Saturday, March 12, 2016

Night shift and emergencies

View from clinic window as sun sets.

Worked my first night shift last night...just me and the two boys who are wheelchair bound and live in the clinic.  I arrived around 6:30 as the sun was setting.  The previous nurse went over a bunch of things with me "just in case" and handed over the keys and clinic phone.

I easily kept busy: entering lab results in the computer, working on vaccine schedules, switching over laundry, and treating a kid or two who rang the bell.  At 7:30 I headed out the door to deliver night meds.  Here I met my first snag: when I did a trial run last week giving night meds, all the kids were in their houses.  This night, being Friday, they were all outside the commodore around a big bonfire.  Have you ever looked through 200 kids for the four who need night meds in firelight?  Didn't think so...thankful for Tias and Tios (caregivers!) who can tell kids apart in the dark!

Can you see the kids?

I then headed back and realized how quiet and empty the clinic was.

Hall to back of clinic where my room is. Scary.

I debated opening or shutting the curtains.  On the one hand if I was being murdered, it would be nice to think someone could see it happening.  On the other hand, it is kind of creepy thinking someone could be watching you while you work, all alone, from outside the window.  I settled on a compromise.

Clinic windows after dark from my desk.

As the sun rose, so did I, getting almost 7 hours sleep which I think rocks.  I had a pressure ulcer wound dressing that I changed around 7am and then I cleaned the clinic before sitting down to chart and await the oncoming shift at 7:50am.

Clinic keys...and yes they all go to something.

At 7:55 the doorbell starts going crazy.  I sleepily make my way to front door to find five visitors (from another country) standing around an older, white-haired gentleman with blood running down his face.  Thankfully they speak English and tell me that the guy has been running a fever, has a headache going down his neck and that he passed out and was unconscious as they were waiting to board their bus to the airport.

Suffice it to say, nothing I wrote above is a good thing.  I brought the guy into the clinic and started cleaning up his face while I asked a bunch of questions.  The oncoming nurse thankfully came in at about that time and we were able to arrange transport to a nearby hospital.  

No one told me when I signed up for this job (kids, primary care clinic) that there would be adults with emergencies!  And on my first night...really hope this doesn't set a precedent!  Yikes!!


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