Monday, November 10, 2008

Wardsman: Day one

Today was my first day in my new job as Theatre Wardsman. I went in at 7am and got changed into "scrubs" the standard theatre uniform. On went the blue paper overshoes and the white bandana and I was ready to get started.

I was told that my job was to transport patients to theatre from the Day Surgery Unit and the wards. This meant pushing wheelchairs, theatre trolleys or beds depending on the operation. I was told that I would not be working inside the actual theatre where all the real action takes place.

I walked into chaos. The air-conditioning system had broken down and with no natural ventilation theatre was starting to warm up. The fact that the sterilising department with their huge autoclave ovens are within theatre didn't help. All major surgery was on-hold and only smaller cases could be done. This meant that the regular staff were less busy than normal so I got loads of advice and got shown around the theatre and had lots of things explained to me that they probably wouldn't have had time for on a normal day.

As the work pace picked up I found that my job description was a little less than accurate. Although I was running up and down stairs fetching and carrying I was also spending a fair amount of time inside the operating theatre preparing it for the next case. I had to help the theatre nurses while the patient was anaesthetised and then hold up limbs as the blood was drained from them and tourniquets were applied and the limb was washed down in that brown pre-op cleansing liquid and draped in green cloths.

When the surgeons finished their surgery my walky-talky went off calling me to that theatre to help transfer the patients back onto the trolley to be wheeled to recovery. When I had finished that I had to go back into the dirty theatre and get out the bucket and mop and mop all the blood off the floor. Arrggghhh!!! For anyone that knows me you are probably wondering if this is true or just Gina spicing up the story! You are right, really I was just mopping what looked like a spotlessly clean floor but it sounded exciting didn't it!

Another of my jobs was to keep emptying the bins and the linen-skips of dirty sheets etc. They were to be thrown into a huge container on wheels. When this trolley was full I had to push it through the gloomy basement corridors and pick the bags up and throw them up into the big linen carriers that will be lifted into the back of the trucks and taken to Sydney for washing. I think my arms will be like Popeye after a few weeks. I think my legs will be too at the pace that the other Wardsmen climb the stairs. They take them two at a time and I was running trying to keep up with them!

At lunchtime I found out it was "Peri-Operative Nurses Day". I had no idea exactly what that meant other than I could smell pizza! In celebration of the day someone had decided to treat the nurses to a big order of Domino's pizza. Everyone was told to tuck in. Pizza never tasted so good!

I really enjoyed today. It was a world away from any job I have ever done before. It was very physically demanding and I think that I will be very tired by the end of the working week. However everyone I met today was really friendly and I kept being thanked for the jobs I was doing. In the end feeling that I did a good days work and was appreciated made me walk back to my car with a spring in my step and a smile on my face. There isn't much more I can ask for than that.

2 comments - click here to leave your comment:

  1. Sounds tough! But a tough job where someone appreciates you is better than a fun job where no one cares. Kinda like being a mom, eh?

  2. Very true!