Friday, January 18, 2008
Back in the Saddle
I went back to the hospital this week, relaxed after my mini-vacation, and it was a good shift. My supervisor had warned me that the ER had been a "zoo" for the last few days, but when I got there, we'd just gone from closed divert (meaning that all hospital beds are full and that we won't accept any ambulances at all, although we still have to treat walk-ins) to critical-care divert (which means that all ICU/CCU beds are full, and that we therefore won't accept any patients who might need to be in one of those units). As a result, things were pretty quiet, to the point where some of the staff were complaining about how slowly their shifts were passing.
I had some good conversations, though, with both patients and staff (including one person, staff from upstairs, who'd gotten sick and become a patient).
A few staff even said, "I haven't seen you for a while!" That always makes me feel good, because it means they've registered my presence in the first place. And the caseworker specifically asked me to talk to an outside social worker about a tricky family situation; I figure that's some sort of vote of confidence, too.
Also, we have new toys to give kids: multi-colored, mega-cute hand-crocheted teddy bears, donated by someone who wanted to be anonymous. Yay for needlecraft! Thank you, anonymous donor. The bears are lovely! I gave one to a terrified and very disoriented adult patient, and it made her laugh and calmed her down.
Over dinner, Gary commented that at my university job, it's very rare for everyone to be together at the same time (although there are some colleagues I see regularly). He said that the ER, among other things, gives me the continuity of seeing more or less the same people at the same time every week, that it helps me feel like part of a cohesive working group. I thought that was very perceptive, although I'm definitely on the fringes of this particular group!