day four at the hospital was a very slow day. one thing we’ve noticed is that the “understaffed” emergency department we are volunteering at for these three weeks is actually very staffed; by volunteers from all over. on any shift there can be other romanian volunteers, medical students, nursing students, moldovan volunteers, paramedics getting cannulation accreditation in the wards and then there’s us, the english speaking volunteers, all seeking to be involved and busy. when shit hits fan everyones assistance is needed but in the meantime we are one of many pairs of hands wanting and waiting to help.
our days usually start by arriving at the hospital, changing into our scrubs then finding the head nurse who will direct us to whichever ward has an english speaking staff member. sometimes there’s only one, sometimes there’s none, sometimes we get to the end of the day and a staff member will speak perfect english to us who had previously denied being able to speak any. and that’s fair enough; patient care is work enough without having to explain everything in a language that is potentially a persons second, third, fourth or fifth language. really puts our language skills to shame.
we spent the day accompanying an orderly who, between patient care introduced us to the somewhat abandoned hospital basement which serves as the staff smoking area. sounds questionable; but it was conversation and company on an otherwise quiet day. while sipping on whipped cream infused espresso we watched the resident cats skulk around the thirty to fifty padlocked wardrobes adorning the basement walls holding who knows what.
also, due to maintainence the hospital had multiple blackouts over the course of the afternoon. as the hospital halls fell into darkness everyone continued on as normal.
back in the ward we were able to observe a patient brought in by paramedics with alcohol withdrawal related hallucinations, who was now intubated due to excessive sedation. the patient was also catheterised, receiving fluids and had a nasogastric tube; a trio that accompanied a large portion of patients with varying conditions,
besides that and a few chances to help with blood samples and cannulation; the day was all cats and coffee really.