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Code Blues

Code Blues

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Code Blues

Comprimento:
152 página
1 hora
Editora:
Lançado em:
Nov 4, 2014
ISBN:
9781499084658
Formato:
Livro

Descrição

A hospital is a special community: a world in itself. Hospitals have common bonds, and they also have very distinctive traits. Hospitals provide a plethora of stories. They are often humorous, sometimes tragic, or a mix of both. Hospitals truly are the embodiment of life and death.

Larger hospitals often serve as a training ground for physicians, nurses, and other medical support staff. Smaller hospitals might offer the same, but they are also a special part of the community. Many times, small hospitals serve as a primary medical contact. It is an information provider, clinic, and shelter.

Sadly, small hospitals are disappearing because of economics. It costs a lot of money to maintain hospitals with current equipment and appropriate staffing. When a hospital dies, it impacts all of the people who made it thrive, and all of the people who depend on its services.

The stories in Code Blues are set in a fictional small hospital in New York City. It is about to be closed. Although each story can be read independently, the common thread is the impact of such closure on the community as a whole. Small hospitals are as important to the community as the neighborhood grocery store, and many of the workers living in the area are served by the hospital.

Many of the stories are fictionalized anecdotes from training and working in hospitals. I have tried to offer a variety of glimpses into the complex relationships between various hospital personnel and also between staff and patients.
Editora:
Lançado em:
Nov 4, 2014
ISBN:
9781499084658
Formato:
Livro

Sobre o autor


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Amostra do Livro

Code Blues - Marsha Goldstein

Goldstein

Copyright © 2014 by Marsha Goldstein.

Library of Congress Control Number:   2014918539

ISBN:      Hardcover      978-1-4990-8466-5

                Softcover        978-1-4990-8467-2

                eBook             978-1-4990-8465-8

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Any people depicted in stock imagery provided by Thinkstock are models, and such images are being used for illustrative purposes only.

Certain stock imagery © Thinkstock.

Rev. date: 10/15/2014

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Contents

The Author’s Story

Foreword

Code Blue

Dying Light

Leap of Faith(less)

Rattle of a Dying Man

The Broom Closet

The Queen of Hearts

A Simple Twist of Fate

What Child Is This?

Hunger Strike

Rag Doll

Last Door on the Right

GI Rounds

Left Behind

The Rubber Room

A Toast to Life

Push Comes to Shove

Gray Matter

This collection of short stories is dedicated to the community of hospital workers everywhere. Their lives are impacted by others, and in turn, they impact lives. It evolves from my years as a nurse and family therapist.

This is dedicated to my husband. Gary Goldstein, M.D., who has shared many anonymous stories and whom I met on the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Unit while working.

This is dedicated to my son, Samuel, who challenged me to start writing again. Thank you!!

The Author’s Story

As a baby, I was a terrible sleeper. My mother would rock me to sleep, sing to me, and read to me. She read all of the usual kid literature: Silverstein, Seuss, Sendak, and Carle. It didn’t work. Goodnight Moon put her to sleep.

Then my Mom created her own series of books for me. In the Sleepy Sam series, I was the star! There was Sleepy Sam and several others. I loved them. There was always an element of danger or suspense, and I was always the hero.

When I was a toddler, Mom strapped me into my stroller and took me to St. Petersburg College whenever she had to meet with her creative writing instructor. She took the class five times. She worked hard on her short stories and poems even though she was only auditing the class.

Mom told me all about her background in writing. She started really young, in kindergarten. She said all of her elementary teachers encouraged her. In high school, she was the features editor and then editor in chief of the school newspaper. She won a national journalism scholarship and studied journalism and broadcasting at Temple University. She was news director of the radio station there and covered sports and politics. She worked for several years in radio.

Then she changed careers, but she continued to write even though she was working as a nurse and a family therapist. Then she changed careers again and started teaching elementary school music. It gave her a chance to write songs, stories, and plays for the students.

Mom stopped writing for a period, but I goaded her into starting again, and she is glad. Mom always has story ideas. She influences me.

Samuel Ronen

Tarpon Springs, Florida

Foreword

A hospital is a special community: a world in itself. Hospitals have common bonds, and they also have very distinctive traits. Hospitals provide a plethora of stories. They are often humorous, sometimes tragic, or a mix of both. Hospitals truly are the embodiment of life and death.

Larger hospitals often serve as a training ground for physicians, nurses, and other medical support staff. Smaller hospitals might offer the same, but they are also a special part of the community. Many times, small hospitals serve as a primary medical contact. It is an information provider, clinic, and shelter.

Sadly, small hospitals are disappearing because of economics. It costs a lot of money to maintain hospitals with current equipment and appropriate staffing. When a hospital dies, it impacts all of the people who made it thrive, and all of the people who depend on its services.

The stories in Code Blues are set in a fictional small hospital in New York City. It is about to be closed. Although each story can be read independently, the common thread is the impact of such closure on the community as a whole. Small hospitals are as important to the community as the neighborhood grocery store, and many of the workers living in the area are served by the hospital.

Many of the stories are fictionalized anecdotes from training and working in hospitals. I have tried to offer a variety of glimpses into the complex relationships between various hospital personnel and also between staff and patients.

Code Blue

"Code blue, staff lounge. Code blue, staff lounge."

Startled heads pop up like grazing deer hearing a threatening sound. White coats flap like sails at a regatta as doctors race down the hallways toward the staff lounge.

Code blue, staff lounge. Code blue, staff lounge.

The female voice is detached and distant. It sounds like it belongs in a sci-fi movie.

Seven doctors and three nurses arrive at the lounge. Shoulders and chests rise and heave to catch a breath. No one is lying on the floor. No one is blue or not breathing. No one is dead.

Daniel Rosenthal sits at the lounge dining table. He is the hospital administrator. He has worked at East Side Hospital for twenty years. His hair has turned from dark brown to silver gray, and his skin is sallow. He dresses in gray tones. He peers over his glasses at the small army of health care workers. The crowd swells to fourteen.

Come in, please. Come in all of you. There is no code. At least, there is no person to code.

Daniel is flanked by two suits. The suits squirm in their seats. One tries to smile at the frazzled code team.

Daniel clears his throat. I would like to introduce Dr. Rafe Hamilton and Mr. Alex Cordone. They are with the City Hospital Commission. They have an announcement for you. I apologize for the unorthodox method of getting a large group here. I didn’t want to make an overhead announcement or page your beepers. Rosenthal looks away and closes his eyes briefly. Mr. Cordone, the floor is yours.

Alex Cordone clears his throat and stands up. He speaks in monotone edged with a slight accent. Thank you for coming in so quickly. I too apologize for using the code blue as a device, but we need to speak to as many staff as possible quickly.

He watches the hospital staff looking at each other and the three men behind the table.

Dr. Hamilton and I are with the City Hospital Commission. Of course, you know that means we are part of the team responsible for overseeing the daily function of every hospital in the city. Right now, we have fifty-two hospitals in the city. Some of them, as I am sure you are aware, are large, famous hospitals offering cutting-edge treatments. Then there are smaller hospitals. Like yours. They basically serve a community area. These hospitals have become understaffed and certainly have fallen behind technologically. They are not receiving the funding, nor do they have an income that matches other and newer hospitals in the city.

Daniel Rosenthal closes his eyes. He thinks back to a number of meetings over the past few weeks with members of the commission. The news they offered him was devastating. Close the hospital. It doesn’t make money. We can’t maintain it. Close the hospital. The people in your community will have to find other resources. We can open a small clinic. Cheaper, easier. Cheaper, easier. Your residents can find placement in larger facilities. Your staff, well, we are sorry. We can offer a small severance package. Close the hospital.

Daniel opens his eyes and stares at a stain on the wall. It looks like blood. The hospital walls are bleeding. He focuses on Dr. Hamilton’s mouth.

"Effective one month from today, this hospital will be permanently closed for business. All emergencies will be diverted to East River General, and all surgeries will be divided according to their urgency and specialty among other hospitals in the city. We are considering maintaining a small emergency clinic here, but inpatient facilities will cease operations. We are closing East Side Hospital. We will shift certain personnel to other hospitals, but

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