Friday, October 13, 2017

The Dorky Duckbill

On Wednesday, I walked over to County Hospital through the smoky air and spent the afternoon seeing patients. My new boss, over at VFMC, shared with us during orientation several things she’s not a fan of. One is chaplains stopping by to see patients “just to see how you’re doing.” It sounds like she wants her chaplains to confirm whether the religion listed for the patient is correct, find out if that religion is helping the patient—I’ve never heard anyone say it isn’t—and inquire if there is any religion-related support the patient needs, such as a Bible, which often is requested. She has an actual flowsheet for pastoral care conversations.

OK, then. I tried this out and it certainly does make conversations shorter, and resulted in even more walking, as I went to fetch Bible after Bible. Before you can be certified as a chaplain, you have to log 2000 post-CPE clinical hours. Possibly by the time I’ve done 2000 hours, I’ll have settled into approaches that are satisfying to me and also meet the job requirements.

On Thursday I stayed inside all day due to air quality issues. When I looked out my window in the morning, there was a layer of haze between me and the rooftops several blocks away. When I opened a window to see how things smelled, ash started blowing in immediately, and it smelled very smoky.

Today I stayed in most of the day, too, wondering if I was being overly wimpy. In the late afternoon, I went out to do a couple of errands. I ran into one of my fellow County Hospital volunteers. I was outside for only 30 minutes, and came home with a headache and irritated throat, and smoke-stinking clothes that had to be put into the laundry basket right away.

I have ordered a budget HEPA filter and some N95 masks, but who knows how long those will take to arrive? We are fitted yearly at work for an N95 mask. There are two general kinds. Thanks to that, I knew exactly what to order.
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