Thursday, January 17, 2013

Help, I'm Being Held Hostage!

I am being held hostage by a three by four charcoal gray rectangular device that flips open. I hear whistling that starts my groaning and dread. "Hello, this is Mollie," I tiredly say.
For one week out of every seven, my life is on hold. I don't want to be caught any where without access to my work laptop. I may need to look up a number of things about the caller. How can I direct them or help them, I need to find answers. I listen as I read their diagnosis, the clinical notes and medications.
During the day, my clinical team leader may call that I need to do an admission with IV's or a feeding tube that evening, sometimes far away. Or I may just get home and someone's catheter fell out, I trudge back to the car, mark my mileage and off I go.
I have done call for twenty years. It is better than when I first started. We used to go for everything, no matter what. Now, it is not so much going out as answering questions like why aren't the results of a blood test back that the nurse drew this morning. Find out which nurse visited the patient, because they don't remember the names of the nurses. Then, hopefully find the nurse and ask where she dropped off the blood. Then call the lab, to hear them say, "The courier didn't drop it off yet."
"It's seven fifty, the nurse dropped it off at one."
" Well, we don't have it."
Five minutes later that whistle of a ring breaks the silence. Oh, they have the results.
Doctor and patient are mad. That is if I can get a doctor to call me. Cell phones with a scratchy connection make hearing orders difficult, so, I ask please repeat that. Doctors don't like that.
This is why writing has been sketchy this week. I didn't have a thought in my head. But today I had three ideas for posts. This one is an apology for not writing.
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