what little energy I have left to get myself home on some avoidable mess created by a Protected Princess.

At home I'm too tired to do anything, yet I can't sleep.