Acquiring A New Respect ….#215 (the 90’s)

Hospital Surgery Supply room

Hospital Surgery Supply room

She was one of those individuals,  when you saw her approaching in the hospital corridor,  her expression would afford whether a person would greet her with a smile and a  “Good Morning” or remain silent and pass on by.   Dorothy Garancosky,  a somewhat elderly surgical nurse was responsible for supervising all aspects of the surgery department,  her domain, the surgery suites,  supply and sterilization rooms, ruling with an iron fist,  no one questioning her authority.   Gary as Plant Services Manager was responsible for acknowledging Dorothy’s requests,  his housekeeping department engaged in cleansing only the surgical suite scrub-room,  immediately after a surgery, the dominion possessing surgical nurse preferring to wipe down and sterilize the operating rooms herself always followed by a requisition to rise the boiler pressure,  enabling her to sterilize the surgical instrument in the steam actuated autoclave having them ready for another use.

Hospital Operating Room

Hospital Operating Room

A morning encounter finding Dorothy halting Gary,  requesting him to ‘gown-up’, meaning scrubs, shoe covers, head covering, gloves and accompany her to surgery to examine the hospital’s primary operating table,  during her cleansing  having discovered an oily substance beneath it.   Upon examination, the Plant Manager  discovering drops of  hydraulic fluid  apparently seeping from the area of the lift cylinder which raised and lowered the table.  Gary concluding that the problem was serious deciding to confront long time maintenance man Roy Stein,  questioning him about the situation.  Roy disclosing that it was brought to his attention in the past and he had remedied the problem by applying silicone to the leakage area.  Gary immediately coming to a conclusion,  Roy’s solution was totally unacceptable, realizing not only a possible legal liability but an endangerment to a person undergoing surgery if the table were to unexpectedly lower during a surgery procedure.   Conferring with Dorothy,  discovering she had lobbied for a much needed updated table in the past, but because of budgetary restraints  her lobbying was to no avail.  Gary giving an assurance,  he would resolve the problem,  taking it upon himself to write a formal risk management report documenting Dorothy’s conversation and his findings. deciding not to follow protocol and wait on the Safety Committee but handing the report directly to Jay Jolly the administrator.   Jay instructing Gary to follow up and get back to him, discovering the table was purchased through a medical supply company in Colorado then directed to the manufacturer for parts and service.  The factory rep. finding a liability question because of the age of the table and also mentioned the hospital might be better served to replace the table rather than incur the expense of a service call only to find that it should be replaced.    Gary relaying his findings including the representatives suggested replacement, Jay making an executive decision that expediency was important deciding not to put the surgical table out for bids,  accepting the suggested replacement table model,   Dorothy getting a new surgical table and Gary new respect from Dorothy.

Oklahoma Department of Health Child and Family Guidance

Oklahoma Department of Health Child and Family Guidance

The east wing of the Anthony Hospital may have been employed for acute patients or swing bed in the past,  but during this contemporary time the mostly vacant east wing hosted private pay long-term care residences with special needs.   Gary was made aware of a forthcoming accommodation change for the  wing,  the administrator disclosing project that would required room modifications in preparation for the new clientele.    The instructions were puzzling but quite clear,  a removal of the outlet receptacles enabling access to the vacuum suction,  oxygen,  call lights and disabling the breakers to electrical outlets, Gary reasoning,  the implementation in effect would eliminate the rooms from a hospital application.   The arrival of the clientele gave reason for the vicissitude, all teenage boys,  their age ranging from 13 thru 16 years,  distressed youths gone astray, removed from their family settings and institutionalized for corrective guidance.   The hospital securing a contract with the State of Oklahoma Department of Health Child and Family Guidance to provide live-in accommodation for child counseling.   The new youthful inhabitants in the east wing were not without causing a disturbance,  their stay giving them opportunity to explore ways of hindrance, finding it necessary to secure the windows from the outside to prevent an occasional exiting,  even this application was averted when a chair thrown thru a window,  the panes having to be replaced.   The clogging of toilets a regular activity,  the youths establishing a perplexing method that kept Roy and Gary confounded until discovery,  a pencil placed in the non viewable commodes trap area would halt the passage of toilet paper,  otherwise it flush correctly.  The ingenuity of the young continued,  Gary receiving a call from the hospital at 11:30 p.m.,  “ a call light activation from a room in the east wing was registering on the nursing call panel”,  Gary knowing that the call lights in the east wing having all been disconnected, but realizing with these kids, the impossible could be possible.     The late night  journey to the hospital, the nursing staff relating that the call light activation had ceased just before his arrival.    Gary deciding to probe the darken east wings rooms with a flashlight not wanting to waken the apparent sleepers, checking  each room finding the call light cover plate all  in place.  Returning home,  Gary answering the phone for the second time, it was the hospital, the call light having once again broadcast its presence,  entailing another venture to the hospital.   Again,  the signal had ceased by the time Gary arrived,  questioning the nursing staff to why they didn’t investigate that particular room immediately.  Gary checked the room for the second time,  the occupants still resembling somnolence,  but this time finding a clue,  on the floor beneath the call light plate,  a discovery of sheet rock dust,  someone had unfastened the screws holding the covering plate.   A quick plate removal,  Gary finding the wire nuts capping the wires having been removed,  the youths discovering they could activate the call system by touching the low voltage bare wires.  A quick  remedy,  positioning the wires further down inside the wall out of reach.

30 days of use -Two Commercial Shredder

30 days of use -Two Commercial Shredders

With the advent of the disadvantaged students,  state government decided to get involved, a new regulatory requirement was instituted,  a provision for separate designated classrooms other than empty rooms available in the wing of the hospital.      The Hospital Board voting  to renovate the unused basement storage expanse beneath the east wing,  the area to provide  classrooms and a large conference room.   Gary receiving an assignment to make the area ready for the contractor.   The basement storage area was disaster area. containing a never-ending supply stored documents,  Gary estimating over 500 boxes of hospital records.   Paramount was a necessity to relocate the boxes, enabling the contractor to commence.  The monumental task was initiated,  records requiring retention put aside,  the majority stacked for shredding,  the only difficulty,  the hospital’s shredding capability consisted of a single individual office shredder.   Gary assaying the situation,  conferring with administration, providing a unique solution.  He would approach two Wichita office equipment suppliers about purchasing a commercial size shredder,  providing the distributors would allow a 30 day trail period and delivery.   The shredder deliveries ensued,  the request two commercial shredders being fulfilled,  the shredding process beginning, Roy and Gary realigning their work schedule,  every day allotting as much time as possible for the endeavor.  The process coming to a conclusion,  taking the full 30 days to exhaust supply of material to be shredded, both shredders well worn, but the better one being purchased.
Gary,  not normally inquisitive,  finding the shredding of confidential material sometimes enlightening,  providing an insight to behind the scene negotiations and decisions by the hospital board,  but adjudging the information was obtained surreptitiously,  a decision,  it would forever remain arcane.


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