Tuesday, January 30, 2007

i am administrator

so i've finally gotten all the passwords, etc, for my computer, and can finally call myself an ADMINISTRATOR! albeit only for my computer, but heck, it makes me feel important. i figured out the mystery of why my barcodes on my packages aren't synchronizing together nicely. the nurses are most appreciative of my findings. but other than that, work seems to be going quite smoothly.

something that i've realized though, and it made me feel quite ignorant. since in the cath lab there are no open-heart surgeries, i just thought that nobody "dies", and i say that figuratively to mean that cath procedures aren't so dangerous. i was wrong. so far at work it's been peaceful, etc, with only a random "code 99" thrown in every so often, so i assume all patients have been ok. but even if they weren't, technically i'm not supposed to ever know, so i don't know why i'm writing all this now even. but i did my research on a few procedures, namely heart caths, arteriograms, cardioversions, and electrophysiology studies. i schedule an average of 8-12 patients a day, and any number of them can be added on over the night. so i suppose i got "desensitized" to the severity of the procedures being done since i schedule so many. but after doing simple internet research, i've decided that i NEVER want to be in a position to have something like that done to me, and i don't think i have the gumption to be a cardiologist. but i have major respect for them...right now the thought of becoming one terrifies me.

i also learned something else today...whenever they implant a defibrillator (ICD) into a patient, in order to make sure it works, they induce strange heart rhythms so that they can watch the ICD shock the heart back to normal. that makes sense to me, but what if the machine is faulty? well, at least the patient is already in the hospital...

and i am still amazed at how many fat people work at a hospital. aren't employees extensions of the workplaces that they work in? today at the cafeteria they had this casserole (brought back by popular demand!) consisting of ground beef, yellow cadaver fat looking cheese, cream cheese, peppers, and who knows whatever else, and then rotisserie chicken (the "healthy" choice). the casserole looked so disgusting to me, quite reminiscent of that fateful mexican meal i had once, and most of the people i saw getting a single or double helping of it were obese. i guess they can live their lives how they want. as for me, i got the chicken and a 2-week free trial to the local YMCA so i can start getting into a regular workout pattern again.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

scary weirdo man

first of all, i want to congratulate EVY for being my number 1 fan. way to go EVY!!!

second of all, there are some really strange guys that hang out at the hospital. monday J was gone so i was answering phones, and this weird guy comes up to the group of doctors going "is there a pay phone around here? i need to call my doctor for a prescription refill". the doctors in all their infinite wisdom says "oh you can use the phone in there with her". i'm going...eeeew, gross, scary! so of course he comes into my area, the doctors leave, and the guy proceeds to set up some "pick up time" for the "green stuff" and the dude on the other line could "pay him up front" or whatever, and that it would have to be either 5:30 or 7:00 because he had to take the bus home. the whole time, i'm thinking, this really doesn't sound like some guy calling his doctor. finally the guy gets off the phone and says what a lovely hospital it was, and leaves.

he then has the nerve to come back! luckily the boss was there and curtly told him where he could find a phone. i mean, this guy was so weird looking, bad teeth and everything. white trash. shudder. so he leaves again.

he comes back!!! and almost goes inside the cath lab area, but luckily he turned around and i never saw him again.

talk about freaks. yuck.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

first code experience

at the hospital where i work at, there are a certain list of "codes" that everyone must learn and recognize.
  • code 99 - patient is having respiratory failure
  • code 55 - bomb threat
  • code adam - missing child
  • dr. red - fire
so last friday, the normal secretary left work early to care for her ailing mother, which is totally understandable, and i am able to do "most" of her job decently, and plus i would get some overtime. the only problem is that when i have to cover her job, as well as do mine, things can get a little chaotic because answering the phones isn't a predictable job. as soon as there's a long silence from the phone, maybe 10 minutes, i am falsely reassured that it probably won't ring for another 10 minutes or so, and scurry over to my cubicle to do my inventory stuff that i can't do at her desk. RING RING! ok, so that was a bad idea, and i run back to her desk to answer the phone. "CV diagnostics, this is frylime." i never have to really do anything, just transfer the calls to the department they want, or announce over the paging system "person, 1488" or "person answering a page, 1488" or whatever they want announced. i would like to say that i've gotten kinda decent on answering the phones, or at least i've gotten better at b.s.'ing stuff, and the normal secretary (let's call her J) says that i'm doing great.

well, friday before lunchtime i was unloading my late morning/early afternoon shipment, when i hear over the hospital intercom system "code 99 on third floor". i thought to myself, aah, that means respiratory failure. and being on the second floor with no patient duties whatsoever, i just minded my own business. then the phone starts ringing. i run over, and a nurse is telling me that one of the cath patients who had just gotten wheeled to his/her room was having a code 99, and asked that i page a doctor. so i page the doctor she requested, no answer. i then paged any doctor, no answer. then comes the enslaught of nurses from the back, all of them screaming at me WHAT'S GOING ON! of course, i only knew what the nurse on the phone said, which was code 99 on third floor, and i like to think i work well under pressure, but still being relatively new and not knowledgeable of all the phone numbers of the hospital, i couldn't provide more info or could i get more. thankfully, one nurse stopped questioning me, dialed some numbers and took control of the situation. i slunk back to my cubicle and away from all the chaos. luckily soon after a tech or receptionist from the EKG lab came and relieved me for my lunch break, where i ate in the cafeteria in the corner away from everyone and stared out the window at the rain. i assume everything went ok during the code 99 because i didn't hear anyone talk about "losing" anyone. and then i thought about it a little more, and there was one patient that was moaning oddly when he/she left the lab (my cubicle is right next to the in/out doors to the lab), and don't really hear people moan when they leave.

so that was my first hospital code experience. lessons learned: get all the information possible before paging people, if necessary, run back to the back myself to round up the troops, and that all doctors are "selectively deaf" when it comes to answering all pages, whether they be for "personal calls" or emergencies. however i feel that if another code should happen on my watch, i will be better prepared to respond in the appropriate manner required of someone in my position.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

attack of the cat!

in random news, a cat has decided to traumatize me by leaping onto my second story balcony repeatedly, even after someone takes it back outside and scares it away. it keeps coming back and meowing loudly. and that's scary and annoying. i hate cats. that's probably due to me being allergic to them, but this cat is certainly unwanted and keeps intruding upon my balcony!

also yesterday me and huitzil saw an alligator. that was neato.

and then to tie this all back to something medically related, i found out that my granddad's cardiologist works at where i work at. how fun! and also the husband of the doctor that helped me get leave also works there. and i always wash my hands thoroughly after throwing the cat out because i don't want to spread germs.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

new job info

ok, so i've been at the job for almost a week, and i feel like i have the rhythm down pretty well.

i arrive at 7:00 am, swipe my card through the time clock reader, and then head down the halls to cardiovascular diagnostics. i then am greeted by the "great wall of boxes" next to my cubicle. i take all the packing slips, put them on my desk (which, btw, is QUITE organized and garners many compliments), and then begin to unload all the boxes and stock the labs with the items that they need. after all that is down, usually before 8:00, i will do medical charges, sit-in as receptionist when the real one goes on her smoke break (which are usually significant breaks), check whatever late-boxes come in, troubleshoot my database program, see if any patients need to be scheduled for the rest of the week, etc. i eat lunch around 12:00 in the break room and catch the noon news. after lunch another shipment usually comes in, and i scan those items into the inventory database because they're really expensive (but soon i'm going to scan everything in, because that what an inventory should be of), and then put them in the holding room so that the nurses/techs can double check on their order lists to make sure everything's correct. i make sure the patient schedule for the next day is done before 2:30-ish. i act as receptionist at 1:00 to whenever, because of the real one's lunch break/smoke break. however, i can sit there at her desk and do some of my busy paper work because her computer has most of the things that i need to do my job.

so i have some down time, a lot of busy work that's really repetitive, and a lot of moving around. however, i like routine, and also there's a lot of variety so i'm not bored. things flow well. and there's always room for improvement with the inventory system, so soon i will start learning SQL to get that running better.

Friday, January 05, 2007

ugh, poked and prodded

on my list of things to do today is to get my TB test read. for the new job, i had to get another TB test, a blood test, and a urine drug test (tell me WHY do they make girls pee in tiny cups? we don't work like that!). and they had to get the blood out of the top of my hand. (i was blessed with tiny arm veins.) that kinda hurt because the nurse sorta scraped some of my skin off in the process. no pain no gain, i'm still alive, scabby, but alive.

i can't wait to be making money again. i desperately desire some extra so i can do some things that i've been wanting to do. i figure that if i can save some too, well, that would spectactular. save some for school next year, or a new instrument (after i master my current attempt), or even a trip abroad...who knows.

i must say that i haven't gained any weight over the holidays, and that makes me quite proud of myself. however, i've plateaued (?) in the last month or two, and i still need to lose a bit more to be considered "healthy" by the bmi standards, and what kind of doctor would i be if i didn't exemplify healthiness? i'm currently at 25.7, and healthy is considered to be < 25. so for me, that means if i lost 5 pounds, i would be at a healthy bmi. and then if i went down to what i weighed in high school (HAHAHAHA!!!), my bmi would be 22.1, right square in the middle of "healthy bmi" range. isn't this numbers stuff fun? i think i'm going to shoot for somewhere in between all of that. i also want to run a mile by the end of this month, so i think my pursuit of THAT will help me lose weight. i don't want to make losing weight my primary goal though, because that makes people go crazy. my primary goal is to eat healthy and run a mile (by the end of january), and just take it from there. losing weight will be a lovely byproduct of my endeavours, so it's like an extra reward. yay! plus preventive medicine is always a wonderful thing. i come from a family background of heart disease (double bypass, anyone?), high cholesterol (which i unfortunately am already exhibiting high ranges for someone my age), colon cancer, and type II diabetes (which is a horrific disease, one that i NEVER want to get). i don't want to be adding to my genetic risks any more than i have to.

and another thing, my partner in crime in taking leave from school (we're going to be the cool kids next year, yay!) informed me that someone has supposedly failed the gross anatomy board exam. and supposedly nobody has failed it in the history of my particular medical school. (they do some weird formula where they assign grades, so basically you have to do two standard deviations below the national mean to fail.) you must pass the board to pass the class. i wonder if they took into consideration mine and my friend's boards, but we took leave before that happened, so our grades probably don't count. i feel bad for that one person who failed, because i know what it's like to be the lowest failing grade and to be singled out for that and have everyone think you're dumb.

alright kiddos...i think i rambled enough for today. i'll post about the new job next week. i'm sure there's going to be tons of cool adventures to talk about!