Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I See Dead People

The hospital I work at believes in saving as much money as possible. The security and safety department does many jobs such as; dietary (running food to all floors after hours) , maintenance (fixing things plant ops has said are not broken, but ignorant nurses insist they are), psychologist (our emergency room insists on only having a social worker on call with a county full of nuts), and one of my favorites morgue attendant.

This week I hurt my back loading and unloading extremely obese patients who have recently expired. Starting on Friday my partner and I witnessed a doctor walk into a crowded waiting area to tell a couple of 19 year old their mom died. We heard the screaming ran over and opened the social worker's office to let them grieve. An hour later we are called to pick up a body from the emergency room. When my partner and I arrived to the room we saw a mass the size of a baby whale in a body bag. My partner after several exhausting minutes got the mass on our cart and it took all of our energy to get it down in the morgue.

When we arrived my partner and I attempted to put the women into the freezer. So when we tried to hook up our crane it would not fit over the woman's stomach. So I have her a squeeze that I later would regret. We got her lowered and she would not fit into the freezer so we put her in the autopsy room and lowered to a/c to 40 degrees. Afterwards my back as well as my partners were a little sore fighting with the corpse, but it was the end of the day and the funeral home was on their way to pick her up.

I walked in the door Saturday morning feeling good. When I walked in I saw that the paperwork for the funeral home was still here. I asked the morning shift if they ever checked the body and they replied "nope." So my partner and I ran downstairs to find the a/c went out and the room had a very pungent oder. It turns out there was decomposition and that squeezing I did made her expel what was left in her boules. The funeral home never arrived because they thought they would come tomorrow afternoon, no rush she should be refrigerated. The morning shift never called the funeral home, oh joy. We finally released her lift her was even more difficult because of the new smell and I had no vicks vapor rub to put under my nose to kill the smell, but we got her out and on her way to the ocean probably.

Later on that day my partner and I had one 250 pound male that was 6'10" and a 200 pound lady pass away, but were to get them in the cooler. Although they were lighter than the first cadaver they were still very heavy, not like lifting a weights because the weight is distributed all over the body and well this is where the definition of "dead weight" derives from. Saturday ended and and Sunday came about.

My partner from the previous two days was off and my fresh partner arrived on duty. We released the two patients and I was still feeling very good. No problems really at all, just the normal fix this and get me a clear liquid dinner plate. The first time I heard clear liquid dinner plate my partner and I thought it was water in a plate and it turns out we were wrong. We found it funny as hell, but the nurses and the pregnant women found it less than funny and look very pissed off.

Monday finally rolled around and my partner got another call from the emergency room to pick up another deceased patient. When I got the paper work I read that she weighed 200 pounds and notice a check mark by a place that the security department dreads to see. There was to be an autopsy performed on her and at our hospital. We lugged her down into the morgue and used the crane to lower into the freezer. When the doctor arrived, or who I like to call the butcher, we put the women on the cart and pushed her in the room. The smell of rotten flesh and feces still lingered, but just the same we had to lift this women onto the slab. The problem is our cart's crank is broken. We can not raise the cart level to the slab. Instead we have to lift this large mass 3 feet up and on the slab. We did so and left for the butcher to perform his dicing. A couple hours went by and we my partner and I went to put the patient back into the morgue now covered in flesh and blood and attempted to put the her back into the cooler. We dropped the patient back onto our cart and rolled her up to the lower freezer door and that's when we noticed something. She was to far over on the cart and if we used the crane the tray would tilt dropping the mass on the floor. We went to slide her over and that's when my back said, "You are done for the day, and for all your trouble I will make you feel like hell." I dropped her back in the cart and the doctor who was cleaning up helped my partner put her in her frozen temporary home.

After a few hours of sitting in my own emergency room, they sent me home with a strained back. The doc said if I loose feeling in my feet I was to drive back to the emergency room. He got his PHD on the back of a Mc Donalds place mat. I am doped up and feeling kinda good, but am slightly peeved that after several complaints the hospital refuses to replace our broken cart. I want to return to work asap because I hate sitting at home.

Flashlight 1


Mother Jones RN said...

Come visit me at work. I'll find something for you to do:-)


Anonymous said...

Dude -

you have no business doing all that stuff. Who is liable when someone snatches a baby or beats the shit out of a doctor while you are screwing around changing lightbulbs? Look at the job descriptions; does yours say 'scut worker'? Are you being paid the scale of the tasks that would normally do those jobs? I would talk to the department of labor....