Stay Off The High Ridges…….#233 (The 90’s)

Hospital Administrator Buck McKinney

Hospital Administrator Buck McKinney

Gary having reason to question the aptness of  hospital administrator Buck McKinney, espousing from past experience having worked  with remarkable administrative representatives as  Glen Piper, Jay Jolly and stanch businessman Steve Miller.   Gary’s suspicion provoked by McKinney’s accession as Ambulance Director and after failing the State EMT Certification CPR Exam in Wichita,  Buck driving to Topeka to complain to the State EMS Director that the person in charge of the CPR testing was in error for failing a Hospital Administrator.   His status as Ambulance Director and  EMT was in name only,  having never been an active EMT participant on an ambulance run and his  Directors duties being  performed  the Director of Nursing the incomparable Sharon Ragan.  During the annual Ambulance State Certification Inspection,  the Surveyor finding the Kiowa ambulance lacking the required written protocols for an ambulance service.  Gary obtaining a precedent from Medicine Lodge,  meeting with Kevin White the Medicine Lodge Hospital Administrator and  Medicine Lodge Ambulance Director,  Medicine Lodge providing  their modus operandi as a template.  Gary adapting them for a Type B Service in protocol form fulfilling the states compliance requirements for Kiowas ambulance service.  Buck expressing that because of his diligence the ambulance was now in compliance.   Gary recalling an apropos  quote from a Louis L’Amour western novel expounded by his father,  “ride low in the saddle,  stay off the high ridges,  you’re riding in a dead man’s seat”,  the verse’s implication imparting a means for a person to cloak their ineptness.

Norma Jacobs Kiowa Clinic Business Manager

Gary as a member of the Kansas Hospital Engineers Association was elected as one of six to the Board of Directors of the KHEA representing South Central Kansas District 3 which included Wichita,  also accepting the added responsibility as treasurer and editor of the organizations monthly newsletter.  He was told the Kiowa Hospital was an adherent member of the Kansas Hospital Association, McKinney  blatantly boasted  that even though the hospital was a member, he had never attended or participated in any of the KHA seminars or professional presentations throughout the years of his hospital administrative position.  It was a given within the confines of the hospital when the subject of education arose, McKinney would espoused a MBA ,  although being forthright never actually declaring a degree, just that he had completed the studies at the University of Minnesota by correspondence, it was noticeable his office walls were barren of any declaration.  Gail Lindley the purchasing director halfheartedly mentioning that it was rumored  Norma Jacobs,  the Clinic Business Manager was probably responsible for fulfilling the college studies for him.

Ingresol Rand Vacuum System

Ingersoll Rand Vacuum System

It wasn’t a typical morning at the Hospital  but that was to be expected with the arrival of  Doctor Ransom and  a scheduled laparoscopic gallbladder surgery.   The surgery underway,  Gary going to the basement which domiciled the vacuum system that provided suction to the hospital  surgical outlets and to confirm the performance of the two Ingersoll Rand Vacuum Pumps.  Gary noticing that something didn’t sound right, the number-one pump motor’s RPM seemed slower than normal.   The motors diminishing  RPM  becoming a concern, its declination giving a presence of disquietude.   The alternating second pump’s Hg gauge registering correctly, (vacuum is measured in inches of mercury) but he could tell by the sound that motors also didn’t sound right.    Gary calling surgery giving word that there may be a problem developing with the vacuum system and a possibility they may have to switch to the backup  portable pumps.   Sharon Ragan,  the surgery nurse giving notice to Dr. Ransom but coming back saying  it was unacceptable,  he needed the higher PSI of the main vacuum system.

Gary observing an unreal situation, with the number one motor’s rpm’s decline and now a question about number two,  It was decision time, placing a call to Humphrey Implement the only place in Kiowa that might have a motor, Gary explaining the situation to Roger Robinson, asking if he could check if they had  a 120/230 volt, 1320 RPM motor with a 5/8 inch shaft or a reasonable facsimile,  amazingly Roger said they did and was on his way.  Gary began removing the now inoperable motor on the number one pump and its belt pulley,  Roger’s arriving with a replacement motor.   The  motor having been replaced none to soon as the remaining second  motor began a final failure slowing down mode.  Gary  placing a call upstairs that the problem was temporarily solved and the  system would remain online,  knowing that Doctor Ransom could now breathe with a sigh of release.   The question remained, the reason for the motors failure,  the explanation coming from the city engineer, during the night,  the town experienced  low voltage on a leg of the three-phase current for several hours, inflicting a  “brown out”.  Placing a call to Bill Duvall to see if he could come by for a second opinion, Bill confirming what Gary suspected,  it was the   ‘run capacitors’  on the motors that were damaged running on the low voltage during the brown-out.  The electrical brown-out causing a concern, Gary suggesting it would be nice if the city would notify the hospital when an overnight power failures occurred, but his request was never acknowledged.

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