Isn’t that picture pretty?? It’s my hope to some day go to Washington DC and see the cherry blossoms, to walk this path, breath the fresh air, feel the sun on my face and just EXIST, stress free for a few moments.
Alas, that day is not today.
But it’s a nice place to visit in my imagination, especially right now.
I hate to be yet another person talking about this damn Coronavirus, but I wanted to document the crazy that our world is right now so that at some point, hopefully, in the near future, we can look back at this time period and think, “WHAT THE F*CK….”
First off, I’m so sorry, I’m so TERRIBLY sorry for anyone out there that is not working right now. I feel so bad for the people whose companies have shut down leaving them without a reliable wage. I can’t imagine, and I pray I never have to imagine, what that feels like. I’m sure there are a lot of scared, freaked out people right now and the sooner we can get back to normal, the better for all of our mental health.
I’m so very thankful, SO THANKFUL, that so far, we have not been asked to stay home. It was touch and go for a while, there was talk that the hospital would disperse us and “re-allocate” us to other areas of the hospital and my first thought was, “but I don’t WANT to wipe patients’ butts!” Translation: working the floor terrifies me. Largely because I have zero experience working the floor and I know I would be more of a hindrance than a help because people would have to spend their precious time training me and then going back later and re-doing what I did because it was wrong.
And let’s not forget the wiping peoples’ butts thing …
We have been given the option of working from home. We can check messages, call patients back, work on upcoming schedules, etc. and I’m very, VERY thankful that we have this option. I haven’t had the chance to take advantage of that option yet, but I hope to soon.
The week of Spring Break, when our doctors were out, was the longest, darkest week I’ve had since working this job. It was the uncertainty, and the rumors, and the daily updates and changes that were being made so fast it gave me daily headaches just trying to keep up with it all. I tried not to get sucked into the vortex of doom, but I’m only human and I too have bills to pay and retirement to save up for so I would be lying if there weren’t times my heart beat a little faster out of purely selfish fear.
But then, our doctors came back, ready to work but no surgeries to fill their time. And they’re bored and they want to see patients, but the hospital has cracked down on the number of people being allowed in so running clinics as usual was out of the question.
My doctor, who is freaking awesome and whom I just adore, is always open to new ideas. And our mid-level, who is like a spunky little sister, suggested Telemedicine. GENIUS! So, we started looking into our options. And we trialed our first Telemedicine clinic on Wednesday and I think it went pretty good for our first time trying something completely different and out of our comfort zone.
Our team has been the guinea pigs of the clinic – if what we do succeeds, then the other doctors will follow suit. And a few of them have already tried it.
My lovely daughter-from-another-mother nurse and I have been SUPER busy vetting patients and setting them up to try this Telemedicine. The technology is there, the problem is people don’t know how to use/activate their webcams and/or microphones, so I spent a large portion of my day trying to talk them into finding the right settings and then basically using it.
However, I’m proud to say that we “saw” nine patients via Telemedicine on Wednesday and it went relatively well. Sure, there were glitches and things we needed to improve, but I’m confident it will only get better the more we use it.
And patients seem to LOVE it.
And my team seems to really like it.
And it gives me an excellent excuse to go to work every day and keep my job.
So, for the foreseeable future, until this craziness passes, we have found our new normal. And I predict just when we get used to our new normal, get everything down to a science, this craziness will pass and we’ll go back to our old normal.
I’m okay with that. I’m nothing if not flexible.
In addition to the hospital not allowing unnecessary visitors in, they are now taking our temperatures every morning to ensure we are not exhibiting flu-like symptoms. I get it, they have to protect the workers and patients, but I confess, I breathe easier once I have “passed” the test and get the colored sticker of the day on my badge. (We have colored stickers put on our badges every day to mark who has passed the screening).
The hospital has also erected a huge triage tent just outside the ER entrance so that can ensure they are not allowing someone with symptoms into the ER waiting room to potentially infect all who are sitting in the waiting room.
The hospital is also constructing a floor within our hospital to serve as a “MASH” unit, so to speak, to house potential Coronavirus patients. Which, on the surface, sounds admirable, but then my mid-level pointed out that it will actually bring the hot zone to us because of all of the nurses and personnel that will have close contact with the infected patients and then go to the cafeteria to mingle with the rest of us poor unsuspecting saps.
We honestly can’t win for losing here.
I do have hope, though. Watching President Trump’s latest press conference where he talks about ending the shut down soon because we HAVE to get back to work, is encouraging. The government is just trying to figure out how to go about that. I don’t envy them that job.
And side note: Did you know that CNN and other news outlets are either cutting away from the press conference in order to avoid the hopeful message that the president puts out there or they have stopped airing the conferences all together? Why would they do that? It’s almost as if they WANT to prolong this hell … (answer: they do)
In other news, Brandon’s 25th birthday was yesterday. He turned 25 on the 25th and we didn’t even get to go to his favorite restaurant to celebrate, though we did order take out from his favorite restaurant. We had a very lively discussion about the current state of affairs and I think we gave him a lot think about. To our chagrin, he thinks a lot like the majority of young people nowadays and we do our best to give him a dose of reality while trying not to sound too adult-ish.
Though it was a small, low-key birthday, I bet he doesn’t forget his 25th birthday.
Hang in there, peeps, this too shall pass.