Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Nightshift 2 – 3 Mar 10
Whist writing this blog there is pandemonium going on behind me, banging, raised voices, some in anger…… no, there isn’t a mass tauma situation going on, its Team Alpha playing cards on a nightshift! Thankfully nights are usually calm (you never actually say ‘Quiet’ as that only means trouble!!) My name is Corporal Steph Hodgson and I am a nurse working in the Emergency Department of Camp Bastion. My day job is working the NHS as a Sister in trauma plastics back in blighty, but as I am in the Territorial Army (TA), I have been deployed to Afghanistan. This is my second tour. Now I have been asked to blog a week of my life in Afghan, and as I have never blogged a week in my life anywhere, this is going to be…. interesting for me! But looking on the Brightside I am a woman, so I can talk for ever.
I have been attached to 205 (Scottish) Field Hospital and, as I am English, I thought that I may need an interpreter to understand the Scots, let alone the Afghans, but they are a professionals and kind bunch and ignore my poor attempts at a Scottish accent. I am working with a mixed bunch of regular and TA soldiers, and a first for me; I am working with the Americans! This is a Joint Forces and Multi National run hospital, so we work closely together to provide the best care for our men and women of all nationalities. The accent isn’t so much of a problem this time but some of the terminology can be a little ….. confusing, such as ‘fanny bag’, that’s bum bag to us, and to be honest the rest is unprintable. Oh and someone must have mentioned the Q word as we’ve just been given notice that we have two ‘Cat A’s coming in by helicopter, (now I’m going to bore you with the actual work bit). The estimated time of arrival (ETA) is 0130hrs. We have a priority system that all incoming patients are given on the seriousness of their injuries. This is called a ‘nine liner’. Cat A is life threatening and needs immediate treatment, Cat B is injured or ill but stable and Cat C is what we call ‘walking wounded’.
We are expecting a Gun shot wound (GSW) to the abdomen, and GSW to the left leg. The trauma team has been alerted, which includes an anaesthetist, specialist surgeons, Doctors and of course us nurses and medics. I just need to go and help my mates set up the bays ready to receive the patients and then I will come back after we have cared for the causalities.
Right it’s now 0323hrs and we’ve spent the last hour and a half dealing with both the Cat A’s and a Cat B…. they’re like buses, none for hours then three come all at once!!! They all are quite stable now and tucked up in bed, as they’re not as seriously injured as first thought. This often happens, the nine liner does not always match the patients actual trauma, hence why we’ve renamed it the nine liar!!! Your never know exactly what’s coming through the door! That’s what makes this job so challenging
0500hrs trauma call, another Cat A……..
Picture Credit: Captain Jon Ward, Adjt Camp Bastion Field Hospital