Thursday, September 14, 2006

The memo, at last


We are delighted to announce the immediate opening of the Catherine O'Leary Burn Unit. As this project may not have been well-known to all, there follow herein some details, in a question-and-answer format, designed to show our sensitivity and desire for thorough -- albeit ex post facto input.

Q: Burn Unit?? Where the hell is it going to be?
A: Patients will be housed on the surgical floors.

Q: Aren't those floors already at capacity?
A: Data have shown that on weekends, there are quite often available beds, and it is on weekends that people typically ignite.

Q: Who will be taking care of the patients?
A: The plastic surgeons.

Q: Uh, what do they say about it?
A: What possible difference does that make???

Q: Aren't there only two of them?
A:Yes. And that's the beauty of it: there's nothing they can do about it.

Q: Well, what facilities have been put in place to deal with the patients?
A: As we speak, finishing touches are being put on a large sign that says "Burn Unit," to be placed at the entrance to the ER.

Q: Isn't there a world-class burn unit just a few miles away with lots of experience and excellent results? Why on earth would we want to open one here?
A: Listen, you smart-ass son of a...... Sorry. Excellent question. It's why we do everything, It's about the effort we are making on behalf of the hospital. It's our new mission: Market Share.

Q: Burn patients require a great deal of nursing care. Will more nurses be hired, and will they be experienced?
A: You can be sure we have looked into it. And while we're on the subject, let us remind you that most nurses are women, and women have plenty of experience scraping crust off of burned toast. In life, things overlap.

Q: I have a bad feeling about this. If our patients do badly, what shall we tell their families?
A: Tell them "Nobody Cares More."

That's it. I think the original was longer, but as usual I can't find it. This is pretty close.

Followup number one: the hospital is still designated at level three for trauma care.

Followup number two: the hospital now, several years later, has a cardiac surgery program consistently ranked in the country's top 100, and the hospital has been so ranked as well. It's building a whole new plant. Actual "state of the art." Go there with confidence. Times change. Sometimes -- who knows why? -- for the better.


Anonymous said...

Dr. Schwab ... that memo is absolutely hilarious, and makes quite a impact!

I wish I could have seen the red faces on those who snagged all of the memos out of the mailboxes before anyone could read them. *LOL*

Apparently, it was exactly the picture which the hospital needed to envision ... sometimes a good dose of reality goes a long way! :o)

Anonymous said...

That's great Sid. LOL

Cathy said...

I have laughed so hard reading this.

Intelinurse said...

very funny...I liked the "Bring your own buns"

Anonymous said...

That was an excellent story. I have often felt that my sarcasm is going to cause me problems in my future career as a physician: Not with patients, but in situations similar to this. I'm glad you got your point across.

Mother Jones RN said...

Hi Doc:

Great post. I think we had a similar memo circulating around our hospital. The memo was about plans to "invest" in a new gero-pscyh unit. The nursing staff asked what previsions were being made to accommodate the new unit. We were told there were BIG plans in the works. The hospital planned to install some beds in a remodeled storage area on our unit, in addition to buying some new Lawrence Welk CDs. Of course they didn’t see the need to hire additional nurses. That would be overkill.

GaffLady said...

that was awesome!

Anonymous said...

very cool news, dr schwab! we are the only infectious disease clinic around for 100 miles, and it makes a difference.
good to know there will be a good burn unit in your area. it will be busy.


Moving this post to the head of the list, I present a recently expanded sampling of what this blog has been about. Occasional rant aside, i...