Thursday, November 02, 2006
I turn off my car and get out as the dynomax performance exhaust settles and stops its delightful rumbling. I've had to park in the lower lot which has significantly diminished the awe of the surrounding mountain view, for now I have to walk up the never ending monastery like steps to get inside to the warmth of Mills Memorial Hospital.
The eerie silence greets me like a stranger entering a bar in a small town, granted, my entrance is without the stares and snickers one might encounter at Harry's ol Beer Barn but the lobby is normally alive with crying kids, moaning sick and dripping babies, especially when the parking lot is full like this. I pinch myself and feel nothing, but that's because I'm superhuman. Ok it hurt a little bit, and I keep moving past hemodialysis where 10 patients are normally seated, passing the time as the phlebotomy procedure toils on endlessly. But not today. The seats are empty, machines silent and no nursing staff in sight.
I start to feel uneasy, wondering what could possibly have happened to lull the building to sleep. As I turn the corner and pass by the elevators my shoe squeaks on the shiny waxed floor, indicating the night shift staff were busy as usual last night, scrubbing the thousands of square footage by hand ( the machines broke last fall and we're still fundraising to have them repaired.. darn government cutbacks).
No sounds come from behind the doors in OR, Recovery or staffing and I choose not to look, but continue through to admin where I spend most of my days training the nursing staff computer skills and shuffling through the never-ending layers of political emails and voicemails.
The doors are locked, normally wide open by now inviting staff to come and complain about the lack of staffing or surplus of patients. The only option now is to backtrack and visit engineering to get a key, although if the rest of the hospital is any indication, I'll be on my own once I get there.