The other night I was working in a LTC facility, right next door to and affiliated with a major hospital. Starting at 0400 we had a malfunction with the fire alarm; so it was emiting a constant high pitched scream all over the building. The charge RN called over to the hospital (after hours maintenance) who stated that it was not an emergency and that we would have to wait until the LTC maint. guy answered his page. Well, this only happened at 0700 as I went off shift!!!!! For three hours patients and staff had to endure; a co-worker developed a migraine, residents sleep was disturbed, and possibly it triggered a seizure. All the while I am looking at the panel that has a silence button, yet no key to unlock it anywhere in the building!! :angryfire I just can't believe that turning off the blessed noise wasn't a priority. It definately affected residents and work conditions. Yes, again I state that we are affiliated with the hospital a fact which seems to matter little when the LTC needs help or supplies! ARGGGH
Jul 11, '04
What was your DON or Administrators response to this....bet my bottom I would've called them and made them put pressure on the hospital maint. to help.
Jul 11, '04
Did the charge only make one
call? Hope somebody at least got the name of the individual who stated that it was 'not an emergency'.
Personally, I would not have accepted that response. I would have replied "Oh, yes it is!" , and then proceeded to explain - with the schreech as background noise -- that the noise was interfering with the function of the facility, residents couldn't sleep, etc. I would have gotten the person's name, then stated that the local fire department probably has the ability to shut off the noise and that I would call there, adding that 'I'm sure they'll send the facility a bill, so I'll be sending a report to the administrator in the am to explain why I called the fire department.' I would then verify the spelling
of the other person's name. Chances are, maintenance would then have come over to turn the stupid thing off. If not, I would have followed through wih my 'threat'. There's no excuse for a noise like that to go on for hours!!!
Jul 11, '04
I had th same kind of thing happen to me one night duty once. The noise was driving me mental so I located the offending speaker in the ceiling then cut the wires. No more noise!
Jul 12, '04
Well I am pretty sure the DON wasn't called, names weren't taken, and there was no booty kickin' by the charge RN. Of course, I would like to think that I would have done this if I were charge. . .but I remember when this was my regular job and I was charge. I think the first rule was BEWARE of stirring it up! I was a trouble maker because I didn't take no for an answer. Haven't tried the direct approach, just cutting wires, maybe I'll do that next. I heard that alarm for at least 12 hrs in my head!!!
Jul 12, '04
Not an emergency! Yeah right! I would be takin' down names and making some phone calls -- how tough would it have been for someone from the hosp ( assuming their maintanence had the key) to run over and shut that off!? It sounds like a case of laziness to me!
Regardless of why it was not cared for, I would get ahold of someone in chagre and see if you can offer some alternate soloutions should it ever happen again -- ie: key somewhere in the building, wirecutters handy, a back-up person to reach if the mainatnce guy doesn't return his page.... etc. Having an obniouxious alarm blaring is definately an issue that needs to be resolved BEFORE it happens again.
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