Thursday, August 20, 2015
I did survive!
Well, as you can tell just by reading the title, the evening went off with a bit of a whimper.
As I have mentioned previously, the ward has a capacity for 10 acute beds.
Yesterday when I arrived to work, we had 5 beds occupied by older aged people with various ailments.
There are always two staff rostered to work each shift and if anyone presents to the emergency area, the person in charge has to assess, triage and treat those who rock up except on weekends when there is a designated nurse to work in the A&E unit as well as the other two staff in the ward.
Not long after I had logged on ( yes, we do that here too, only by phone!) and we had had handover, one chap arrived. Seems he had stubbed a toe some weeks before, elsewhere, and now because it was sore and a little swollen he decided to come to see what miracles Bright Hospital could perform.
After looking at said toe and commiserating with his pain, I informed him there was no doctor on site and he would do well to take himself off to the one and only clinic in Bright to see a doctor as there was naught I could do. All said in my politest voice I might add, so off he went.
Without giving names away, and not long after, a person of HIGH esteem was sent in by a local doctor because of nasty pasty gastro- intestinal symptoms and a good dose of an URTI as well.
Fortunately for me, this person was well versed in this hospital's practises and was able to do her own paperwork etc., so the pressure was off a little as yet another walked in feeling just as crappy as she.
By now I am thinking is there something going on in the community that is going to cause 50% of the population to present for me tonight, but it fortunately slows down after this second presentation, so I can get on with doctors recommended treatments for both.... IV fluids, antiememtics, antibiotics, paracetamol etc. and all the paperwork that goes with each presentation.
One doctor decides to admit, the other doctor decides to let the second presented go home after successful treatment and so, I can return back to the ward and focus on the in patients again.
The person I am working with is amazing. By the time I felt it safe to return to the ward, she has done all the observations, given out medications and assisted people with eating dinner. All I can do is thank her profusely which seems paltry given all she has had to do in my absence.
Eventually the shift draws to a close. My hands are dry and sore because of the constant washing and drying. I am thirsty because of not drinking enough water through the course of the shift but my brilliant side kick senses this and brings me a hot cup of milo before the night staff arrive at 10:45 pm.
We sit down to handover, myself and two nurses somewhat younger than myself, but well experienced all the same and they ask me how my shift went. As this was the first time I had met them both, I hesitated in my reply, then threw caution to the wind and replied, " Well, at least no-one died on our shift. All patients are alive and well". Fortunately there was laughter with this reply and handover was completed without much ado.
One admission which made the bed status six patients, and three A&E presentations, not bad for my first in charge shift in my new life.