Sunday, March 20, 2011


I've really got it good. When I show up to work, I can adjust the heat up if the nursing station is freezing. I get myself a cup of ice and water when I'm thirsty. My patients always see me wash my hands when I first walk in a room, and again when I leave. If they need Diltiazem, I pull it from the mini fridge after I've used my computer access password on the accudose. If a patient is coding, we need to defibrillate so I don't think twice about zapping them - and I can watch the instant results on the cardiac monitor.

If my patient is incontinent, I grab a pack of heated wipes and a full supply of new clean diapers. If my patient has CHF, I use the desk phone to call respiratory so bipap can be set up. I take the elevator downstairs at 0200 when the cafeteria opens, so I can get myself a fresh salad. I even take full advantage of the free iced tea machine.

When I need a stat medication, pharmacy tubes it up. When my patients are cold, I grab them a heated blanket. When my drunk and violent patient is going batshit crazy, I take comfort in knowing they're on the security cameras when they're escorted out.

When there is a bit of traffic on the highway to work, I get annoyed. Damn! A twelve minute drive has turned into seventeen minutes. The horrors! We staff find things to complain about all the time - computer downtime, the three hour wait out in triage, the fact that it's too busy to finish that cup of starbucks...

In short, I have everything I need to adequately take care of my patients and I still manage to whine about what I see as "hardships."

But really, my hardships are nothing. Senen General Hospital in tsunami-hit Japan is currently flooded - the basement, home to the electrical room and the boilers, is still full of water and the entire first floor medicine supplies have been ruined. Their nurses and staff members are homeless too. Yet they show up to work for 24 hour shifts in a hospital that has no power, no running water. No heat, no light, no wall oxygen. No medicine refrigerators, no heated blankets, and no med pumps.

And still their hospital operates.

I have nothing to complain about in my job, do I?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow...They are amazing! I never even thought about what was happening with there hospitals medical staffs.