A New Road Of Expectations……………#204 (the 80’s)

Hospital District # 6 - The Anthony Hospital

Hospital District # 6 of Harper County – The Anthony Hospital

Gary’s juncture with the Anthony Hospital was about to be accomplished having received a phone call to attend a scheduled morning interview with the hospital administrator  regarding his employment as a maintenance assistant.   Entering the administration office,  the secretary cordially acknowledging his arrival,  ushering him into the Administrator’s office.  Gary somewhat  surprised to find a younger person attired in a three-piece suit seated at a desk, raising, shaking hands and with a smile introducing himself as Jay Jolly, Hospital Administrator.    Seated in attendance were two other persons,  a diminutive elderly man whom Gary apprised as abutting 60 plus years of age,  the other remaining person even more senior,  judging him to be in his seventies.  The Administrator introducing the younger of the two as Roy Stein  the maintenance facilitator,  the administrator asserting that Roy was present during the hospital’s  conception in 1967,  having participated in it construction,  returning later to preside in the maintenance department.   The introductions continuing, the eldest of the two introduced as Jim White, a retired mechanical and industrial  engineer who had been charged with the supervision of the City of  Anthony’s maintenance, road and public utilities department,  the Administrator adding that he relied upon Jim as the Hospital Plant Consultant.   Jay acknowledging Gary’s application,  stating  with Roy’s concurrence he was turning the interview process over to Jim White and that Jim would afford the tour of the building.  Gary was somewhat apprehensive, expecting a sit-down interview with an administrator and maintenance supervisor,  instead acquiring an audience and inquisition by the cities retired engineer.

Jim White Hospital Engineering Consultant

Acknowledged Anthony City Engineer Jim White

Gary’s trepidation was soon put to rest,  Jim White’s outward commodious personality setting Gary at ease.  The touring  excursion commencing with an introduction to the hospital’s equipment complex, a large basement center housing all the environmental, utility and clinical  systems.   The hospital building structure itself,  a unique solid concrete cold-war era designed building,  the concrete roof and walls structural integrity designated as an emergency fall-out and storm shelter.  The building constructed with a maze like  underground 4×4 ft. enclosed lighted labyrinth tunneling system allowing access to the plumbing and electrical utilities.  Passage beneath the hospital corridors, because of the tunnels 4 ft. height, accomplished with what we’re designated as scooters,  small wheeled platforms to literally scoot thru the passageways.     Jim introducing  Gary to the physical plants industrial equipment in the basement operations center,  the Maintenance Seeker having experienced boiler operation during his five-year tenure at the Kiowa Grade School,  but never acquainting such a presence as the two behemoth natural gas/ diesel backup Superior High-Pressure Steam Boilers.   Beside providing a heating exponent for the building, the boiler also provided steam used for autoclave sterilization  and laboratory sterilized water.  The basement complex also a station for the massive 100 ton Trane air conditioning compressor, its piping extending to the multiple bladed air circulating roof top condensers.  Another introduction, this time to  the impressive electric driven Ingersoll Rand vacuum pumps,  providing suction capabilities for surgery and in-room patient care.  Gary’s mechanical knowledge expanding as Jim explained the function of the various equipment, concluding with the  pumps for the multifarious zoned hydronic fan coil units that  provided the room climate control for the adjoining Clinic and 48 bed acute hospital.

The prerequisite walk-thru interview coming to a conclusion, a learning experience,  Gary having provided Jim with his logic based mechanical understanding of the physical plants integrated components ,  emphasizing,  with Roy Steins additional in-depth tutelage  he was thoroughly comfortable addressing the operation and maintenance of the equipment.  The interview concluding with Jim but before leaving it was conveyed to Gary his wasn’t the only applicant and interview rendered.  Returning home, the inevitable waiting for the decision commenced,  Gary earlier having informed school superintendent Glen Piper of his intended application endeavor asking if a two-week notice would be necessary not wanting to generate any difficulties, Glen’s reply was short and to the point, “don’t worry about it’.  The call he had been waiting for finally arriving,  requesting Gary to meet with the H.R. person the following Monday at 9:00 a.m. for employee orientation and physical.  Gary was no stranger to hospitals, the Kiowa ambulance having provided patient transfers to the major medical centers in Wichita, Enid and the smaller community hospitals, but his familiarity was with E.R. and the patient care portals of the institutions,  not the environmental service and plant functioning aspect.

Roy Stein

Roy Stein

 With the new employee prerequisites fulfilled,  Gary finally had the opportunity to meet and  know his supervisor.  64-year-old Roy Stein was a very quiet person, small in stature, soft-spoken, very direct never speaking more than a sentence.   A somewhat reclusive withdrawn person, having no interest in anybody’s  business,  his twenty years of hospital service finding a methodical dedication to his work and to a small farm that his father bequest to him and to his rumored mail-order bride Violet.   He accepted Gary’s presence not as a necessity or an expediency but as a acumen of the Administrator, something Gary understood and accepted.  It was soon realized  hospital maintenance was similar to that of the ambulance service, the maintenance department  on-call 24 hours,  7 days a week.  Like an ambulance service,  the on-call hospital responsibility was compensated,  a stipend $10 for weekday nights and $25 per Saturday and Sunday with a time clock documented weekend morning and afternoon walk-thru inspection required.  Roy in the past having singularly provided the on-call service, Gary sensing some displeasure from Roy when the Administrator suggested that Roy alternate his weekly on-call duties with his newly acquired maintenance assistant,  Roy having an  aversion to the idea,  Gary concluding that his aversion was because of a  financial rationale.

Large XL liquid Oxygen tanks weighing 90 lbs

Large XL liquid Oxygen tanks weighing 90 lbs

 Gary soon discovering that maintenance was an integral part of all the departments, servicing the adjoining clinic and patient room clinical suction, oxygen,  the electric bed and patient call light controls, as well as fire alarm systems. The work-order request system was the primary means of communication with the facility departments,  the staff either by hand or deposit, submitting a time dated work request document in person or the maintenance office reception box,  Gary or Roy addressing  the work order.  The quota of clinical responsibility for nursing services was in addition to dietary, the business office and maintaining the plant equipment,  besides a twice a day monitoring  of the hospital oxygen supply with a replacement of the online XL stainless steel liquid oxygen containers if needed, plus the continuous room painting, floor stripping and waxing and  the upkeep on acres of ground which hosted the hospital and the emergency service ambulances.

Kansas Hospital Association member

As an active member of the KHA ( Kansas Hospital Association),  Jay Jolly regularly traveling to attend the organizations programs to keep abreast of  current industry innovations and changes in state regulatory statutes affecting district hospitals.  Gary was surprised when Jay approached him with literature from the KHEA  (Kansas Hospital Engineers Association),  an affiliate of the KHA,  questioning if he would be interested in becoming a member representing the hospital.  Gary surmising that his active participation as the newly appointed maintenance representative to the Safety Committee may have induced the attention of the administrator,  Gary  having written and submitted the maintenance department’s  policies and procedures for the recently enacted Disaster Plan.   Jay disclosing,  although Roy was an excellent maintenance man, with his humble placid disposition he  never contributed or initiated an opinion as a Department Head at any of the mandatory meetings, always in attendance but remaining quiet as an observer.  Gary was appreciative of his recognition and welcomed an opportunity to expand his horizon and  educational contingency. Not hesitating in accepting Jays offer to participate in the Kansas Hospital Engineers Association with it educational seminars, concluding there was more to the designation Hospital Engineer than just a title.

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