Monday, October 31, 2016
Rousing the Evil Dragon, Part Two
One day after emails where I clarified that administrative nurse Wilma controls policy, the psych ward had a real emergency. The person died.
Normally they page me frantically, expecting me to swoop in and magically save the day. I don't know where this idea came from.
But for this real emergency, I did not hear about it until I was leaving for the day.
Again the director of the hospital was standing outside when I departed.
"We had a death today," he started.
"Oh," I answered simply and without interest, trying to convince him that this had nothing to do with me.
"We could not find certain medications and supplies," he continued. I said nothing. "So tell me, if you are doing your job of making sure that we have everything we need in an emergency, why was it that we could not find necessary medications and supplies?"
I was panicking on the inside. They botched a code and were blaming me. This is exactly what I feared when this responsibility was forced on me.
"What couldn't you find?" I asked.
The director named some medications and supplies. There isn't necessarily a connection between the "missing" items and the outcome.
"You didn't find any of those items because we don't have them in psych," I answered. Maybe I could be vindicated.
The director hesitated. "Don't you think those are necessary items for an emergency?"
"I'm not sure," I replied. "I don't have any experience in emergency nursing."
"Then why are you in charge of emergencies?" he was loosing his composure.
"Because Wilma in administration said so," I replied.
"So why didn't you make sure that people have what they need to appropriately respond to an emergency?" he continued.
"I don't have that authority," I explained. "Wilma revised the policy. She eliminated a lot of items, so I can't get them."
"Why didn't you tell anybody?" he asked.
"This was no secret and I did tell a lot of people, including you," I said this carefully. "You were at a meeting about this and you said that you cannot override a nursing policy because you are not a nurse and will instead defer to Wilma's judgment."
"You have the old policies?" he asked.
"Yes, I do. They are also on the hospital's intranet, so anyone can access them." I added, "I have all the emails about my objections to this revised policy, as well as Wilma's and your responses that the policy will stand as she rewrote it."
He stared at me.
"And don't bother to delete my email account here at the hospital. You'll see that I forwarded all those emails to my private email account. There are multiple electronic and hard copies," I continued. "I started preparing my defense to this situation as soon as Wilma put it on me a year ago."
"I'll look into this," he said and walked away.
It was risky taking such a hard stance with the director. But I can lose so much if the hospital blames me for this incident. Maybe if they think that I have documents that exonerate me and make Wilma look bad, they won't pursue action against me. I'm sure that the director does not like Wilma. This does not mean that he'll sacrifice her over me, but I have to look like a fighter and not a doormat because this is serious.