Thank you for an eventful and fun-packed National Hospital Week. The entire staff looks forward to the annual celebration of hospital services and wishes to extend their gratitude--and feedback--for the activities presented this year.
Monday started Hospital Week with a bang, thanks to the volleyball picnic social hosted in the lovely grassy area behind the Labor and Delivery unit. Everyone thought it was a hoot to buy the advertised bag lunch and take their places at the picnic tables near the volleyball net. Too bad the Med Surg nurses were so busy trying to get patients discharged safely to do much more than inflate the ball, but that's okay because springtime in our chilly Pacific Northwest climate drove almost everybody back inside to finish lunch in the relative warmth of the cafeteria. Night shift was disappointed at missing the chance for fun in the sun, but they are already plotting next year's Midnight Madness Water Polo tournament.
Tuesday's Ice Cream Social is always a crowd favorite, especially with the addition of this year's 1950s-theme costume contest. All those really annoying overhead announcements to "recall the era of slickbacks and poodle skirts" inspired the Medical Records staff to show up looking like the cast of Happy Days. However, it was disappointing for the ICU nurses to discover how badly saddle shoes scuff the floor when they have to turn a morbidly obese intubated patient in a bariatric air bed with malfunctioning position controls. Perhaps next year the theme could be weight belts and hydraulic lifts.
Wednesday we escaped to the South Pacific for the Hula theme costume contest, won by Becky in Central Supply, who delivered angiocaths and sharps containers in a grass skirt and crown of plastic tropical blooms. This time, the Med-Surg staff got into the spirit of things by wearing Hawaiian print scrubs, which are really great as work gear because they hide the unsightly bits of sputum and dried-up alcohol gel we all accumulate during a twelve-hour shift on the floor. Even more touching was the Staff Appreciation ceremony held in the Adult Day Program trailer, where hospital staffers who have endured five, ten, fifteen, twenty and--god bless them--thirty years at our facility received a Certificate of Achievement and a lovely fruit basket for their loyal service. Once framed--at their own expense--these Certificates will be a source of pride and nostalgia during the lean years of retirement you are not helping fund with the no-match 401(k) plan offered your benefit package.
"Yeeeeee-ha!," we exclaimed upon our arrival on Wild West Thursday. The plastic rodeo decals over the windows of the cafeteria were a huge hit, as was the life-sized wooden coffin one of the boys from Plant Ops leaned cheekily against the donut display. We all appreciated the free Western-style barbecue for lunch. I mean, how many places can you see a hospital CEO dishing out tri-tip sandwiches to the working stiffs? Not at any of those big-city hospitals, I can tell you that. However, there's a petition circulating around the ER to expand the options on the cafeteria-style health plan available to your hardworking cowboys and cowgirls. People might just give up the tri-tip next year for a few preventive health care visits, assuming they all have primary care doctors, which are getting about as scarce as five-dollar copay.
Just when we thought we couldn't have any more fun with our scrubs on, we were off and running to the chopper pad for M*A*S*H Friday. Off with the Western wear, on with the combat fatigues. I think you were quite wise to confiscate Frank's field rifle and ammo belt, if only for his own safety, because it seems he's in charge of rewiring the new CT scanner suite and installing steel panels in the walls separating the scanner from the doctor's charting room. Speaking of the new CT, we're all pleased to see you investing in all this shiny new technology, but is there any way we can upgrade the paper-and-pencil requisition system? We'd all like to see what the new scanner can do, but it's hard to get any scans done when ten percent of the requisitions disappear between the Med-Surg clerk's desk and the Radiology office.
In conclusion, National Hospital Week was so much fun we're already looking forward to next year's festivities. If you're looking for suggestions, maybe you'll consider skipping the ice cream, tri-tip, raffle prizes and fruit baskets, and do something to improve the hospital instead. Boost the nurses' salary, hire more weekend ultrasonographers, repair the wall lights in room 104, build a covered walkway between the hospital and the lab so people don't get drenched running samples back and forth in the rain, and while you're at it, can we get same-day turnaround on TSH tests and hepatitis panels? Just an idea, consider it at your leisure.