Sunday, April 5, 2009

She's Escaped!

My week at work last week went pretty well. I was a PCT (patient care tech) on Monday night....it's a good reminder of how hard they work - when you have a good one that does their job & doesn't have the attitude that the nurse should do it all. I think sometimes us nurses forget because we are too busy running around doing our own thing. I didn't give any baths that night....all 16 or so patients were alert & oriented. I don't wake up alert & oriented patients at 4, 5 or 6 am to take a bath. I just don't do it. They need sleep. Sleep is valuable & I think we don't let them sleep uninterrupted ever. I wonder how sleep deprivation affects one's ability to get well. Which is more important to you.....sleep or a bath at 4 am?

The other two nights I worked were fairly ok. I don't remember much, but I do remember not complaining or feeling overwhelmed. It was a good week...no real emergencies. At least not for me.

A certain nurse on med-surg might have a different viewpoint. One of her patients went missing around 1 am. Normally this isn't too alarming as we have patients on med-surg that will sneak around to smoke. This patient though...was an elderly woman...a confused elderly woman. Not a good combination to be missing. Two of our nurses went outside towards the man-made pond we have. I don't think any of us ever stopped to think that the beautiful pond could possibly kill someone one day. And I'm wondering now if they will put a fence around it...as it would be veryyyyyyyyy easy to fall into & probably not quite as easy to get out & it's only steps from the Med-Surg exit. That's not what happened though...so don't panic.

The nurses came back & reported that they found nothing. So we started searching every patient room & every other room that this confused patient could gain access to...although I doubted she was on our floor because it's not easy for someone to sneak around & confused people aren't exactly the best at sneaking around unseen. The two nurses grab flashlights & head back outside. It was then that they found her...hiding in the bushes near the pond. When asked what she was doing...she replied something like "I'm scared. They are trying to kill me." It's always sad to see someone in that mental state. It has to be extremely scary & very realistic for them. The patient made it back to her room safely & all ended well.

However, the staff on my floor were amused. Not because a patient had been missing....but because our hospital administrators & managers were convinced we'd be having a JCAHO (Joint Commission of Healthcare) inspection the next day because we are due & they have been inspecting the other local hospitals for the last 2 months in our area.

We were envisioning police cars and news helicopters lingering overhead as JCAHO inspectors showed up on our property. If you work in healthcare...you know how anal the hospital administration can be about making sure everything looks better than perfect...as if your hospital has absolutely no flaws...ever. It's been drilled into us for months about what to say, how to act, etc. We were laughing at how all the time & money they have spent making sure we appear to be up to par...would all be thrown out the window if we had a patient go missing the morning JCAHO arrived. I hope the humor in this makes sense. We are tired of the JCAHO drill....every week they tell us "JCAHO will be here...be ready".....only to find out that JCAHO is not there & we'll hear the same stuff a week later & a week later & a week later. So we were cracking up envisioning the scenario that our imaginations were compiling.

I changed my schedule for this week....I work Thurs & Fri rather than my usual Sun, Mon & Tues. My niece & nephew are on spring break...so I figured I'd spend a few days with them. I was going to take them places, do things, etc.....but they are content to simply stay home, play video games, watch movies, hang around town......so I said ok, we'll do that. I could use some of that myself.

Have a good week everyone!

5 comments:

Julie said...

I hate it when we have a patient missing and the pond could be a real danger. I also am not fond of JCAHO, people that never do our job telling us how to do it. They could save a million bucks and just ask the nurses what to change and why. Plus they have to find something so they can justify their money so usually something that works well will be changed to something that doesn't work as well. Typical government run mess. Don't get me started, LOL. And your right, that would be when they would show up. Our last disaster drill we have a multi-car pileup with multiple victims, no one could get real excited about play acting.

dx_acutefelicity said...

i'm glad that the patient ended up being okay!

i'll have JCAHO inspections to look forward to in a few months once i graduate and get my license! :-)

Amanda said...

They REALLY should have that pond fenced in. Just like they have swimming pool laws to prevent accidents, that pond seems pretty dangerous. Temple is nutty about JCAHO too. The best was 2 years ago- the inspectors were walking out the front entrance and a car pulled up, the door opened, and out fell a shooting victim. Then the car sped off. Basically, the guy was bleeding at their feet--I think they took a little pity on us and started to see what an inner-city hospital has to deal with!

Helene said...

Wow, your line of work definitely sounds...um, adventurous, to say the least. I have such admiration for nurses...it must be so stressful!!

Thanks for the follow...I'm following you now too!

Carlene Noggle said...

Oh yes, I can see the humor...police cars, etc. out front as the inspectors walk inn! lol lol
love ya,
carlene