Posts tagged ‘health care’

March 14, 2016

stranger in a strange land

by ada

People who talk to me at work:

  • the cleaning lady from Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • the cleaning lady from Macedonia
  • the kitchen helper from Tibet
  • the nursing assistant from Congo
  • the nursing assistant from Turkey (although she’s no longer there)
  • the nurse anaesthetist from the Czech Republic (she’s on a sick leave since months)
  • the OR nurse from the Czech Republic
  • the OR nurse from Romania
  • the Polish doctor

People who don’t talk to me at work:

  • the remaining 9 Austrian cleaning ladies
  • the remaining 53 Austrian nurses
  • the remaining 25 Austrian doctors

I might open a new subcategory betitled “conversations that never happened”.

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December 6, 2014

Budapest – Semmelweis Orvostörténeti Múzeum (Semmelweis Museum of Medical History), part 2

by ada

craniotomy skull

old ampules

Egésséget 2

ammonia pura

Fabini Tofor

old glasses at Semmelweis Museum Budapest 5

old laboratory glass jar at Semmelweis Museum Budapest

house pharmacy

washing bin

ground Semmelweis Museum

old medical instruments at Semmelweis Museum Budapest 10

o

old med instruments 7

old medical instruments at Semmelweis Museum Budapest 1

old med instruments 9

old injection needle

old watch 3

old reanimation tools

old printing at Semmelweis Museum Budapest 2

contemporary art piece at Semmelweis Museum Budapest

December 6, 2014

Budapest – Semmelweis Orvostörténeti Múzeum (Semmelweis Museum of Medical History), part 1

by ada

Semmelweis' grave 5

Avicenna 8

Hippocrates 1

old coin at Semmelweis Museum Budapest

Semmelweis' room 8

dining room

painting at Semmelweis Múzeum Budapest 1

old pharmacy 3

old pharmacy 1

sculpture at Semmelweis Museum Budapest 2

old map at Semmelweis Múzeum Budapest

anatomy doll 5

acupuncture doll at Semmelweis Museum Budapest

Chinese pill box at Semmelweis Museum Budapest 3

Chinese drawing

small hand

Semmelweis Museum Budapest

Semmelweis Múzeum 8

wax doll at Semmelweis Museum Budapest 4

anatomy wax doll Semmelweis Museum Budapest 11

July 21, 2014

Budapest – Kresz Géza Mentőmúzeum (Museum of the Hungarian Emergency Medical Services/Paramedics)

by ada

wounded soldier Metőmúzeum 5

old paramedics clothes

mentőmúzeum paramedics bag

Rácz Sámuel 1

old photo 1

paramedic museum modell cars

old paramedic suitcases

Mentőmúzeum 4

Mentőmúzeum 12

old infusion bottles

old paramedics instruments 1

Mentőmúzeum old medicine

needles 1

Iron lung Mentőmúzeum

old defibrillator

old paramedic reanimation kit

old Socialist paramedics hat

old Socialist paramedics badge

Mentőmúzeum phones

paramedics board Mentőmúzeum

Ambu Mentőmúzeum

Mentőmúzeum 19

Mentőmúzeum

Mentőmúzeum 7

July 10, 2013

conversations with my coworkers – part 7

by ada

(Because sometimes the one without brains is me).

We are sitting in the nurses’ room, suffering from the usual workday afternoon energy level crash after 8 hours of constant stress and running-around and still 5 hours to go.

coworker: Wow. We have ecological dishwasher.

me: What is a co-logical dishwasher?

coworker: Ecological.

me: Oncological?! Extra for the needs of cancer patients?

coworker: ECOLOGICAL!

me: Oh. Do we have some more coffee?

March 4, 2013

conversations with my coworkers – part 5

by ada

Neighbouring ward at 3.30 am. I’m helping out the night shift nurse, a tough German guy with a slight air of brutality around him.

me (trying to do some small talk): So, and how is it in Germany? Who does the washing, dayshift or nightshift?

coworker: You are not allowed to wash the patients during the night! It’s against the laws!

me: What laws?

coworker: The sleeping laws! (Opens the door of a room with a crash and turns the lights on. All three patients in the room wake up startled.)

me: (confused): Well, in Hungary we do wash them during the night, because during the day you really lack the time for it.

coworker (slams the door. All the doors on the ward resonate. The patients look like they had just got shocked): But you are in the EU! Report them!

me (amused): EU? Hahaha! It’s Hungary, man, it’s not “the EU”! Whom should I report anyway? The whole Hungarian Health Care System? To whom?

coworker (gets really excited): Patients have the right to sleep! (Hearing this, the patients try to hide under their blankets.)

me (trying to get him calm down while hearing how other patients begin to wake up in the neighbouring rooms): Okay, okay, they do, they do.

coworker (start to shout very loud while tearing brutally the blanket off one of the patients): THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO SLEEP! THEY CAN REPORT YOU IF YOU WAKE THEM UP!

me (cautiously): Well, you are waking them up right now.

coworker (yells at the totally terrified patient who tries to get his blanket back): DON’T MOVE! (turns to me) I NEVER WAKE ANYBODY UP!

me: What if we just do the job quickly and then I just go back to my own ward?

January 22, 2013

conversations with my coworkers – part 4

by ada

Three weeks ago:

coworker1 (calling me exactly 20 minutes before the beginning of her day shift): I’m sorry but I can’t work today, I feel so sick, I’m staying at home today.

me: Oh, you poor one! It’s okay, don’t worry, we will find somebody instead of you, just take care of yourself and get better!

Two weeks ago:

coworker2 (addresses me in the middle of his day shift): I’m going home now, I feel sick, I can’t work anymore today.

me: Oh, you poor one! It’s okay, don’t worry, we will find somebody instead of you, just take care of yourself and get better!

Yesterday:

me (calling the nurse on duty on the previous day of my day shift, giving exactly thirteen hours for her to find somebody to work instead of me): I’m sorry I’m sick so I can’t come tomorrow.

coworker3: Oh no! How will I find somebody else? Why do you call me so late? Why didn’t you told me that already yesterday?

me: Well, yesterday I still felt fine.

coworker3: Can’t you really come tomorrow?

me: I’m sorry but I’m throwing up all the time, I don’t think I’ll manage to work thirteen hours in this condition…

coworker3: How long will you be sick?

me: I really don’t know, sorry…

coworker3: But you sure come on Wednesday?

me: I don’t know…

coworker3: On Thursday? On Friday?

me: I will try to do my best not to throw up on Friday…

coworker3 (in a plaintive manner): What shall I do now? How shall I find someone instead of you? How long will you be sick? Why didn’t you call me earlier?

me (already pretty nervous and wondering about this interesting phenomenon of the complete lack of empathy in health care professionals): I’m soooo sorry for not getting sick one day earlier!

January 8, 2013

conversations with my coworkers – part 3

by ada

Scene: meeting for administrative education purposes (I don’t know how is it at your workplace but I spend more time with meetings, evaluations, charting, and counting narcotics than with patients).

coach (explaining how to interpret the small numbers written on the duty schedule): If you are assigned to work 165 hours but you actually work 167 hours, how many excess hours do you have?

coworker1: three!

coworker2: four!

coworker3: two and a half!

coworker4: zero!

coach: two. And if you are assigned to work 167 hours but you actually work only 165 hours, how many excess hours do you have?

coworker1+2+3: two!

coworker4: zero!

couch (with a hopeless sigh): negative two.

(I, the firstborn daughter of a mathematician father, the girl who spent her early childhood with reading books about the wonders of numbers, written by Soviet scientists for educational purposes; spent the two hours of the meeting wordless, dreaming about freedom and a nicer future.)

December 29, 2012

365/345

by ada

I haven’t done night shifts in the last eight years so I totally forgot how nice the feeling is when you are alone in the middle of the night, everybody is well and asleep, peace guides the planet and love steers the stars.

P.S.: I didn’t even finish writing down this sentence when the ambulance team of the Red Cross unexpectedly showed up at the door, exactly at 1.30 am. That’s also a feeling I totally forgot.

345

December 29, 2012

365/344

by ada

I started the day at my father’s hospital, asking doctors rhetorical questions like where do you think we are, in the film The Cuckoo’s Nest?*; continued running amok to catch my train, travelled six hours back to Salzburg and arrived with an only 30 minutes delay to my twelve-hours-long night-shift. This is my personally developed guide on how to live on 24 hours a day.

* no, it’s not a psychiatry ward for ordinary criminals but it could easily be mistaken for it if it comes to the attitude of the personal. Their main policy is: your patient is your enemy. My relationship with them is now the following: I hate them and they hate me. I spent the last 10 days with throwing tantrums daily and accusing nurses and doctors with dilettantism and murder. None of them will ever know that I’m a genuinely nice person who was brought up to be polite and forthcoming even with her own killers.

344

December 21, 2012

365/337

by ada

During the past three weeks I paused this project due to the sudden, very serious illness of my father. Neither did I have time for photography nor did I feel appropriate taking photos of my workday dinner plates while having so much other things to worry about. Now things seem to stabilize a bit and I’m sort of back in my regular life and to this project.

I planned to write about our infamous health care system and about how fragile and vulnerable you get at the moment you are put at the mercy of our health care professionals but really, it just has no sense at all. While it’s definitely not okay and makes me a very bad conscience, at this moment all I feel about Hungary is shame. I look at our politics, the way people interact each other, their mentality and its impact on everyday life and I feel shame for being Hungarian. And I look at the nurses in our hospitals, the lack of their professional knowledge, the way they communicate with patients and take care of them (or, actually the way they don’t take care of them), and I feel shame for being a nurse, I feel shame for ever having been part of this ridiculous game called Hungarian Health Care System.

I surely am pretty irritated right now and there surely are exceptions, of course. It’s just like I’d have lost the last of my illusions and the hope that things can ever get better in this country of corruption and desperation.

P1060057

November 27, 2012

365/332

by ada

Emptying my pocket in the evening. Today I managed not to take home with me the a) master key b) thermometer c) duty phone d) schedule 1 narcotics; so I’m free to go to sleep in peace, and that’s exactly what I will do in five minutes.

November 12, 2012

365/316

by ada

First I discovered that my patient cut the tubing of his Foley-catheter through and the balloon was still inside.

Then, when I was leisurely changing a decubitus dressing just 30 minutes before the end of my shift, my boss asked me to fill out a preoperative questionnaire for another patient. This simple act required an hour of hysterical flipping-through about 200 pages of documentation searching for hidden information like cerebral episodes that happened 32 years ago and old laboratory values nobody will ever need because they do a new test anyway.

On my way home I met an excited group of people running up and down the corridors, searching for signs of how God literally heals people in the 21st Century.

Except of these special moments, the day was quite peaceful, with the usual blood sugar crises, blood pressure crises, violent combats between distinguished old ladies and the continually presence of various sorts of body fluids in overflowing quantity, literally everywhere.

I managed to take the usual dinner photo before passing out.

November 8, 2012

365/313

by ada

Is it only me who thinks that right after finally finishing my thirteen-hours long shift, an obligatory 90-minutes workshop about the health care management projects of the year 2015* is totally cruel and unfair?

Sorry for the terrible photo, but well, you know how it is. I just got brainwashed by people in black suits lecturing on management project structures in German language**; all this after changing colostomy bags full of sh*t thirteen hours long. I don’t even know anymore what button to push to produce a photo.

* 2015! not this year or next year, no, 2015! I don’t know where will I be in the year 2015 but definitely not here

** I tell you, everything sounds twice so complicated if told in German. They are just crazy for words that have at least eleven syllables***

*** I have a pretty good German, but there comes a point when nothing makes sense anymore

November 7, 2012

conversations with my coworkers – part 2

by ada

coworker1: Why don’t you eat bread?

me: Because gluten erases intestinal villi made of epithelial cells and makes the gut wall permeable, causes a leaky gut syndrome and increases inflammation levels. All that leads to diseases based on the failure of the immune system and on an autoimmune response.

coworker1 (looks perplexed)

coworker2: Gluten is healthy.

me: No, it isn’t. As it was pointed out in several studies…

coworker2 (interrupting my words): Gluten is healthy. I saw a dietitian speaking about it on TV yesterday.

me: Oh well. You know how it is with dietitians…

coworker2: It is true, because it was on TV.

me (looking perplexed and having dark thoughts about the present state of education for health care professionals and the future of the human race): Oh well. Forget it. I don’t eat bread because I want to lose weight.

November 6, 2012

365/311

by ada

At this moment we have four actually circulating schedule charts. All the four are different. I altered my calendar already five times to keep up with the changes (and we are only 6 days into the month. What is yet to come, I don’t even want to imagine). That’s why I got up at 6 am and went to work on a day when I was scheduled free. All I want now is to get some sleep (and find a new workplace).

October 30, 2012

365/304

by ada

Cute little pill I had to administer today. 

October 27, 2012

365/301

by ada

Today with a coworker of mine we visited the annual nursing fair.

October 25, 2012

365/299

by ada

After three days of thirteen-hours shifts in a row, I woke up this morning with the comforting thought, that I’m scheduled on drug shift today, which means “only” eight hours of working and involves no messing up with any kind of human excretions.

The reality? Well, I worked only 30 minutes longer than I had to, but after a short physiotherapy session for my back and a ravenous photography run in Mirabellgarten I was back again, sitting in team meetings, doing the evaluations of out-of-date nursing projects and checking the drug list until 22.30 pm.

How do other people manage to have a normal life? What is normal life anyway?

October 24, 2012

365/298

by ada

The sad truth is, if you are working as a nurse, low-carbing is practically impossible.

October 23, 2012

365/297

by ada

Today we had CPR-refreshing training, which is obligatory every two years. I badly needed it, I guess. Last time I resuscitated someone we still used 4:1 ratio and tracheal tubes with balloon after checking carotid pulse. How time flies.

September 20, 2012

365/264

by ada

All I could think of today was, if my back pain continues to influence my life the way it did during the past eleven days, I have to look for another, physically less exhausting job* very urgently.

*Don’t let the photo fool you. Sorting out drugs for hours is not the most exhausting part of nursing. There are many things I just don’t tell you about, haha.

September 16, 2012

365/258

by ada

Maybe it’s not that adequate, posting a photo of my work for today, because although I had another thirteen-hours long workday, I spent it mostly outside of the building with activities like visiting my GP, getting electrotherapy and having lunch break.

September 15, 2012

365/254

by ada

If you work as a nurse you learn to separate your life and that of your patients. I have seen so many agonies and deaths already, that I can’t even remember all of them.

August 6, 2012

365/219

by ada

On days like today, when

  • I work thirteen hours without even having a lunch break
  • I wait two and a half hours for a doctor’s visit
  • after a whole day of glorious sunshine it starts raining exactly fifteen minutes before the end of my shift, so I have to bike home in ice-cold rain (again)
  • the bottom of the garbage bag tears itself away and I have to collect the organic, stinky remains of my last week meals and other nice things with my bare hands while rain pouring down on my face

well, on days like today the only thing that makes me feel like I’m still a human being, is food.

August 2, 2012

365/215

by ada

What I’m doing since a week is sending patients of mine to the ER because of acute life threatening conditions, and then receiving  them back after a few hours, because the ER have no free beds anymore. Already this game alone is exhausting enough, but the real problem is its main consequence, that I have a station full of emergency cases without having the necessary conditions to deal with the situation. Are really no fun, these days. No wonder that if the kitchen team sends cakes, I eat them. They immediately relieve stress (just to cause a feeling of guilt even so immediately and stomach ache a few hours later, haha).

July 28, 2012

365/210

by ada

I worked till 19.30 today. Officially. It’s 22.30 now. I came home ten minutes ago. Shall I say more or you’ve already got the secondary meaning of my simple words?

So for today is a photo of the present state of my living room and my present evening (night) meal. Because I’m nice and because I know where to set  limits, I show you neither the present state of my kitchen nor the present state of my bathroom.

July 13, 2012

365/195

by ada

After a very frustrating work day today I went down to the banks of the Salzach to free my brain from all things bad. I worked five years at the haematology ward of a university clinic in Hungary, so I know everything about being physically, psychically and mentally tired; I experienced how doing night shifts upsets your hormonal status, I know how burn-out feels and I observed years long how young people in my own age are dying a very painful and ugly death, so stress and frustration are old friends of mine. This is a new kind of uneasiness, though. I can deal with life and death quite nicely but I’m constantly failing at dealing with those small problems and traits that make human relationships so difficult.

June 23, 2012

365/175+bonus

by ada

There are several ways to make thirteen hours long shifts more bearable. One of them is eating homemade apfelstrudel with heavy cream together with colleagues. Another one is eating heart-shaped chocolate bonbons while checking the drug list.

June 19, 2012

365/171

by ada

Well, the Girl Who Had No Phone period of my life is over, I guess. Me, on duty.

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