Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hospital Blues and Delights

Let me preface this post by saying this, all that snowfall that has been being dumped on the East Coast since December? Yeah, I have gotten ALL of it. Perhaps not always the worst, but I believe I have officially seen more snowfall accumulation this winter than I did in four years living in central NY state. Its been interesting to say the least, but more on that later.

The lab that I work in shares the building with a specialty hospital, allowing the doctors I work under to be both MD and research scientist. Its a wonderful set up with great people and the chance to really see the “bench to bedside” effect in clinical research. Normally there are very few downsides.

It was late, as in well past 2000 with few researchers left in the building. I was done with work but had stayed at my desk to finish up a school assignment (yes, I was working a full time job and taking nigh classes at a local college).

Poof! I am consumed by darkness, only the eerie red light of exit signs illuminating my lab followed a chorus of emergency alert beeps from our refrigerators, -20 C, and -80 C freezers complaining that they had no power. And a dead computer with a very lost document.

Needless to say that ended my evening at work, and the snow hadn’t even started!

I had known that the building was going to be testing their generators that evening, its required for buildings that hospitals are in, I just hadn’t thought it would have been that early in the evening. It was also supposed to have been Saturday, but with an impending December snow storm, they decided testing before the snow was a better idea.

Now while my Friday night had a bit of a damper after having to be up till 0000 finishing said assignment, the weekend held a bit of a surprise, and I am not talking about the feet of snow we got.

I had to come in both days of the weekend to treat mice. If I didn’t I would lose two weeks worth of an experiments and that was not on my list of things to do. Well, much to my delight, the roads and parking lots around my building were beautifully plowed and very much drivable, unlike the rest of the county. I was impressed. The hospital is a specialty hospital, no emergency room, but they had planned ahead, knowing that people would still need treatment and made sure access to care was not a problem. Or in my case, access to my mice.

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