Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Patient Ratio Blues

[This is a post by Gabrielle]

Hey all, long time no see. As you may have read yesterday, Josh and a small group of people are left this morning to see to a few matters, combining their trip to meet with the courier from Google with some long-term scouting. Josh asked me to post today since he's going to be busy trying to help the courier get to the hiding spot where some copies of the Ark will be secured.

I'm just as upset at what happened to Nora as the rest of the group, but as one of the people treating her injuries I sort of have to push back my feelings about it. It's not easy. No woman could see what happened to her and not become angry. I've had my share of troubles in the past, and seeing the bruises and cuts made put me in a place mentally that I haven't been to for a long time.

Ok, getting away from that line of thought. It doesn't go anywhere good, and I have a lot of work to do today.

I guess that's the only really hard thing about living here at Jack's compound. There are so many people, and so much work for those of us with medical training. Keep in mind that they still manufacture a lot of stuff here, and people get hurt in the process all the time. There are also a lot of pregnant women here in various phases, from 'just found out' to 'my shoes could be soaked from my water breaking any minute'. That's an excellent problem to have, pregnant women, but it means that Evans, who is pretty strict about very frequent examinations for the fairer sex, is pushing them to come in every day if possible. The medical staff are outnumbered a hundred to one by the population here.

I spend most of my days working on wounds and diagnosing sick people. Evans and Phil work on the exams and do stitches, set bones, whatever needs done. I've gained a lot of skills and knowledge since I've been working with Evans, but some stuff is still doctors-only for now. Not because I don't have the ability (I can sew a wound better than either of them, to be frank) but because there has to be a division of labor that works for all of us. I'm a wound care specialist, and though Phil and Evans are doctors, I've seen WAY more infectious disease than either of them. Which means that when someone comes in with a set of symptoms that could be a cold, the flu, strep throat, or a host of other things, I get to look at them. I am the one whose face gets coughed in. I'm the one that gets vomited on, or has to collect the stool sample.

It's always been that way between doctors and nurses. They collect the glory, we catch all the shit. Haha. See what I did there?

It works out well, though. I like what I do, and though it keeps me pretty busy, I wouldn't change a thing. The only real problem is going to be medical supplies and the like. We've got a sizable population to take care of, and they are burning through what we took from the hospitals with alarming speed. We need to do some scout runs to look for new sources of supplies. Not only supplies, but Jack had the idea that since this place has access to a lot of electricity (and more every day--one of the things they're making is more wind turbines and solar panels. The only thing they're short on is batteries to store up the extra.) he thinks it would be an excellent idea to truck in as much advanced medical equipment as possible. Some things are so large that there's no way we could bring them, but we'll be making our own run sometime real soon to see what we can find.

Evans and Phil want to set up a small lab if we can swing it, for them to study whatever it is that makes people into zombies. We did that at our own compound, but the lack of equipment and supplies for running a lab made limited what we could learn.

I want a damn x-ray machine. It doesn't have to be big or fancy, but something that puts out a digital image in high def would be amazing. Of course, if it were possible, an MRI would be great, but I don't think that one is gonna happen.

I have a full day ahead of me, people coming in for follow-ups and a few really sick folks to keep an eye on when I take over the shift. Thankfully, Jessica stayed home from this trip to stay with Nora, so that I wouldn't have to sacrifice myself or one of my staff to do it. It's not that we would have minded doing it, but we've got a full patient load at the moment, and doing so would have strained our personnel to the breaking point.

Hopefully the people that are sick and injured now will get well without complication, and with luck no new ones will get ill or hurt for a while. With this many people, the size of the medical staff is vital. We've got to get people trained quickly so that we don't have to push ourselves so hard. I feel like I haven't really seen my kids in a week, and you can forget sleeping with my husband. I usually just curl up in the corner of our work area and nap. I need to get laid.

Wow, I can't believe I wrote that. I'll leave it there, though, because while it might be uncomfortable to read (especially for my kids, HA! Mom has SEX!) it's also true. I think all of us need to find some time to unwind and relax, to enjoy the company of others.

Recent events have proven that.

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