Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Rude Awakening

I was having such a nice nap.

I had fixed myself some lunch and settled down in my soft recliner to eat it and watch an NCIS rerun.  When I opened my eyes, I realized that I was watching a different episode and that I must have fallen asleep.

I glanced over at the clock and saw that it was 12:40.  My shift at Sutter begins at 12:30!!! I called the information desk to apologize and say I would be right there, but there was no answer.

I was in the car and on the road within five minutes.  It takes about 10 minutes, with stop lights, to get to Sutter, so by the time I got to the hospital it was nearly 1.  I realized I had left my cell phone at home, which isn't a problem since there is a phone at the desk, bit the phone has information that I check when I'm at Sutter -- like the name of a former employee, whom I hired, who still works there and who is going to stop and see me one day and I can NEVER remember her name!

There was nobody at the Information Desk when I got there.  Now, it's not like there was a line of people wanting "information" but I still felt bad for being so late.  I decided not to sign in until the end of my shift so I could get to the business of providing "information" right away.

The first thing I noticed was that the computer screen was locked.  They must have done some upgrade on the system in the last month or so because this is the second time it has happened to me and in checking the "notes" that we leave in a big binder when there are questions or comments, I see that in the last week or so, four other people complained about locked screens. I've been there over a year now and this is a brand new thing.

Each person has an individual log-in, but you have to be at a certain screen to log in.  The locked screen asks for a password to GET to the log-in screen, but it's not YOUR password, it's Sutter's.  the only way the screen can be unlocked is to crawl under the desk and reboot the computer, and our instructions for what to do when you have a locked screen is to ask the security guard to unlock it, since you need a flashlight and we don't have one at the desk (and most women working the desk, most of whom are old farts like me, would not have a clue what they were doing and would be terrified to try.)

While the security guard crawled around under my desk, I went to the cafeteria and got some ice water.  Once the system reboots, it takes forever for the right screen to come up.  While waiting, I sat down.  In a hole.  The chair is at its lowest setting and you can apparently no longer adjust the height.  I left a note in the binder about both the screen (asking if we couldn't just have the password to get into the system, since everyone seems to be having the same problem) and the chair and signed it "grumpy Bev."

When I was finally up and running, I saw a note reminding people to get their flu shots.  My plan had been to go to Kaiser the next day to get mine, but with a free shot right in-house, I decided to get it at the hospital.  I've never been one of those people who are afraid of getting shots, but I'll tell ya, those flu shot needles are so thin that it's amazing they can pierce flesh.  You can't even tell when you have been injected.

They gave me a note to send to Kaiser to prove that I have had my shot.

The day progressed relatively uneventfully.  No babies born today.  A woman named Haunani called to let me know she was expecting a woman to come in for a job interview and to give the woman her phone number.  Only the number she gave was wrong.  But I managed to find her anyway.  However, I wanted to ask her if she had been named after the magnificent Hawaiian singer, Haunani Kahalewai, who was a regular on the Hawaii Calls radio show for years and whose voice was as smooth as butter.  I was taken with her when my mother and I went to a live recording of the show when we were in Hawaii back in 1960 and I have a couple of her records.

I didn't get the opportunity to talk with Sutter's Haunani, but since it was such a quiet day, I went on the internet to see what I could find about Haunani Kahalewai.  I discovered that her records on Amazon sell for $40-$150 and there are only a couple of videos on YouTube, none of which are favorites of mine.

A florist arrived with an arrangement of flowers, which I took upstairs.  I could not take them to the patient's room because he's in the ICU and actually, I don't think they can have flowers in the ICU, but I left them at the nurses' station.

Then a guy came in to pick up a body. That was a first for me!  I didn't know what to tell him.  He had the room number where the deceased was and I called the operator to find out what he was supposed to do.  Specifically he wanted to know where he was to go out of the hospital once he had the body.  The operator didn't know either but suggested he go upstairs and ask the nurses, which I told him to do.

For future reference, he parks his truck by the ambulances and takes the back way out of the hospital so as few people as possible see him transporting the deceased.  The newly departed gentleman was 83, I discovered when I looked up the occupant of that room number.

Shortly after that, an older gentleman in a wheelchair was being taken out to a van that would take him home, and I thought of the contrast of how these two old men were leaving the hospital! This one was going out with an arrangement of flowers and what looked like a daughter pushing his wheelchair.

A young girl came in looking for a doctor.  People do this all the time.  They have not seen a doctor, do not have a doctor but want an exam and think they can get it at the hospital.  Not only did she not have a doctor, she wasn't even sure she had insurance.  It amazes me.  Sometimes the ones for whom English is not their first language make more sense, but this was not the case this time.  Sutter has an Internal Medicine department, but being the former office manager of Women's Health, I sent her there and told her they could check on her insurance there and, if possible, make her an appointment.

I had a lot of time to read.  I'm reading a book written by a friend.  He's written several books and I'm ashamed to say I have not read any of them.  But when I went to Atria the other day, I left my kindle at home, so I checked the Kindle app on my phone and found that one of his books was there so I started reading it while my mother napped, pleased to find it very good.  But I'm halfway into it now and it's driving me crazy.  He has so many characters (like a Dostoyevsky novel, but at least they don't change names!) and no clear place where this is all going, other than a character study.  I now don't want to finish it, but I've read so far into it that I feel it a duty to finish!

Toward the end of my shift, three women came in.  I didn't see that two of them had dogs on leashes, but only saw the one with the puppy in her arms.  He was only 3 months old and making his first therapy visit. She said they like to start them young.  He was a spaniel-looking puppy.  The other two dogs were a huge Burmese Mountain Dog and a little Pomeranian.  I laughed when I thought of Polly as a therapy dog.  She'd give the most placid of patients a heart attack!

I stayed a little after my shift ended, since I'd come in so late, but around 4 p.m., unlike Logos which often has its busiest time at 4, things start getting very dead at the Hospital around 4, so I finally packed up and left.

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