I was assigned twenty patients this morning to interview at the hospital. When you subtract the ones who were sleeping or who had a nurse or doctor with them, I was left with about fifteen. That’s a good number. It still didn’t take the full time I have alloted to volunteering, but it was better. I chose to work 8 to 12 two days a week, but the jobs I’ve been given just don’t take that long.
After talking with the director of volunteers and patient services last week, I decided there was nothing wrong with spending a little more time with some patients who seem to want to talk. That adds maybe 15 to 20 minutes to my job.
I had a delightful patient this morning who was in a mood to joke around with me. I really enjoy being able to do that, but in the back of my mind a little voice warns me not to go too far. They don’t know me and my sense of humor. Sometimes I say things to strangers just kiddingly and since they don’t know me and my warped sense of humor they may just take what I say seriously. That might not always be good. When one is a patient advocate and a representative of the patient relations department, one must not get too familiar with the patients. When I left the room, I don’t know who was in better spirits, him or me.
I had another case of someone dressed in street clothes doing exercises. He was bored to tears. When I entered the room at first I thought he was a visitor. Then I noticed the heart monitor with all the wires attached to his chest. I thought about asking the nurse if he should be doing the exercise, but there were no beepers going off for heart, blood pressure, or pulse so by the time I finished with the survey, I forgot to check with the nurse.
A third patient was brought to her room from the emergency room, but her wheel chair and surgical boot were not sent up with her. Instead of just reporting the matter to the paid patient relations advocates, I asked if I could visit the emergency room myself and see if her belongings could be tracked down. Ordinary volunteers do not have badges that will allow them into certain areas. ER is one of those areas. I had to contact a patient advocate over there. He was nice enough to give me a brief tour of the place. He showed me the places where lost articles would most likely be….as if I’m really going to be able to remember their locations!
No surgical boot or wheel chair were found. He said he would follow up on the situation. I went back to the patient relations office to report. One of the women said, I forgot to tell you to deal with anyone but him. He promises to do things but doesn’t follow through. He seemed like such a nice conscientious young man too. I hope between the three women and the ER advocate those items are found. It seems lost personal articles are a frequent problem in the ER.
Since I worked my full four hours today, I received a ticket for a free lunch. That’s one of the perks of volunteering. The food really isn’t too bad in the employee cafeteria.
There were three tables pushed together in the cafeteria. A couple of young people in scrubs were sitting at one end. The rest of the chairs were empty. I sat at the other end at a table by myself. I no sooner sat down than the chairs were being filled by medical students. I offered to move but they said there was no need. I actually started talking with them and enjoying the conversation. They were a lot of fun. They actually seemed to have good senses of humor. It was enjoyable to laugh with them.
I had planned to go grocery shopping this afternoon but I putzed around too long. I had four chores planned but only accomplished three of them. I’m saving the grocery shopping until tomorrow. One of my chores was to stop at CVS pharmacy and stock up on some personal supplies. While I was there I bought a small box of cereal and milk for breakfast in the morning so I don’t go shopping on an empty stomach.
I tend to empty the refrigerator and cabinets pretty well before I restock. My cupboards are really close to old Mother Hubbard’s by now. I try to only go shopping once a month. Grocery shopping is not a very favorite activity so I avoid it as much as possible. It certainly can make for some weird meals towards the end of the month, however. Yesterday I made Spanish rice for lunch…my recipe. I had an Uncle Ben’s brown rice boil in the bag serving to which I added a bunch of ketchup and some jalopena juice. It worked! What can I say. My son can certainly attest to the fact that I’m not much of a cook.
I topped off the errands by stopping at Wendy’s for their fish fillet sandwich and baked potato. I have grown quite fond of their cod sandwiches and I seem to be eating more and more potatoes these days. I have no idea why. It’s almost like a craving. I’m too old to be having cravings but I’m glad Wendy’s is only a little more than three miles of expressway driving away. Namaste. Attic Annie