Friday, April 3, 2009

Elevator Adventures

We were coming back from a bone marrow biopsy today when our elevator was "captured for hospital emergency." Wow, "elevator capturing" sounds like it could be some new extreme sport or an event at a rodeo. But it's really not that exciting. Basically, it means that the elevator is needed to transport a critically ill patient, usually from the ED to the ICU, and someone with a "code key" uses his key to call the elevator directly to a specific floor.

We exited the elevator at the ground floor to let 2 nurses push a patient and numerous beeping machines into the elevator. Then we waited. And waited. And waited for another elevator to come. Soon there was a whole cast of characters waiting with us. Nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, clerks. Everyone was chatting it up and expressing annoyance at the slow elevators. Finally, an elevator arrived and all fourteen or so of us piled in. I was in the way back of the elevator smushed in next to the lab tech with the bone marrow tray. Let's just say it was a very tight fit.

We go all of one floor up and the door opens to reveal a food service worker waiting with a huge steel cart full of patient lunch trays. There was no way in hell that this food cart could fit into the ~2 square feet of open space left in the elevator. But she was going to try. She started pushing that steel disaster towards the elevator and a man by the door said, "no way, not going to fit." The lady got angry and shouted, "this is for patients, I need the elevator, get out!"

Everyone was stunned and then a very quick thinking person in scrubs yelled back "We are all patient care in this elevator!" Several people started to laugh and one nurse yelled "goodbye" and pushed the door close button. The doors slammed, just missing the cart that she was still trying to wedge in to block the door, and we were off on our slow climb to the top of the hospital.


Marcia said...

haha. here there is a shabbaz elevator. i.e. on the sabbath, it stops on every single floor... meaning essentially 1 of 3 elevators is out of commission. :)

The Lone Coyote said...

I was told about an elevator like that at one of my interviews last year. Except the way the explanation was given made it unclear what was going on. I'll tell you the story someday.

Street Legal Tank said...

It seems strange to me that the hospital you work at doesn't give the doctor right of way. At the hospital I work at, a doctor could have an elevator all to himself if he wanted. The mentality around here is if a doc says jump, we are trained to ask "how high?" Maybe it is different because you are a resident. But I would think that everyone in that situation would have differed to your authority had you spoken up.

Christina said...

Gotta love the hospital elevators! I got stuck in one a few months ago - it was awesome!