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Oh my Dolly! July 24, 2008

Posted by 5 Wester in General Announcements.
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We just got hit by Dolly, a category 1 hurricane yesterday. Her center was located in Raymonville, about 50 miles north east of McAllen, TX, and although there were no major damages (at least around our neighborhood), thankfully there were no deaths reported as far as I can tell.

This was the first storm which hit land that we experienced ever since moving here to McAllen 3 years ago. I guess what makes this experience a bit “special” if you will, is that we were just blessed with a new home just recently… our first storm experience in our new home. Thankfully I was off the day before the storm hit so I was able to be with my family throughout the whole ordeal.

It wasn’t that bad, although the winds were particularly strong, with gusts up to 70 mph. You could hear the wind and rain beating on the house all night. Forrest Gump describes it best when he said it was raining “sideways”.  It reminded my of storms I experienced as a child back in the Philippines. We did have occasional black outs, however, nothing major. We had power practically the whole time… even Internet connection to our delight!

The storm has past, however, the clean up has just begun. We only suffered a broken fence which was actually on our neighbor’s side, so in essence, everything within our property was left intact.

This experience has opened my eyes to something that I’m sure you’ve experience yourself. Just like storms caused by the weather, there are storms that rage within us as we go through this journey we call life. Some storms are mild, like the stress caused by an upcoming test or exam. Others may be stronger, like the financial burden of an unexpected circumstance. Yet, others may be devastating, like the grief of divorce or a loss of a loved one. Regardless of the storm, it’s there. Sometimes we can avoid it, other time we can’t. Nevertheless, I made a few a few observations I hope you’ll find helpful as you go through a life storm. Here’s what hit me… 🙂

  1. Storms come and go. It may sound cliche, however, no matter how bad it may seem, it will surely pass. Hurricane Dolly made landfall at 1200 noon on Wednesday, July 23. By 0600 the following day it was practially gone. It did leave some areas damaged and others without power, but just like everything else, it didn’t last forever. Some storms move slower than others, nevertheless it moves, and eventually it’ll be over. Just hang in there… the sun will shine soon!
  2. Preparation is key. Don’t get caught unaware. I didn’t find out about the storm until 1 day before it was supposed to make landfall. By the time I arrived at the local Walmart to stock up on supplies, there wasn’t anything left… bottled water gone, canned goods gone. Fortunately we did have enough to spare from an earlier trip to the grocery store a couple of days before. We were also fortunate that this storm did not leave any lasting effects. Just like the storms of life, we need to be prepared. We need to build up our reserves so we can ride out the storm. Sometimes we go through tough times  in life that help build character so when the big storm comes, we are prepared. There is a passage in the Bible that states that we are not tempted beyond what we can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). I’d like to apply this to the storms of life as well.
  3. Don’t go through a storm without Jesus in your boat. I’m not religious, only practical. I’m just a sinner in need of a Savior. Living life without Jesus is like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute… you won’t survive. As a young boy my mother would take me to Sabbath school every Saturday. We’d learn songs and listen to Bible stories. One particular song that I remember goes something like this… “With Christ in my vessel I can smile at the storm… until He takes me home.” Check out the rest of the song by clicking on this link. One particular Bible story that comes to mind was when Jesus and His disciples were crossing the sea in a storm. His disciples woke him up because they feared for their life. He commanded the sea to be still and the storm stopped. You can read the rest of this awesome story in the Bible (Mark 4: 36-41). Even if the storms of life hit you know, you’ll be safe having Jesus in your boat. He will never leave you, nor forsake you, and that my friend is the truth!

I’m grateful that the storm had passed without any major damage. I’m sure there will be many more storms to come. Just like Dolly, the storms of life will come too. Regarless of the storms, we know we can trust in Jesus to carry us through. 🙂

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Oh Bee-have! July 20, 2008

Posted by 5 Wester in General Announcements.
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I wouldn’t say “I’ve seen them all” yet, however, my patient tonight was an interesting case. Here was a man in his 70’s who came in because of a bee sting.

According to the report, he was drinking his cup of coffee one morning several days ago when unbeknownst to him, a bee decided that a coffee bath would liven up the day. Unfortunately for  my patient, he didn’t realize that the bee was swimming in his cup of java when he took a sip, and you guessed it, swallowed the poor thing.

I wonder how far the bee went before it stung my patient. Needless to say, he ended up in the ED due to laryngospasms caused by the sting. An emergency tracheostomy was done and eventually he was put on a vent. Today they took the trach tube off and he is pending dismissal. Thankfully he survived the ordeal… I don’t think the bee was that fortunate. 😐

Can I get a raise? July 16, 2008

Posted by 5 Wester in General Announcements.
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Ah yes, that most awaited time of the year again… annual performance evaluations. I just got mine done recently and it’s been interesting. I didn’t think it was going to turn out the way it did, after all, I’ve been a “rebel” lately. It’s funny how the management expects you to perform according to their standards, however, you can’t expect management or administration to support you to do so. “Do as I say, and not as I do!”… What’s new?

I’m sure it doesn’t happen in you hospital… you know, on top of the staffing shortage, you got a chronic shortage of supplies such as linens, ice packs, medical tape, thermometers, and the like. Then, to add icing to the cake, they beat you up when you rack up some “incremental overtime” because you have to take in more patients than what is considered “safe” and reasonable. I keep wondering why we have managers in the first place since most of these so called problems are chronic.

I’ve worked at MMC 3.5 years now starting from 5 West (telemetry), and ending up in the ICU, and for those 3 years, frankly, nothing has changed… pharmacy is as slow as a snail, our supplies situation hasn’t improved, staffing is always short because of the high turn-over rate… the list goes on and on. You may say, “it’s the same wherever you go”, well, I beg to differ. I’ve seen other places do things better… I’ve been to places, I wasn’t born yesterday, and quite frankly, the people down here has never been anywhere else except here… they do not have the profound knowledge one would get from traveling and living elsewhere… sad. Talking to my director surely gave me an “insiders'” perspective on the problem… she even admits it herself… upper management, i.e., middle corporate management don’t listen. What’s the use of employee surveys then if nobody up there listens?

It’s sad how the powers that be, think they are doing a good job by keeping the numbers up. They are so focused on statistical data, compliance to JCAHO, and all these things, but forget about taking care of the company assets… the lowest of the low… ant workers like us. Don’t get me wrong, numbers are important, JCAHO is important, however, you cannot fix anything if your house is not in order. My director informs me that their requests for bigger and better things fall on deaf ears. I’m not surprised. No wonder we keep changing CNOs and CEOs. As far as I’m concerned, we can run the place without them… hey, it’s not like they are making a difference anyway. Incidentally, this may be a good way to cut down on “unnecessary expense”…. Here’s an idea… get rid of the CNO and CEO, get their potential salaries and divide that among the staff… I bet you productivity would increase! 🙂

Sad to say, things may be the way they are for a while…no surprises here, we’re just used to it by now. My director tells me that most of my co-workers perceive me as “not a team player” because I don’t “mingle” with them. First of all, I come to work to work… I don’t socialize, except with a few level headed people that are intelligent enough see behind the smoke screen. Secondly, I voice out my concerns if I see something wrong especially when it jeopardizes patient safety, unlike my co-workers who are to willing to bend over and take it up their *ss even if things don’t make any sense, or if they are being stretched out to a point that safety is compromised… brown nosing doesn’t run in my family you know. Finally, who cares? Corporate sure doesn’t, why should I? Besides, nobody cares about you except yourself, so who gives a sh*t! Regardless of the outcome, I still got a 2% raise…. For some, it doesn’t mean anything. For me, something is better than nothing… besides, this wasn’t a merit raise… it was company profit appropriation, so regardless of your so called performance, they would give it out anyway… who are they foolin? 😐

Happy 4th of July! July 4, 2008

Posted by 5 Wester in General Announcements.
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There’s nothing better than spending the 4th of July at the hospital caring for the sick. Actually, we’d rather be home spending that time with family and friends on America’s birthday, however, duty calls.

As I left for work today I told my wife, “honey, I’m going out there to save the world…” (from myself that is) just kidding. At least my family was able to see the fireworks display from out of our bedroom window.

Well, wherever you are, I hope you have a happy and safe 4th of July celebration!