Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Like a smoothly running machine

Monday was a crazy day in the Emergency Department, as most Mondays are.  The rooms were full, patients were on stretchers in the hall, I was behind on assessments, medicating, and reassessments of my already too many patients.

Then, lightening struck.

No, it really did.

We received 4 simultaneous Code Reds! They were taking refuge in a building during a thunder storm, thinking they were safe, when lightening hit the building.  In all, I believe 15 people were affected, and the 4 most serious came to us. 

Suddenly, the department was crawling with people from the OR, nursing education, nursing management, and elsewhere, all down to help, or at least try.
It was hard to navigate through the hallways, what with the patients on stretchers and the employees tending them.

Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful for the help.  We couldn't have gotten through it alone. It was a true disaster and it was handled well.

I didn't get personally involved with any of the trauma victims.  I had my hands full already.  Actually, for me, except for the increase in chaos, my work became a little easier because now I had people asking what they could do to help.

Ah, life in the ER!

It's crazy many days, and sometimes like today, we need help.
I think it works if we remember 2 things.
First, that the ER is "a part of" the hospital, not "apart from" the hospital and
second, if everyone does their job as calmly as possible. That's when we get the best outcome.

It's like the old time clocks.  You need the right size, type, and number of gears, each in it's correct place and doing it's own task, for everything to run smooth.

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