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Friday, February 17, 2006

More fun from the world of Secret codes.

As many of you know, I volunteer at a local hospital a few times a month. Well, my recent experience at Target as well as the last two (how good were they?) episodes of Grey's Anatomy ("the girl with the bomb is Meridith Dr. McDreamy"), have inspired me to actually look at the code card attached to my badge. It's pretty run of the mill. There are codes for disasters with incoming casualties, dagerous weather, and chemical spills. Some of the codes have coordinating pager numbers, so they are probably not always announced, some don't.

I thought it interesting though, that instead of a code, for fire they announce "Dr. Firestone," over the intercom. Why? My best guess is that there are so many codes that the powers that be feared some staff would not respond quickly enough to a color code for fire. Which leads me to question the whole code system. I mean, is it better that half the staff should be fumbling with their code cards when they announce a "Code Orange" (hazardous chemical spill)? Instead, maybe they should dispose of the whole "code color/number" system, and replace it with code names or euphemisms. For instance..
- Mr. Yuck - A hazardous material incident has occurred.
- Dr. Mc Cloud - Severe weather is in the area.
- Dr. Mc Cloud is needed downstairs - severe weather is in the immediate area. Draw draperies.
- Dr. Kablewy, please retrieve your package - A bomb threat has been received.
You get the idea.

For the record - we have no code black, but if a patient should come in with an unexploded shell in his abdomen, I do believe that would be a Code 33.



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