Archive for October, 2009

31
Oct
09

The Grand Prix Experience: Fourth Night Shift

IMG_3499The fourth night shift at the tent field hospital went out quiet also. We had a fewpatients who came from the concerts, but the rest were not really complicated cases, nothing major. I was not sure about the name of the band who performed last night, but I heard they were an Arabic band.

I met some more new nurses who joined our team for the first time. Apparently, they were pulled out from the hospitals where they were working, and were made to come here in the island. The authorities here are really expecting the worst case scenario, so they were adding up more staff, to make up with the additional beds that were set up.

kimeAt this time of writing, the qualifying race of Formula 1 is being held and I could hear the buzzing sounds of the cars from my hotel window. I am not planning to watch the race live now, coz I really need to catch up on my sleep. Anyways, I opened the tv and the race is being shown live at Abu Dhabi Sports Channel. Now,  I could here the cars live from the tv, and live from my window. Isn’t that cool?!

Performing at the concert arena tonight will be no less than AEROSMITH! Of course, I will not be able watch again, and I will be left treating concert casualties at the tent hospital tonight. Are Aerosmith fans the war freak-types? Head-bangers and stuff? Hmmm… we’ll see tonight.

Got to crash on my bed now!

30
Oct
09

The Grand Prix Experience: Watching the Practice Race

IMG_3440I woke up 330pm to get myself ready to watch real Formula 1 racing cars. I met with my friends at the hotel lobby at 4pm, then we proceeded to the Yas Marina Circuit, just across my hotel. We chose the nearest gate, Gate 13, to enter.

Security people at the circuit gates were very strict. It’s just good that our group was wearing an ID that says “OFFICIAL”  so we are able to move around with ease. We chose seats near the circuit so we could take good pictures and videos. I found out from other guests that their tickets had seat numbers on it. So we had to move from one seat to another coz we didn’t have official seats. Anyhow, when the race started, everybody went near the railings to get a closer view of the cars.

IMG_3486I learned that guests who are coming in with tickets paid so much for the seats – about 1500 dirhams for the lowest ones – or about 18k in pesos. The highest priced tickets i heard was about 250k pesos! OMG! And I’m sitting here, getting one of the best views of the track – for FREE! And I’m even paid to be here! Gosh, I’m so lucky…

By the way, I was trying to upload the videos I recorded from my camera, to youtube but, for some reasons, the site doesn’t upload it. I’ll keep trying, but for now, let me share some still shots I got. Remember that the cars were running on high speed when I took the pics.

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30
Oct
09

The Grand Prix Experience: Third Night Shift

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BEYONCE CONCERT

My third night shift is over! Hooray!Only seven night shifts are remaining for me here at Yas Island where the first ever Formula One race in Abu Dhabi is being held.

Last night’s shift was busier than the previous two shifts. That was because last night was the concert night for BEYONCE KNOWLES. Thousands of people flocked to the concert venue. I was not able to watch her sing but I got to see the crowd as our service shuttle passed by the main entrance gate on our way to our tent hospital.

The day staff were able to watch part of the concert, as they went straight to the venue right after their shift. Shame, we missed that part of our stay here.

But hey, I came here for work! The action at the field hospital was something I shouldn’t miss. Our patients last night were basically coming from the audience at the concert venue. Apparently, the stores inside the venue ran out of water and soft drinks, and only beers and alcoholic beverages were left on the shelves. So some basically got dehydrated, especially those who were at the venue early in the afternoon. We received patients who collapsed, who had abdominal pains, and even neck pains!

I heard that a famous Arabic band is performing tonight after the Formula One race. I wonder when Aerosmith is performing? Tomorrow, I suppose. I haven’t checked the schedules. But it does not interest me now, coz I can’t watch concerts on these bloody night shifts.

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Night staff early morning snap: Me in brown scrubs

BIGGEST TENT HOSPITAL?

The initial plan for our tent field hospital was a 50-bedded facility, which could treat emergency cases and could do emergency surgery (we have one operating room). This was the picture during my first night shift.

On my second night shift, the bed capacity increased by 40 – so that made the tent hospital a 90-bedded facility. It seemed we are really preparing for the worst case scenario.

IMG_3435Last night when I came in, the field hospital has become a 219-bedded unit! Wow! It’s even bigger than some of our hospitals in Bulacan! two more operating room tables were added. I heard the sheikh wanted to put up five operating rooms and to reach a 250-bed target. Gosh, we are really expecting for a major disaster here! I hope that does not happen. But anyhow, to be part of might-be one of the biggest tent hospital in the world is already an exciting idea.

I’ll see how many beds will be added on my fourth night tonight.

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GOOD MORNING, YAS ISLAND!

Daylight started to scatter to wake up Yas Island! Here’s a play of the morning sun, as it rises on the east outside the sleepy camp of the field tent hospital.

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CARS CARS CARS!

Returning to my hotel, I found this Ferraris parked in front of the hotel. I misplaced one of my Ferraris last week… could this be mine? Hmmm…

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While writing this, I’m sitting by my hotel window. Even if the windows are closed, I can still hear from here some buzzing sound coming from the Formula One circuit. It’s like a housefly flying near your ears. The circuit drivers could be practicing at this time coz the race starts this afternoon.

My friends here are planning to wake up early in the afternoon to watch the race. I’ll probably wake up around 3:30pm to beat the crowd. We have to return to the hotel by 6pm to get ready for our fourth night shift. We expect a busy night tonight because there’s half-a-million people on the island at the moment all eager to be expectors of the race along the side.

So that means I have to sleep now. Bye!

29
Oct
09

The Grand Prix Experience: Military Nurse in the Field

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29
Oct
09

The Grand Prix Experience: Second Night Shift

IMG_3387Night number 2 is finished! 8 more nights to go!

Last night was another benign night. Only one patient came in and the rest of the night was basically completing set-ups and inventories.

I started to get colds though. The prvious night was really cold inside the tent. My running nose gave a headache. Good thing, I was given a chance to doze a bit for two hours just to be able to rest. I regained my energy after that. I checked with the doctor also, and I was given an antihistamine and a nasal drop.

I feel tonight’s gonna be a busy night shift. There will be thousands of people in the Island, with no less than BEYONCE performing at the concert arena tonight. Poor me, I will not be able to watch her sing and dance because I’m working in the night. I heard the day staff will be going to the concert after their shift tonight. Their IDs would allow them to pass by the entrance for free! Whaaa! I wish I could watch!

Time to sleep now.

Check out my previous nights pics galore:

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Patient X is bleeding! We need to transfuse fluids fast!… This machine helps us do that…

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Last night is Orange area for Rudy and me. Rudy also works with me in Male Surgery unit in Tawam Hospital.

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The men of the dusk.

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The  Red area for triaging.

28
Oct
09

The Grand Prix Experience: First Night Shift

IMG_3374Ah, it’s another morning! I am now back in my hotel room after finishing my very first night shift at the field hospital. I had a nice breakfast downstairs, and I’m ready to sleep for yet another night tonight. But before I do that, I’d like to share what happened over the night.

Last night was quite benign. it was not a surprise though coz the racing event has not started, and the Beyonce/Aerosmith concerts will only be this coming weekend. So we are not really expecting much people around. All the seven hotels in the island were fully booked though, and there are about 20,000 construction workers living in a compound near our field hospital.

It was about 8 in the morning when a radio patch was received, that a serious patient was on the way to us – a man who fell from a truck, and then was hit by a car. Luckily, the next shift came and the night staff had to leave. the morning staff took over and we left. On our way to the hotel, the ambulance most probably carrying the patient passed us by.

And so there goes my first night shift. Nine more to go!

Check out these pics taken early this morning…

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night staff in the makeshift ER

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Me in action...

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waiting for patients...

27
Oct
09

The Grand Prix Experience: Views from My Room

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This is the venue of the Formula One Grand Prix Race. This shot is from my hotel window! A night shot was posted earlier if you can still remember. My colleagues here envy me for getting the best view of the race circuit.

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I still need to figure out what building is this, but it is inside the Yas Marina Circuit. In the night, this building illuminates as a blue landmark. If you check out my night shot last night, this is the blue -ighted building on the right hand corner.

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Also by my window was a nice view of Rotana Hotel landscape.

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Another 5-star hotel on the right hand side, adjacent to Rotana.

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There’s a ship passing by!

27
Oct
09

The Grand Prix Experience: Radisson Blu Hotel

Radisson_Blu_Hotel,_Abu_Dhabi_Yas_IslandI woke up a bit early in the morning to catch the morning set by the window. The sun rays came in a bit early so I got up to check out what’s for breakfast. I went down to Assymetri restaurant on the ground floor and met with newly-found friends.

I had a fantastic breakfast by the pool and beach! Ah, this is what you call life!

This morning I had a better view of the hotel with daylight. This luxurious hotel is newly-constructed and just recently opened. I can tell that I could be the first occupant in my room by the smell of the bedsheets and the paint in the room and corridors.

Situated in a prime location in the newly-reclaimed Yas Island, Radisson Blu Hotel is about 20 minutes from central Abu Dhabi. It houses 404 stylish rooms and is overlooking a beach, a golf course and the Formula 1 circuit.

It feels good to realize that my 10 night shifts of work here in the Yas island is far better than if I was left working in our hospital in Al Ain. This is a breather from the gruelling work in our very busy and demanding surgical unit. I just hope that my first night shift here tonight will be benign and no untoward accidents or events occur. I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

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PICS GALORE

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the view of the beach and pool from the veranda.

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Breakfast by the pool. Assymetri Restaurant.

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Blogging on the poolside.

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Feeling the cool morning breezze. Uh, miss my family…

26
Oct
09

The Grand Prix Experience: The Arrival

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Me arriving at the lobby of Radisson Hotel

Never in my entire life did I imagine that my being a nurse would bring me to where I am right now. I am now sitting by the window of a 5-star hotel with a spectacular view of the Formula One Grand Prix Race Track and I’m being paid for this. How great can that be?

I came from a busy night shift this morning. Although the shift was supposed to end by 0730am, I left the hospital at 9am because I had to finish my computer documentations. I had a very busy night, with three post op patients that need monitoring, and three other unwell patients – which makes a total of six difficult patients.

I only slept for three hours, then I had to wake up by 1pm to prepare myself for the experience of a lifetime – the chance to be a paramedic for an international event such as the Formula One Grand Prix Race to be held in the Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The shuttle service picked us up at 330pm from the hospital and arrived in the island by 8pm.

What makes this exciting is that when everyone was so eager to watch the event, I was chosen to be sent here and work as a paramedic for ten days – all expense paid. That means that aside from the money that the Grand Prix officials are going to pay me, they are also housing me in a 5-star hotel! I was also given an all-pass ID – where I can watch the car race for free and a chance to watch the concerts of Beyonce and Aerosmith next week! Wow!

I thought this will happen only in my dreams. But now, after a very long trip from Al Ain to Yas Island, I am here in the hotel, awaiting for the exciting events that are to unfold within the next ten days.

I am so sleepy and tired now. I only had three hours of sleep after the night shift last night, remember? So let me rest for now. I promise to post my experience here in Yas Island so check out my stories in the coming days!

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the view of the race track from my hotel room

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24
Oct
09

The Grand Prix Experience: Setting Up the Field Hospital

IMG_3318I was called by our assistant nurse manager two days back to attend today’s activity in Abu Dhabi. This is in connection with my 10-day stint as a paramedic for Formula 1 Grand Prix Race. I was told that I have to come to Abu Dhabi to attend the orientation about our job-to-be, and to help set up the field hospital. Since I was off-duty, I would be paid overtime.

I woke up as early as 4am coz our group will be picked up from our hospital at 5am. It was a long trip and we arrived at Yas Island around 830am.

IMG_3320The field military hospital that they had set up near the Formula 1 circuit was like a tent-hospital comprised of many tubes. It was pretty amazing coz it’s complete with units such as ER, Outpatients, Wards, Laboratory, Pharmacy, even an ICU and an Operating Room. Despite the hot weather in the open field, the inside of this field hospital was well-aircondioned.

The thing was, since it’s just a military set-up, there’s not much pieces of equipment and medical supplies around. We had to order a lot of stuff that we might need during the course of the event, and some of them arrived in the afternoon, which we had to arrange.

I was only home by 10pm. It was a very long day but it was nice to meet new friends from other hospitals who were also invited to participate in the event. And it is another experience to remember. Add to that, I’ll be paid 17 hours overtime. Wow!

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Health posts here are the author's opinion and should not be taken as professional advice. It is still best to consult your physician. Posts in this site protect patient confidentiality, so if you have any concerns regarding any of the nursing posts, please send me a message and I will be happy to address them.

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