Thursday, March 03, 2005

More Work

A lady in her early 40s rang this morning at 8am....said she'd had a terrible night with an asthma attack and could she see the doctor this morning. I booked her in with the locum at 8.30, and she said she was going to drive down now because she felt so dreadful. That was fine. The nurse hadn't arrived yet and neither had any of the doctors, so there was only me and the other receptionist (Annette) when she staggered in the door. We put her in the treatment room to lie down and discussed the possibility of getting the medical laboratory nurse to hook up oxygen to her (neither of us knew how to do it, but if push came to shove, I was thinking, how hard can it be?)

Luckily the nurse turned up 10 minutes later (she was late and surprised at how enthusiastic we were to see her). Still wearing her jacket and carrying her handbag we told her to go straight to the treatment room. She hooked up the oxygen and was calling an ambulance 10 minutes later (I was peeling her jacked off her while she was on the phone to the ambulance call centre).

The first doctor appeared, hooray! She's a locum who has been working with us for 3 weeks now, lovely lady, but unfortunately she was feeling dreadful as well, definitely not 100%. I went into the office to bring her up to date and found her getting frustrated with her PC which had locked up completely, I had to pull the plug out of the wall to turn it off. The nurse turned up 30 seconds later to fill her in on the patient...the locum threw her hands in the air and started talking really high pitched about the fact she'd only been there 2 minutes and already everyone was on her (crying now) and she felt like shit. I'm ignoring this slight breakdown, still working with the PC (ready to smash it) while the nurse is rubbing her back saying "it's ok, there there, just stand here for a moment and breathe for a bit". PC boots up properly, locum calms down, everyone's still breathing.

Locum checks the patient, ambulance arrives....patient spurns the wheelchair and insists on walking out to the ambulance (against the paramedic's advice). Paramedic on one side, nurse on the other, they guide her out into reception, where she promptly collapses in full view of children and parents in the waiting room. The nurse yells out for the doctor, who runs down and starts talking about IVs etc. There are now two doctors and two nurses and a paramedic (who's calling for more help on his radio) tending the patient. Unfortunately this is all happening on the floor in front of reception.

Annette and I are continuing to receive patients, smiling calmly and pretending that nothing is happening on the floor in front of us. I rang the patient's husband, who's at work and completely unaware that his wife had been feeling unwell during the night (how is that possible?)....he thanked me for informing him that she was going to the hospital. The second ambulance turned up, wheeled in a trolley bed and eventually they put her on it and wheeled her out. 90 minutes had passed from the time she walked into the door, until the time she was wheeled out, yet it felt like an eternity.

It seem to set the mood for the morning, but we didn't have anything as dramatic happen in the next few hours and now I'm home I'm going to get on yahoo and listen to Canada's voice, which has always been so good at soothing my ruffled feathers.

Thank god I don't have to work tomorrow :)
| (2)Blogger

<< Home