• 7K

BUFFALO, NY – When one hears the epithet “problem solver,” one recalls the inventors of Duct Tape, Ativan, Propofol, and Discharged AMA.  Today, at Niagara Area Hospital (NAH),  it is reserved for an RN on the medical/surgical unit.

iv pump alarm
I don’t know if it gets any better than when he sings, “When a man loves a woman”

Local male nurse, Thomas Ruvio, is being hailed by patients as the savior of silence, as one of his patients praised, “He finally shut up that damned beeping so I can get some sleep in this rotten hell hole.”

This present day Y-chromosome Florence Nightingale has thus been inundated with calls and emails from hospitals all over the world requesting information and insight after being the first documented person to explore the backside of a hospital-grade IV pump.  In our interview with Tom, he was humble about his heroics.

“I had never dared to venture from the front screen with the buttons.  Usually I just show up cursing under my breath, push the SILENCE button, shake the patient, and tell him to stop bending his arm.  You know how it usually goes.  It’s bothering everyone else, especially his roommate, and besides his line is going to clot off and then I’ll have to summon the energy to place another IV.  But this time was different, there my patient was, snoring away, ‘PATIENT SIDE OCCLUDED’ blinking away on the pump screen, the usual shrill banshee beep of the alarm.  His sleep-deprived roommate throwing balled up slipper socks in an attempt to sink one into the snorer’s open mouth, and as I picked his roommate’s sockballs off the floor, I looked at the pump’s back, and there it was!”

There it was indeed as Tom stumbled upon an unused mint condition 30-pin iPhone dock on the backside of the pump.  “I can’t believe we never looked back there.”

“What music would no one be able to sleep through?  And just like any red-blooded American would think of, I put on my Michael Bolton’s Greatest Hits playlist, which I swear is my wife’s playlist, not mine.”

Now Tom’s patients and their lines are safe.  Many find themselves unable to make it through more than 30 seconds of “How Can We Be Lovers” without deliriously screaming themselves awake and straightening their arms.

Several patients were surveyed about the change, and a majority described a physical or psychological inability to bend their arms while hooked up to the IV pump.  One patient elaborated, “It’s like my brain knows better, a Pavlovian response or something.”

Despite the apparent use of soul music mind control, the recent patient satisfaction surveys are positive and many of Tom’s patients at discharge ask, “How am I supposed to live without you?”  Preliminary NAH administrators estimate Tom’s discovery will save the hospital millions in energy costs simply by the decreasing the alarm beeps.  Administrators are excited now because nurses can attend more to note writing instead of being summoned to straighten out patient’s arms.

When we asked Tom what it was going to take to get all hospitals to implement such an effective tool for treatment plan compliance, Tom said “That’s easy: Time, Love, and Tenderness.”

“I promise it’s my wife’s playlist!”

  • 7K