Tuesday, April 10, 2007

amazing stories

chronic alcoholics (ETOH) dying at young ages
patients with COPD who are still smoking...one in her hospital room
WWII vets in their mid-80's who are dying and have unreal stories about war and life
the amazing number of B-17 pilots I have met
frequent flyers and the anger care they get from ED nurses who are sick and tired of seeing them, which pisses off the chaplain for their insensitivity
compassion fatigue of healthcare workers and how they try to 'relax' off duty
the narcissistic system of patient satisfaction and how it is going to f&^$@# up healthcare (focus on the words in that one)
the unbelievable number of 40-something white women who have attempted suicide that I have seen...something is really wrong
the angry god of some patients..."chaplain, what did I do wrong that god would do this to me?"
watching a family yell at a Doc "this is a hospital with state of the art equipment...fix my father and do it now." The Doc responds "I am sorry, there are some things we can't fix and this is one of them."
holding the hand of a patient as they die because they have no family except the medical team
having a Doctor stop me in the hall and ask "what are we going to do about patient Sue?" then walk off shaking her head
writing a poem/prayer for the 13 year old daughter of a staff member whose horse died and is asking god why?
going to the home of a staff member whose daughter was killed in a tragic accident and crying with them

so many stories...

I should be writing more...I have so many stories and so many patients in my head and some in my heart.

Also have a major job opportunity in the works...so stay tuned.

Friday, December 08, 2006

How many hospital workers does it take to change a light bulb?

How many ER nurses does it take….? EVS to ER stat!

How many Nurse Supervisors ….? Stupid Wait a minute, I’m on another call. I’ll get with you as soon as I can.

How many physical therapists? We’re gonna need an order to touch that bulb?

How many unit clerks? If it was up to me; the bulb would have been replaced already.

How many chaplains? The deeper question is whether the bulb is aware of its current status or not.

How many presidents? Don’t we have a light bulb committee who should be looking in to this matter? I want a report on my desk by 4pm tomorrow.

How many discharge nurses? No light goes out around here with out an order.

How many social workers? The bulb had been having some problems recently so is anyone really surprised by this outcome?

How many surgeons? I AM the light!

How many (volunteers) auxiliary? Someone should tell someone the light is out, used to be these things around here were just taken care of.

How many ICU nurses? There’s a light out?

How many people does it take to make a hospital special? All of you. Happy Holidays
Grace and peace to you all!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Report from Iraq chaplain...

During the Monday to Tuesday night shift two Iraqi children arrived to the emergency room accompanied by their father. A mortar had landed where the children were playing. Mom had non life threatening injuries and stayed behind. The blast killed a child cousin and critically injured the 4 and 6 year old brother and sister with life threatening head traumas. The heroic medical personnel worked skillfully and with urgency to save the kids. The Iraqi father waited with a sad worry on his face as the neurosurgeons performed surgery on his only two children. I visited the dad with an Iraqi translator who helped us communicate. When the 4 year old girl left surgery, the Arab speaking military American doctor gave the father the sad news that they had done all they could but his dear 4 year old daughter was dying.

The Muslim Arabic translator led the Muslim dad in emergency Islamic prayers for the dying. The male nurse placed the little girl in her father's arms and the surgeon cut the bandages off of her eyes so that the dad could look into her eyes once more. The dad sobbed as he spoke to his little girl for hours as she slowly faded away. I sat by him for a while and put my arm around him. As I left the dad told me "Thank you". I replied "You are welcome". When the little girl died, the dad left her lifeless body and went to the ICU ward to be by his remaining 6 year old son who was now out of surgery.

The emotionally drained nursing staff tenderly cleaned the body of the little girl. They wrapped the girl in a white cloth and placed her in a body bag designed to fit a large soldier. One nurse exhaled deeply when it was over. Another was very visibly moved. He has a daughter the same age.

I hope the dad knows that we have grieved with him. One nurse told me today that she wanted to visit "her little boy" that has survived. In the midst of the tragedy of war , the life of this little boy has been saved by a heroic medical staff but his life is still in God's hands. Let us pray for this boy, his grieving family, the combat medics that face trauma daily, all of our deployed troops, and the nation of Iraq caught in violence of insurgency.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Nightmare senario for a hospital

Virginia Inmate Kills Guard, Escapes Hospital
Sunday, August 20, 2006

BLACKSBURG, Va. — An inmate escaped from a hospital Sunday after wresting a pistol away from a deputy and fatally shooting an unarmed security guard, officials said. William Charles Morva, 24, remained at large Sunday, as officials searched for him on foot and in helicopters.

Morva, who was jailed on charges of robbing a deli, was taken to the Montgomery Regional Hospital emergency room in handcuffs and leg irons after he suffered a sprained wrist and ankle, Sheriff Tommy Whitt said.

He overpowered a deputy and took his pistol. Shots were fired, killing hospital security guard Derrick McFarland, 26, as he tried to help the deputy.

"We really need to look into it real closely and find out how this happened," Whitt said. "We have an idea, but it's just speculation at this point, and I'd rather not speculate."

The deputy, who was wounded in the struggle, was in stable condition Sunday afternoon but was sedated and could not speak with investigators.

The emergency room closed after the shooting and later reopened, said hospital spokeswoman Suzanne Barnette.

The Virginia State Police, Christiansburg police and the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office searched for Morva on foot and in helicopters.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

change of pace

Monday, August 07, 2006

the chaplain gets CPE'd...

CPE'd is a term created to described/created by our wives and then friends to inform us that they are patients to be 'interrogated' or interviewed. Basically when we've been told "Stop CPEing me!" it means we've ticked them off.

A couple of weeks ago I was in the hospital myself receiving treatment for thyroid cancer, actually the treatment to rather straight forward and simple. Other that it is a 4-5 week process.

As I am preparing to be discharged the radiology tech "Eric" turns to me and asks "Have you considered changing any of the treatment options you have undergone?"

Shocked by the question, I mumble "Huh? What are you talking about?"

"Have you ever thought about if you had to do this over again that you would do this differently? Take a different course?"

"Wow, Eric, no one, no Doctor, tech, friend or family member has ever asked me that question. You got me."

"Well,..." Eric pushes undaunted. My thought is 'who's the chaplain here?'

"Actually I have. If I was going to change anything I would not have had the radiation treatment after my acinic cell recurrence three years ago. To me, it seems like I have had all kinds of complications since then. I have lost all but one of my upper left teeth which my Dentist states is a direct result of radiation. My endocrinologist told my getting thyroid cancer is directly attributed to radiation treatment. It has put my jaw at serious risk for necrosis. Top that off, there is NO evidence, in the EVIDENCE BASED FIELD OF MEDICINE, that radiation has any affect or effective healing properties for acinic cell. It's theory/ best guess/ educated pre-caution and standard protocol. Which means no one has a clue, but we probably should do this just in case...in case what? Honestly I have no idea."

"I was just wondering if you had thought about other options?"

Too much disclosure...

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Maybe mine will one day also...pet peeve #1

Hospitals Now Offer High-Speed Internet

Aug 6, 2:51 PM (ET)


(AP) The control to a television set is seen in a patients room at the Baylor Regional Medical Center in...

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Feel like watching a movie? Need an extra blanket or some food? For years, guests at hotels have gotten these amenities with a phone call or a few clicks of the TV remote.

Now this instant gratification is available to patients in hospitals across the nation through interactive television, high-speed Internet and other comfort-oriented perks designed to make them feel like hotel guests.

LodgeNet Entertainment Corp. has installed interactive TV systems in 10 hospitals in New Jersey, Missouri, Alabama, Washington state, Texas and South Dakota, and has contracts with twice that many, said Gary Kolbeck, the Sioux Falls, S.D.-based company's vice president of health care business development.

LodgeNet, whose customers include major hotel chains such as Hilton and Ritz Carlton, has been offering the hospital services for about a year and a half.

Kolbeck said the trend is driven in part by baby boomer patients with high expectations and the need to generate revenue in a competitive market.

"To me it was just a no-brainer," said Albert Pilkington III, chief executive of Fairmont General Hospital in Fairmont, W.Va. "It puts more time in my employees' hands and it improves the quality of service."

Fairmont General's system, which Pilkington expects to be online within 90 days, will include a numeric keypad that can be used for everything from choosing a movie or a video game to ordering items from the gift shop or requesting room temperature changes.

Pilkington said the system also can provide educational programming that is specific to a patient's condition and treatment. These programs can be viewed as many times as the patient wants.

The system also includes a real-time patient satisfaction survey that allows staff at the 207-bed hospital to address concerns or complaints immediately.

(AP) The Coffee shop in the lobby at the Baylor Regional Medical Center in Plano, Texas, Friday, Aug. 4,...
Full Image
"We're a very patient-oriented hospital," he said. "Service is a big deal for us. It's probably our main focus."

Pilkington declined to disclose the system's price, except to say, "it'll be a six-digit purchase." He said there will be no additional cost for patients.

The cost to install a similar system in 400-plus patient rooms at West Virginia University Hospitals' Ruby Memorial is estimated at $600,000, said spokesman Steve Bovino. He could not say when the system will be in place.

"When it comes to health care, or any other service for that matter, consumer expectations continue to rise," said Randy Bury, chief administrative officer for Sioux Valley Hospital USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Bury said Sioux Valley's system creates a more homelike environment for patients or visitors who often feel stuck "with nothing else to do."

(AP) The control to a television set is seen in a patients room at the Baylor Regional Medical Center in...
Full Image
Sioux Valley officials initially planned to phase in the system in the 500-bed hospital over four months, but Bury said positive feedback from patients spurred them to implement it all within a couple of weeks.

"What was happening, we'd have a patient in a unit with the system who got used to it, then that patient would be transferred to another unit without the system and would be dissatisfied," he said. "We started hearing that loud and clear."

Some hospitals have taken the concept of creating a hotel-like atmosphere even further.

Interactive TV is just one of many perks available at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano in Plano, Texas, which offers room service from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

"Guests can have breakfast at 2 p.m.," as long as it's within their dietary requirements, said Deanne Kindred, vice president of finance. Each patient can order from a menu that has been specifically created for him or her.

"It's not like the old Jell-O in the plastic cup," she said.

Besides wireless Internet access for laptop users, Baylor also has a "business center" on each floor, equipped with personal computers so that visitors can have access to the Internet and e-mail.

Other amenities offered at the 96-bed medical center include a Starbucks, a terraced garden, valet parking and toiletries for patients or family members. Staff refer to patients as "guests" and information is obtained from the "concierge desk," said Kindred.

Bury said guest-oriented hospitals will soon be the norm rather than the exception.

"If you don't have it, you might as well start planning," he said, "because consumer expectations are going to be there."