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.

Final Words

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