A patient’s curse: a hospital blackout tale

Yesterday was just one of the most depressing shifts of my life; in fact it was so depressing I had a hard time thinking of the word.

I was on a PM shift (2-10PM), and the lights suddenly went out right after our rounds. Yes, it doesn’t take a genius to guess, there was a power failure on our side of the hospital building. Panic rose from everywhere as two of our patients are on mechanical ventilators and obviously, we have to manually resuscitate them. I ran from room to room assisting in ambubagging*, answering inquiries and providing comfort while my own perspiration trickles down my white uniform.

To make matters worse, the blackout did not last for seconds nor minutes, it lasted seven long hours. I just couldn’t face the patients’ inquiries on whats taking the power too long; partly because I honestly dont know the answer and at that moment, I don’t want to ask.
At around 5 in the afternoon, everyone got restless of waiting, a lot of patients and their relatives were demanding for additional lights and emergency fans, but most of them wants a room transfer…

And that includes my patient Ms. B. I planned to give her her due dose of antibiotic before the room transfer; but she suddenly shouted and badmouthed me on the corridor while a lot of other patients and their relatives stare. She kept on shouting and I felt very little at that time. I almost wanted to cry but I did not let my emotions come in the way. I told myself that Ms. B just got fed up of waiting; she came to the hospital to feel comfort and she’s not getting it at the moment.
I proceeded with the room transfer and once we were on the well-lighted and air-conditioned room, I gave the medication and went on my way.

Sometimes even if you have exhausted all means to provide care, at the expense of your own needs, they still find you inadequate. And it sucks that nurses have to be always nice, in a way I don’t even begin to understand.

P.S. I am not blaming anybody for what happened, but just so you know, it did not feel right.

*bag valve mask

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  • salvi

    well..for 14 yrs of experience…i learned the word “caring”…i can spread and give it everybody…but i have to leave a lot for myself…at the end of the day..Me,myself and my family…3 kiddos who needs me..Now,whenever i come to work…i remind myself ’bout TLC..but i go to work to esrn money and do my job and get paid…not to be liked!..not to be appreciated…

    • Bejan

      Damn right. A perfect mindset…..

  • bonzai

    I feel for you. I worked in a private hospital in manila for 3 years before I was fortunate enough to go work abroad. Let me tell something, its the same all over. Same shit different location.

  • raf

    sang hosp po to? parang alam ko to a. 😀

  • That is the reality of being a nurse.

  • Lina

    Where we’re the hospital administrators when you needed them? They did not do their part , it seems when the crisis occurred. I commend you for keeping your cool. I understand. I do similar work , fortunately generators kicked in when we had power failure.