The Foreseeable and the Unexpected ….#212 (the 90’s)



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 bye.   Dorothy Garancosky,  a somewhat elderly surgical nurse was responsible for supervising all aspects of the surgery department,  it was 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 and 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.

. In the past,  the east wing of the Anthony Hospital was employed for acute or swing bed patients, but times having  changed,  and the east wing was host to private pay long-term care residences with special needs.  Administrator Jay Jolly making Gary  aware of a forthcoming accommodation change for the wing, Jay disclosing a project that would require room modifications in preparation for a new clientele. The instructions were puzzling but quite clear,  a removal of the receptacle outlets that allowed access to the vacuum suction,  oxygen,  call lights, plus a disabling of breakers to all wall electrical outlets.  Gary complying,  the implementation in effect,  eliminated the rooms from any hospital application.  The hospital having secured a contract with the State of Oklahoma Department of Health Child and Family Guidance,  to provide live in accommodations for child counseling.   These were distressed youths gone astray, removed from their family settings and institutionalized for corrective guidance.     The arrival of the clientele gave reason for the vicissitude, all were teenage boys,  their age ranging from 13 thru 16 years.

. The new youthful inhabitants were not without causing a disturbance,  their stay giving  opportunity to explore ways of hindrance, finding it necessary to secure the windows from the outside to prevent an occasional exiting.  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 commode, once embroiled in toilet paper would flush, and could lodge in the narrower non-viewable trap area, causing a backup of toilet paper and excreta.  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  the call lights in the east wing had been disconnected,  but realizing with these kids, the impossible could be possible.  With late night  journey to the hospital, the nursing staff relating,  the call light activation had ceased just before his arrival.

. Gary probing the darken east wing with a flashlight, not wanting to waken the apparent sleepers, finding the call light cover plates were all in place.  Returning home, Gary answering the phone for a second time, it was the hospital, the call light in that room having once again broadcast it’s presence,  entailing another venture to the hospital.   Again,  the signal had ceased by arrival time,  questioning the nursing staff to why they didn’t investigate that particular room immediately.  Checking 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 removed and replaced the screws holding the covering plate.   Removing the plate, finding the plastic wire capping’s  having been removed,  apparently, the youths discovering they could activate the call system by touching the low voltage bare wires ends together.  A quick  remedy,  Gary positioning the wires further down inside the wall and out of reach of prying hands.

.  With the advent of the Oklahoma disadvantaged student protocol,  the Kansas state government deciding to get involved, a new regulatory requirement was instituted,  a provision for designated of classrooms other than the patient rooms available in the east wing.  The Hospital Board voting to renovate part of the unused basement storage expanse beneath the 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 designated area, was cluttered, containing a never-ending supply of stored boxed documents, Gary estimating over 500 boxes of hospital records, the exception,  patient medical record stored in a small locked safe room.  It was apparent that no one had shredded the countless documents in years, some having  permanent retention, others having none or an expired retention date. 

The monumental task was initiated,  records requiring retention put aside,  the remaining majority stacked for shredding,  the only difficulty,  the hospital’s shredding capability consisted of a single small individual office shredder.  Gary assaying the situation,  conferring with Jay,  providing a unique solution.  He approach two Wichita office equipment suppliers about purchasing a commercial size shredder,  providing the distributors would allow a 30 day trial period and delivery.  The shredder deliveries ensued,  the requested two commercial shredders arriving,  the shredding process beginning, Roy and Gary realigning their work schedule, every day allotting as much time as possible for the shredding endeavor.  The process coming to a conclusion, taking the full 30 days to exhaust supply of documents to be shredded, both shredders were well worn, but the better one being purchased.  Gary, not normally inquisitive, but on occasion,  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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