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Unbelievable practice… what happened here? June 24, 2007

Posted by 5 Wester in General Announcements.
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As I take a break from reading all the email I got while I was on vacation, I casually browsed the internet on CNN and a news story caught my attention. Reading the story I could not believe what had just happened. I thought to myself, how could this be?

The article published by CNN was about a 43-year old woman who, a month ago, visited the ER of one inner city hospital in Los Angeles. She apparently collapsed to the floor and was left for dead. She died of a perforated bowel according to an autopsy report. You can read the whole story from CNN by clicking on the link: http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/06/23/troubled.hospital.ap/index.html

As I read the article, I couldn’t help but make a few observations: She was apparently “a regular” as one nurse stated, coming in/out of the hospital complaining of the same stomach pain, being dismissed a few times with pain medication. They probably brushed her off due to her history of drug abuse and may have perceived this a drug seeking behavior; As she dropped to the floor and started vomiting blood nurses walk past her and a janitor even cleaned up around her but nobody did anything, not even the people around her waiting in the ER. How can you not do anything seeing that this lady is clearly in desperate need of help?; Her boyfriend called 911 for help but dispatch didn’t do anything to assist either stating that she was already at the hospital and the “professional” should be there to help. Another person called 911 and nothing was done.; Police were called to wheel her away but she went into cardiac arrest and eventually died. How can you witness these events and think nothing of it? Now authorities are threatening to shut down the hospital. What a logistical nightmare! Shutting down this hospital will only defeat the purpose, the reason it was establish in the first place, i.e., to provide health care for the poor.

The above situation is a truly sad one. It reminds me of that story in the Bible, you know, the parable of The Good Samaritan. Unfortunately for that lady, her good Samaritan never arrived. I’m sure in all this, people will want to find someone to blame. For all it’s worth, this is one example of really poor health care. What were the hospital staff thinking

I’m glad I work for a hospital that have higher standards because we, the nurses, push the bar higher, not for the hospital’s sake, but for our patient’s and their family’s sake. We pride ourselves in doing a better job, not because of the identity of the place we work for, but because it is the right thing to do as nurses. The name of who we work for is not as important as the reason why we do our best wherever we are. If the hospital gets any recognition, it’s because of the individual and not the company. The company is only as good as the individuals who are part of it, and for this reason, I can say we’re in good company!


Back Home Alone June 20, 2007

Posted by 5 Wester in General Announcements.
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I’m back!

After an 8-hour plane trip I find myself back in Texas. The California trip was a blast, although you’d expect to be more refreshed after coming back from the so called vacation. It’s not the usual R&R, mostly scrambling here and there to get things done. At least we’re able to take some time off vacation time (is there such a thing?) to go to Santa Monica Beach and enjoy the sun for a good part of the day. Incidentally they were shooting an episode of “The Monk” starring Tony Shalhoub. Unfortunately we were just leaving and had the cameras packed. Maybe this summer you’ll see the episode. It was a scene where there were cop cars on the boardwalk overlooking the amusement area where you see the roller coaster. So much for that…

As my family enjoy the summer heat in California I’m back home… alone… again! It’s the annual family summer trip routine… I work in Texas, and they enjoy my money in California. I guess that’s how it’s supposed to be! 🙂 Well, for all it’s worth, I’m sure you can relate… someone has to bring home the bacon. Like my good friend says, “the bills don’t take a vacation.”, so it’s back to work for me. Anyway, I hope whatever you do for summer break will be a great one!

“Just hold my hand child, I got you!” – GOD June 13, 2007

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My son and I just walked out of Walmart after doing some grocery shopping with my wife and mother-in-law. Beside him was my youngest daughter who I instructed to hold his hand as we walk toward the car.

While we walked hand in hand, my son turned towards his sister and proudly said, “See Jasmine, I can walk with my eyes closed because I’m holding Daddy’s hand.” Then it struck me…. That’s how our Heavenly Father is with us…. we can walk through life with our “eyes closed” without fear of falling because He is holding our hand.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean mindless wandering. I mean walking in faith despite the fact that most of the time we go through life without knowing what the future holds, without seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, or when things seem to be bleak and hopeless and everything seems to go wrong. We have that assurance that whatever happens, we have a God who reaches down and says, “Son, let me guide you through life… you may not be able to see well right now but I got you, all you have to do is hold my outstretched hand.”

For all it’s worth, I believe that we have a God up there that cares for us, just like we as parents care for our children, and as nurses, I believe that we are in a position to extend that kind of hope to the people we care for. So to all you out there that are called to be in the “healing arts”, let’s not forget the True Source of healing as we help alleviate pain and suffering of our fellowmen.

On Vacation June 11, 2007

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California here we come!

We’re actually here now. Amazingly it took us 24 hours and 30 minutes to get here (it’s usually a 30 hour trip). I guess traveling at 80 mpg most of the way did the trick. Whatever the reason was, I’m sure glad we got here safely. Working in the ICU and seeing all sorts of trauma just makes you think… “this could happen to me.” But with God’s protective power and grace, we make it safely to Mama’s house!

I know it’s been a while since I made an entry, I guess the trip preparation just took most of our available time. Anyway, I’ll post pictures of sunny California soon. It’s a nice change from the warm 90’s of south Texas. When we got here it was a cool 75! At night temperature drops to the 50’s. As tempting as it may be to leave everything behind and just come back to California, it made me think about my options:

1) I could do the irresponsible thing and say, “I’ll get a job here, leave everything in Texas behind and start all over again, no problem.” or
2) I have 2 more years to go and maybe from there I’ll decided to stay in Texas. After all, who can resist or leave behind the $5/hr premium pay we enjoy at the ICU, not to mention the night differential for working the graveyard shift.

I choose the latter. First of all, I’ve already spend time serving MMC and its clientele. Secondly, I’ve gained valuable experience and training that makes me more marketable. Thirdly, thanks to my co-workers and our wonderful director, I finally feel like I’m part of an awesome team, and because of this I feel like my services are of value. Besides, my wife will kill me if I did do the irresponsible thing and leave everything in Texas behind! 🙂

That being said, I’ll get back to enjoying my “vacation”. A little time off is what we need to revitalize the soul. I just wish we could take 2 months off… but then again, I miss the ICU team already. See you guys in a week!