By Nathan Stout (of According To Whim.com)
I work at a hospital. I have been here for five years and watched it grow from a 30 bed hospital to having over 100 beds (that means inpatient capacity). The place has really changed from a group of employees I (mostly) knew the names of to a mass of unknowns. Throughout the years I have been in every nook and cranny of this place working on a variety of things. I have always seen the 'inside view' of how a hospital operates.
This week I have gotten the 'outside view' for the first time. My wife came in to have an elective operation and I have been here (as a patient's husband) seeing quite a different side to something I thought I knew so well. I have been to hospitals for other family members and such but this is the first time I have been really involved in the whole process.
We woke at the ungodly hour of 5am to be there at 6am for pre-op. After checking in we went to the surgery area and waited for about twenty minutes until she was called to get ready for the surgery. Waiting in the surgery waiting area is one of the first times I have really spent more than ten seconds in that particular part of the hospital. Normally I'd just rush past this rather boring area but I wound up spending about four hours in there. unfortunately there was a man there talking to another guy for the majority of the time without the ability to regulate the volume of his voice. Let's just say I learned alot about hunting deer than I ever needed or wanted to know. My wife prepped for her surgery and me and her parents went back to wait some more until they took her off to the operation. They gave her some fantastic drugs and she didn't remember a thing after about three minutes after they administered them (until she woke up in post-op).
After the four hour wait we went up to her room on the 5th floor. Another bout of waiting and they wheeled her in. She looked pale and sickly. I guess I would look that way too if I was just cut on, intibated, and sewed back together. Once again I was on the outside looking in. I only ever had to go into patient rooms to work on the computers that are in the rooms. Now I was waiting on the nurses to get my wife settled in, take vital signs, chart, and give drugs. I do a lot of analyst work on the backside of all the programs the nurses work with and never really know how they are actually used. I got to see the work flow and how the people used the systems, hardware, etc. It was very eye opening.
When you have a job like retail for instance, you are working on the inside but everyone is on the outside of those kinds of jobs many times a week. When I worked at Target I didn't do my job, get off work and shop in the store, amazed by how people actually shop... duh. But hospital this experience gave me some valuable insight that will be useful in my everyday duties.
As a side note we had the misfortune of having scheduled the operation the day before another big freeze rolled into the North Texas area (the first coming the week before ruining the money making frenzy know as SuperBowl 45).