Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Hulk in the Trauma Room
When I come to work, the first thing I do is take inventory. Especially in the trauma room, I need to know where everything is and how to use set it up/use it because the technician should be the #1 resource when something emergent comes in and panic sets everyone yelling for x, y, and z. That being said, when I see on the assignment sheet that I am trauma for 12 hours, and there has been no one in trauma for the shift before mine, I know that there are probably essential items missing from that room.
At this point, I hope and pray to my white cloud of trauma not to send anything my way as I feverishly restock that room. Simple things like normal saline bags, lactated ringers, and blankets must be put in the warming closet can save someone's life by keeping body temperature high as they are losing blood. Unfortunately, these blankets are always disappearing as people come in to steal them for patients. (I do take them for my little old ladies and gentlemen, but at least I replace the blanket I take with one from the rack... ) Gauze pads, needles, gowns, flashlights, chest tubes, lube, cervical collars, invasive temperature modules, staplers, traction splints... hundreds of items and kits that need to be immediately handy just in case.
It took me over an hour and a half to stock that room. We received only one trauma, but when I was checking his vital signs, I found a sneaky female technician snooping around the yet unused area behind me. She informed me, you can clean the other side, I am doing this side. I stared at her in a bemused fashion as she shuffled around said, this side is almost done. She then told the nurses, I stocked that whole side, so you're good in the trauma room! The she-hulk stared down at me. I smiled ironically and said, well... thank you, that's all, I think. She slunk out reluctantly, returning to the chaos of critical care that she was probably seeking to escape for a longer period of time. I saw that she had rearranged and removed some of my items, so I fixed what I could and sighed. At least the nurses had seen me at work and laughed at the she-hulk's brazen attack.