May 20, 2012
Perhaps the only service agency that does not welcome you with a smile is the hospital. People in the emergency room are frantic and frowning and did not show any signs of caring or confidence that they know what they are doing. Here at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (formerly Provincial Hospital), the Emergency Room always feels like New Year’s Eve, where people are rushed with blood dripping all over the floor. Here, guards are trained to shout at patients and doctors are trained to ignore, at least that was our impression.
On the first day of our stay at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center, we had to be broken in. Almost everything was not working and we were at a loss. Because this is not an ICU, nurses here basically just administer medicines and feedings. All other bedside care is ours, which is fine because this is a transition phase towards homecare, thus a good training ground for the family.
- The mechanical ventilator was set at a very low limit, so that every five minutes the alarm went off.
- The nurse on duty was not trained in intensive care and she did not know what to do. We kept on buzzing every five minutes because of the alarm, and she would promptly come and assure us that everything is okay, to ignore the alarm. Until eventually, they decided to set up the O2 Sat monitor to assure us that Melit’s oxygen supply was okay despite the noisy sound of the mech vent.
- Nurse Raymond, who had an unpleasant incident with Melit’s daughter Jezza whose temper soared to the maximum level when her mother was unceremoniously dumped on the bed from the stretcher. Raymond, of course, told her ICU supervisor who promptly called Melit’s eldest sister Lucy to remind her that this is not an ICU room and we should not expect ICU services.
We were still lucky to have great and caring nurses, Raymond notwithstanding: Shiela Bonita foremost among them, and of course Myna, Toshca, and the boys.
But never mind, Melit stayed quiet and at peace the whole time, as if she made herself at home right away. Although, this was the calm before the storm, the next days would bring a series of life-threatening emergencies.