Nursing Voices

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Inservice

My boss scheduled a mandatory inservice yesterday, and I had to go into work on my day off. No, I wasn’t happy, but it gave me a break from housework, and I got the chance to catch up on some hospital gossip. When I walked on the unit, the meeting was about to start. The first order of business was to watch a video about pandemic flu. Look at the people on the book cover. I think they saw the same video. They look scared and they are running to the grocery store to stock up on bottled water and nonperishable foods.

(Cue scary music from a 1950s B movie) World Wide Pandemic Flu: What You Don’t Know Can Kill You!

Sitting behind a desk we see Nurse Germicide, the hospital’s infection control nurse. She’s wearing her white uniform, her hair is pulled up in a bun, and her glasses are perched on her nose. She is the picture of decorum. Nurse Germicide is smiling as she reminds viewers that the pandemic flu is lurking in the shadows, and that it will kill millions of people around the world. She calmly reviews hospital policies involving crowd control, mass casualties, and how to care for patients while everyone around you is dropping like flies. She reassures hospital employees that there is no cause for panic or alarm because the hospital would be on lockdown when rioting breaks out in the streets. She also reminds staff to bring their own food and water from home because hospital supplies will quickly be depleted, and that we can’t depend on outside help from the government. At the end of the video Nurse Germicide says, “We all hope that there will never be an outbreak of pandemic flu, but if there is and thousands of people in our community begin to die, our hospital will be a beacon of hope during a time of despair.” (Cue cheery, happy music) The End.

We then welcomed the head of our security department to the staff meeting. He told us how to use a metal detector wand like the ones they use at the airports. Referring to the video, he said the wand would keep us safe when drug addicts break into the hospital during the riots. I said, “Excuse me, but a junkie would kill his own mother for a fix. How will the wand keep us safe?” He said that the wand would tell us where they were hiding their weapons, and that we could hit them over the head with the wand if they tired to hurt us. I said that if we were being robbed, we wouldn’t have to worry about finding their weapons—they would be waving them in our faces—and that when
someone breaks in looking for drugs, I will give him what he wants and send him on his way. He frowned at me. I don’t think he liked my grumpy attitude.

I know that the threat of pandemic flu is serious business, but must I hear about Armageddon on my day off? It makes me feel like I’m going into battle with Braveheart. Too bad he’s wearing the wrong kind of personal protective equipment. Hey Braveheart, where’s your mask and gown?


Blogger The Angry Medic said...

What, you mean they DIDN'T bring out the aluminium-wrap caps and chi-focusing bracelets? But how will we protect ourselves when aliens and extradimensional beings take advantage of the epidemic to invade?

*dum dum DUMMMMM*

*camera zoom*

9:03 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Our OSHA video used old-school graphics to introduce new sections that were white bold-face type against a blue background. The instructor got miffed at me when I kept yelling out, "I'll take "AIRBORNE PATHOGENS" for$200, Alex!"

10:43 PM  
Blogger Michael Clifford, L. Ac. said...

It is more the thought of hitting the druggies over the head with the metal detector that made my day. As usual I agree, I will know where the weapons are, because they will pont them at anyone and say &^*&^*&^.
Oh the joy bo H5N1. If if only comes to pass we can say Nurse Ratched warned us...

10:44 PM  
Blogger Michael Clifford, L. Ac. said...

typo's got me again...

10:45 PM  
Blogger Mother Jones RN said...

Kris, it's a good thing we don't work at the hospital. We'd drive the crazy.

Hello angry medic. Sorry, they were fresh out of aluminium wrap caps. It's too bad. I like talking to our Space Brothers.

Michael: I hate typos, too.

1:07 AM  
Blogger Jeankfl said...

I agree..I almost spit cola on the screen with the thought of hitting them with the wand! And they will walk out of there with whatever they wish if they have that weapon in MY face! These videos just make me want a nap.
Jean, RN

2:33 AM  
Blogger kario said...

Some things never change. I swear the people who put those videos together are the same ones who made the sex videos in the 1950s. No more informative - still just as campy.

10:20 AM  
Blogger The Curmudgeon said...

I had two voice mail messages on my phone this week from something called -- I was going to do a post on it later, and still might -- especially when they say there's been four cases in the United States already and they're trying to get the populace into a complete state of panic -- ooops, I mean, properly informed -- oh, and it's a book they're selling. Apparently when the virus comes into your house, you smash it with the book.

If you don't have the wand handy.

Now in light of your post, and these phone messages, I can only say....


12:03 PM  
Blogger Jean-Luc Picard said...

What are the two doing in the middle of that book cover illustration?

12:32 PM  
Blogger Mother Jones RN said...


I think he may be listening to her breast, ooops, I mean listening to her breath sounds, and assessing her for infection:-)


12:52 PM  
Blogger SQT said...

I like Mel's goggles.

1:19 PM  
Blogger scalpel said...

It really is pretty scary how unprepared our hospitals are for mass casualties.

2:39 PM  
Blogger ~Autumn said...

Thanks for the chuckle. The edited Bravheart pic is priceless. :D

4:01 PM  
Anonymous may said...

for the record, braveheart doesn't care about any protective equipment. i'm guessing it's because he is holding the wand your security department head is talking about :)

11:34 PM  
Blogger Amie Barnett said...

I like Gibby's goggles too.

1:08 AM  
Blogger Forty_Two said...

Eye protection must be worn in this area.

No one will be permitted to participate in the battle without proper eyeware.

6:01 PM  
Blogger Kal said...

What the hell kind of pixie hits a junkie over the head with a *wand*? Is Tinkerbell in charge of your security?
Pah. 3-DCell Maglite, the thinking EMT's nightstick.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Honey, if you walk into MY ER and threaten me for drugs......

....I'll happily give you my Pyxis password and tell you how to find them!

But while I was doing that, I'd offer to give you your first dose and hit ya with the succinylcholine.

I won't hit you over the head with a wand....that would be, well, violent.

Nah, in all reality I'd hand 'em over with such a smile the addict would write a letter praising my customer service skills.

10:50 PM  

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