The post-it reads ‘when construction on the street in front of the hospital cuts the gas line, this gives new meaning to the term rock this house!’
Absolutely this is a true story.
No, no explosions.
I think I have shared that I call the hospital as a whole the house. Each unit is a different room to my head. This makes the hospital the house. No, as always, I don’t know where I picked that up.
Did we panic that there was a cut gas line near the hospital?
BECAUSE WE DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT IT.
This happened when I was still the evening shift charge nurse and the evening was spooling out like it always did. Add on appy, rooms set up. The usual.
Until the nursing supervisor showed up on her rounds. And happened to mention that there was an emergency in front of the hospital as the construction crews had cut the gas lines. And, upon immediately recognizing the problem, capped the gas line.
No overhead page. No ring on the red emergency phone in the department. Nothing.
The house was not in danger anymore.
Well, it would have been nice to know that the hospital had been in danger, as brief as it was. We could have prepared to shelter in place. Secured the windows, moved people and patients away from the windows. Something.
And then I looked at the supervisor and asked if the boilers in the central sterile processing department were affected. Because that is the big user of gas in the department. And if the boilers were affected and they could no longer process and sterilize instrumentation, the department was going to have a bad day tomorrow.
They looked aghast. As if that had never occurred to them to check in with departments and
1) inform them of the potential for a cut gas line, IN FRONT OF THE HOSPITAL
2) ask if the departments had any specialized need for natural gas. Like the boiler and SPD.
3) and, once informed of the need for natural gas for the boilers and the sterilizing of instruments, check on the boilers to see if they were impacted. Because if they were the OR schedule for the next day would be impacted.
They hurried off.
I went to SPD to see if they had boiler pressure and the sterilizers were functioning within normal limits. They were.
This could have been bad. It wasn’t.
But what if…