Friday, May 05, 2006

Stop, Drop and Roll

Written on the Run by Killer

I am at work and the fire alarm is going off. I am not sure where the fire is supposed to be because when they announced it over the intercom I was not paying attention. It could be anywhere. I have serious doubts in my patients ability to make a swift get away in case of impending doom, and this puts some serious moral and ethical dilemmas in my path. If a fire breaks out on my unit do I stay with my patients and face possible incineration, or do I cut and run like a little girl, screaming and waving my arms frantically over my head?
There are consequences to both options. If I run away shrieking and knock over everyone on my way to safety, I could possibly lose my job. But I am in a sellers market and could quickly find a new one, probably across the street at the VA. The VA does not concern itself so much with customer satisfaction or customer safety, they just need a warm body. I could run screaming from our front door, continue across the street (stopping to look both ways for frantic fire trucks) and go straight to the human resources of the VA hospital. I could probably have the entire application filled out by the time the fire men determine it was a false alarm.
If I decide to stick by my patients side during this dire time the outcome still appears bleak.
For starters my patients are all on high flow oxygen. That creates a really flammable environment. There is also a distinct possibility that I might be the only person who does not abandon ship. In that situation I could get ostracized by my fellow staff members for trying to be a hero and making them look bad. I am a very social person and don't want everyone to hate me. We all know, everyone hates a brown noser. Even if the brown noser ends up with 3rd degree burns over 60% of his body.
I really am in a pickle. I hope they find the fire while it is small enough and put it out before it spreads to my area. I feel the only option at this point is to wait and watch what everyone else does. I really don't know which outcome is worse. Suffering the excruciating pain of 3rd degree burns, followed by multiple infections and difficult rehab, or working for the VA.

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