The chaos started at 8 am, when our workday did. We tried to pull up the schedule for the day and realized that the entire system was down. “Is yours also not working?” We kept asking each other, as if for reassurance that this was not a bad dream. By this point, two clients came in and we had no idea what they were there for, what their appointment time was, and even what their names were. We could not log them in or out. We could not test them because our testing materials were also on the drive.
I improvised and decided to type my whole evaluation on my phone. I got a template emailed to me by one of the remote workers who still had access.
Disaster struck again: the client did not speak English. “Do you happen to speak Russian?” I asked (in Russian) and the client did!
So, I translated all of the testing materials and many questions into Russian. It was funny to try to explain concepts like “guilt” or “anhedonia” when I didn’t know the words for them (“do you still like the same fun activities that you used to enjoy?”).
I felt victorious by 10 am. I’d managed to type the whole interview into a .docx format on my phone. I came back to the main office only to discover that my phone had spontaneously refused to save everything and there was no recovering it.
I tried everything. I went into version history. I tried finding the document on my laptop. But there was no saving it. For all intents and purposes, the interview had never happened. I literally put my head in my hands at this point. I had no idea what to do.
Another intern saw me and suggested that I retype the whole thing from memory as quickly as I can. So I took the empty template and tried to retype all of the information from memory. To my surprise, I discovered that I remembered all of the information, including important years and medical history. The only thing I was unsure of was the patient’s medication, which I ended up narrowing down to three equally similar sounding names. I’d call the patient later to verify that.
With the crisis averted, we tried to continue with the rest of the day. By this point, the system was back up. Because our supervisor was not in that day, he would regularly call us for updates. At around 2 pm, he called us about an old report that never got sent out. The intern whose report it was didn’t come that day but our supervisor wanted it out, stat. I ended up typing up the partial and then trying to put scores into the report in the last hour. Then he called us to say that we weren’t answering the phone, so I dropped the report and listened to the 9! Voicemails and then called those clients and then stayed late to try and finish some more of the report.
My supervisor wanted me to call the patient to get more details. I called, only to realize that this patient only spoke Spanish. Through a combination of Google translate and adding an “o” to the end of most words (moderato, severo?”) I figured out a few more details about the patient. It was the most hectic and stressful day in a while. I came home and then at 5 pm, he called me about another old report. I wasn’t sure if it was mine but he was upset about it and he sounded stressed so I apologized anyway.
I was so miserable after that day that I just flopped onto my bed in a heap. Cycling class was at 6 pm so I decided that come hell or high water, I’d still be going to that class. Maybe it would make me feel better. And you know what? It kind of did. For an hour, all I thought about was pedaling to the music. After that class, I had a continuity care session. That was another welcome distraction. I also vented about it to several close people, which helped. By the end, I was almost feeling good.
This was an interesting start to Blognukkah, but here’s to keeping it real– right?