Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ideas From the ICU Waiting Room

I have probably seen the inside of a hospital more than I've cared to these past couple of weeks. I have a relative who had surgery-- then a major surgical complication-- for which he had to be admitted back to the surgical ICU.

He is on the mend but continued prayers appreciated.

What was interesting while sitting in the waiting room? I can't help but look at and examine my environment and develop story ideas.

Many of you are probably aware that most medical units use machines to dispense drugs. These go by a few names. Pyxis machines or Omni cells.

When I first started nursing, these machines were mostly used for drug dispensing so nurses on units didn't have to wait for the pharmacy to fill a med order and then deliver it. It's very helpful in situations where the patient is in a lot of pain or say . . . seizing.

These machines have evolved to dispense quite a few things. In our unit, they dispense not only drugs but about 90% of the supplies we use for patient care. Things like suture kits, nasal cannulas, wound packing, etc.

I discovered a Pyxis machine that dispensed scrubs.  How awesome is that!

Now, you may ask yourself . . . "Just why did Jordyn find that soooo fascinating?"

Simple-- how could a bad guy use it to get where he wanted to be in the hospital setting. Or, how could someone use it to disguise themselves to get out.

Awww--- now you see how my devious mind works.

What the machine required was an ID and password because they probably know what devious minds think. Yes, I did punch a few buttons to see exactly how it worked. Research, people.

What ideas have you come up with in waiting rooms?


  1. I hope your relative continues to improve. I know how scary it is to have a loved one be that ill.

    There was a very chirpy volunteer at the last hospital waiting room I was in. I was grateful for his advice, but I also wondered what motivated him to do this kind of volunteering.

    He seemed perfectly content to stand around and talk to strangers all day, and as an introvert I truly don't understand that. :)

    1. Lydia,

      I totally understand. My free time is (other than family) is a quiet room, tea, and a good book. Cheers to you fellow introvert!

  2. Jordynn, I was always the one punching those buttons.lo Yes, I was a nurse or am a nurse.When I worked in the ICU, everything still came from supply or pharmacy. After several yrs, I moved to the ER and learned of the pyxis. Loved both experiences. My next experience was not a pleasant one, I became the patient. I really got a completely different look at the hospital. I never thought of the differences before. When you mentioned the plots you thought of, I was amazed because I never thought in terms like that.

    1. It is my devious suspense mind always working. A blessing and a curse I guess.