Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I am back to work...and that must be earth shattering to someone...for today, while my patient was pushing, we had a 5.4 magnitude earthquake. I heard it before I felt it. Heard that weird noise and instantly knew one was coming...My patient was actually pushing at the time. The room started to roll and again we heard that noise - sort of a 'creaking' sound. It is such an eerie sound. I think the thing that I hate most about earthquakes is that they strike without any advanced notice. Not like a hurricane or tornado. You are walking about, doing your work and all of a sudden the room starts to move. You think to yourself..."is the room moving or is this my imagination?" and that quickly changes to,"is this gonna be the big one? I sure hope it ends soon!!"

Now if having an earthquake isn't scary enough...imagine having one when you are teaching an intern how to give patient care, you have a patient pushing, your doctor is deathly afraid of earthquakes and you are the one that everyone is looking up to. You know you have to stay calm (which I am pretty good at) but all you really want to do is call home and make sure your kids are safe. Thankfully the quake wasn't any bigger and didn't last too long. My patient's husband said he looked around to see if the chandelier was moving - a chandelier in a birthing room?? No - we don't have those - so I told him to look at the IV bags if he really wanted to see something moving.

I told my intern that if that walls started to collapse that she needed to jump on the patient in an effort to try and save her and I'd stand in the doorway watching to be sure they were OK. I think she half believed me...but really - I did remind her that you don't leave your patients side during an earthquake, and afterwards you check your room to be sure all of the equipment is still intact and that your patient is safe. In a major quake we may need to evacuate. Thank goodness that didn't happen! Having to move a patient who can't walk because she has an epidural going and is pushing would not have been my idea of a fun day!

The news keeps saying that we have had many aftershocks - but I haven't felt any. The only aftershock I noticed is the influx of patients after the quake. They always come rolling in after something like that. I think it just gets their adrenaline going and then they contract or they worry about their baby. So it just makes our day even crazier!! I was glad to get off and come home. Everything was good here but it sure made for an interesting day.
Our patient went on to deliver a healthy baby boy. Won't that be fun writing in a baby book, "today you were born while the earth shook"


Holly said...

Wow! What a day! Glad it wasn't any bigger than it was but still unnerving to have an earthquake during that time!

nurse XY said...

That's too funny--"Won't that be fun writing in a baby book, "today you were born while the earth shook"".