Thursday, July 1, 2010

An Abnormal Night At The Asylum

This is what the staff members look like.

What has this night brought us? A fire alarm at the start of the shift, for one.  A claim for 2 lost shirts second. Third, a complaint of chest pain. And fourth, a lost or misplaced wallet. With bated breath, we awaited what more is to come, for the night is still young. It’s only midnight, and there are 7 ½ hours more to go. If ever there was an abnormal night at the asylum, this was it.
I am talking about the happenings of Tuesday night at work and how I was feeling at the stroke of midnight. There is no more live blogging for me, so I have to rely on memory.
The fire alarm sounded at approximately 7:25 p.m. just as the night shift was relieving the day shift from their duties. We had to evacuate all patients to a prearranged meeting area. After about 15 minutes of the alarm bells’ constant ringing, we were finally given the all clear signal. It turns out that the maintenance people replaced a water heater and when they tested it, there was some sort of combustion that produced smoke which triggered the fire alarm.
The second incident involved a patient claiming the loss of two t-shirts. Some staff members helped him search for the shirts in his room and laundry area, but they were nowhere to be found. The patient was asked to write the shirt descriptions so we could send it to our supervisor. The day shift later told us that the patient had already claimed the loss a couple of weeks back.
Then at about 10:45 p.m., a female patient came out of her room complaining of chest pain. Vital signs and oxygen level was taken. Blood pressure was dropping, pulse was slightly elevated, and oxygen level was within normal limits. Since we are a free standing building with the emergency room at a separate location, we had to call 911. The paramedics arrived in no time and whisked the patient out within 10 minutes. The patient was later cleared in an emergency room and returned to us at about 3:45 a.m.
At 11:30 p.m. a male patient came out of his room after discovering his wallet missing. He said he kept it in his socks earlier. After a brief search, the wallet was found in the drawer of his bedside table. He probably forgot that he put it there in the first place. Disaster averted.
Oops, 1:30 a.m. and a registered nurse had to be sent home due to a decrease in the number of patients. Now we are working with one staff member short while we have two pending admissions. Six hours left to go.
We received our two admissions at 3 and 3:30 a.m. without any further incidents and the rest of the night progressed normally. The staff had survived another night at the asylum.

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