Wednesday, January 09, 2008

More than just knitting

Monday was quite a day. Tornadoes in January boggles my mind, but it happened and it happened on a night that I was at work.

I work at a local hospital in the Admissions Department. My whole job is to find beds for the people who need to be admitted through the ER, are directly admitted by their doctor, and who are coming out of surgery. It is a stressful job and I'm never ever bored. Multi-tasking is a must for this job and so is a hard skin because you spend your entire time calling people (nurses on the floors) who really don't want to talk with you and don't want to give up their empty beds.

When I came on shift at 5pm I went down to the basement of the hospital to Bed Control, where I sit in front of my computer and 2 very large, flat screen televisions that show me every single bed in the hospital (there are over 600 beds in total). I work with Dorothy almost every night unless one of us has a day off. We've gotten close and work really well together.

We soon get word about the tornado warnings and all patients are evacuated to the hallways. Dorothy and I started getting increasing ER patients over the system that we needed to find beds for. By 7:30 the ER was declared a Level III disaster and we were getting 4 and 5 ER admits at a time and as soon as a bed was found for one person another 2 would pop up... and this on a day when we were a bit short on beds as it was.

Everyone worked together amazingly from the ER to surgeons and the floors. I ended up staying an extra 2 1/2 hours to help the third shift with Bed Control and left work at almost 12:30am. It was a long, stressful night and on my way home (through rain where visibility was less than 10 feet) I realized that I hadn't eaten or taken a break through the whole night. I stopped at home to check the weather and then drove to a local storm shelter to help Bryan get the kids home because Owen was really upset.

When we got home at 1am and after the kids were asleep I sat in bed and knitted. I breathed deeply and felt my neck and back start to relax.

Last night was not much better. The hospital was still packed from the night before and it was another busy night in the ER. I worked my usual Tuesday 8 hour shift and at lunch I brought out my iPod and knitting. Between the Clapotis on my needles and the Mozart in my ears I was able to go back to my computer with a better attitude and outlook on the night.

When I first started knitting in April of 2005 I never would have thought that it would impact my life as much as it has. I'm working my usual Wednesday 8 hour shift and while I can't count on it being an easy night, I can count on knitting to help me get through it.


Tammy said...

Wow - and I thought I was stressed just from being up all night during the storms! I'm sure you were a calming presence to the patients during the storm. :-)

Zarah said...

That is quite a harrowing tale. I can't imagine being an ER patient with all that crazy weather going on. It's wonderful that you were able to help keep them safe. And yes - hallelujah for the calming influence of knitting.

Kate said...

Thank God you made it through! What a crazy place to be!

Romi said...

Wow! What a time you had!