Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Code: Disaster

Winter kicked my little town's ass this last few weeks. I know, everyone jokes about how we are such wusses about snow in the Pacific Northwest, but the thing is, we are never ever prepared for it. We don't have the infrastructure in place to handle it well. It's not just the snow, or the unplowed roads, but the fact that we have approximately 8 trees per square foot* and a lot of them fall down during storms and knock out our power.

So this last week was a special week at the hospital, as a disaster code was called. That meant all staff on premesis was not allowed to leave. People were mandated there for 30+ hours, sleeping on the floor wherever there was room for a short respite after 12-16 hours of work.


I wasn't there during this, and had no way of getting there, which suited me just fine except that I felt so badly for my coworkers who were carrying all that load understaffed. In spite of this, they made it, and did well.

The thing that I found most touching was that we all got these desperate emails begging us to come and donate blood, because obviously all the regular blood drives out in the community weren't able to happen. Much as I hate needles in me, I wanted to go and do this, but again, had no way of getting to the hospital.

The other day I got an email from some muckety-muck about how that turned out - the big hospitals from the nearest Big City had some donors (3-10), one of the local Big Companies, had around 20 donors, and our hospital had 70+!! By far the most of any facility that did the emergency blood drives. And this was all from employees that couldn't leave. The email referred to us as "the little hospital that could".

And with that, my heart grew three sizes and I vowed to donate the next time the van is on campus at my school.

*scientific and accurate. Totally.

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