Sunday, April 24, 2011

Random Work Thoughts Plus A Senior Moment

Ever since we started the electronic medical records system in our hospital two weeks ago, it seems like all you see in the nurse’s station are the nurses with their noses pressed against the computer screen for hours. They have become like moths attracted to the glow of the LCD monitor. Other than initially talking to their patients, the rest of the time they are seated in front of the computer.
As far as mental health workers are concerned, we no longer have access to patient histories, legal status, or a place where we can do narrative documentation in case we observe anything extraordinary in a patient’s behavior. All we could do is report it to the nurse. If we were accused by a patient of abuse for example, there is no way for us to defend ourselves by documenting our own version of the patient’s complaint. When we were using paper, we could still do that.
Speaking of charts, we don’t use an addressograph machine anymore to label whatever papers we still use. We now have preprinted stickers. When we first started, we had to go to the nurse’s station, open each patient’s chart to get the stickers. I wondered how we could do this more efficiently but couldn’t come up with an idea. Somebody else did however and it works beautifully. He took an empty binder, put in dividers with room numbers, and placed the stickers in the dividers. Now why didn’t I think of that?!
I remember the time when the midnight shift workers were left free food by the hospital. Where have those days gone and do some hospitals till do that? The food were leftovers from the day’s meals and rather than let them go to waste, they were left for the night shift. I wonder what they do with the leftover food nowadays?
I had a pre-senior moment at a store a few days ago. I took out some discount coupons from my wallet when I got there. After I found the products I was looking for, I reached for my wallet from my pants but couldn’t find it! My first thought was “Darn, I left my wallet at home!”. Then I realized that the wallet was still in my hand from when I took out the coupons minutes earlier. DUH!
On that note, Happy Easter To All!

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