Tuesday was the first day of my new attachment in psychiatry. I had google mapped how to get there and saw that it took 39 mins, so I gave myself an hour. My prof had also passed on the typical vague Irish direction set, "Take the road, it kinda veers, follow that for a while, eventually turn right before the motorway, near the hill, you can't miss it..."
I figured, "a hospital in the midlands, how hard can it be?"
In Europe it isn't uncommon for many little towns to be on top of each other. You don't realize you've arrived in a new place because all you've done is cross the river, or cross the street. So when I was quite sure that I was getting close to the town my hospital was in I saw this sign:
So I followed the sign to the hospital, naturally. I was, in fact, delighted that someone had been clued in enough to provide direction to the hospital! I drove and drove, but seemed to be getting farther away from any town, with no hospital in sight. I was getting nervous now too as it was getting close to the hour I was supposed to start.
Then I see the big sign, "Hospital". Perfect. Except I cannot see an actual hospital-y looking building anywhere. I see the "Hospital Traffic Calming Area" signs so I know I am in the area...but then I start to think that maybe I am having a mini-stroke or something because there is no hospital to be seen.
Finally, I get out of my car to inspect an old, yet stately looking building which could certainly be a dilapidated Irish community hospital, only to discover it is in fact a town hall.
I am now 10 minutes late. I give in and call the number given to me during orientation week, having no idea if it is the consultants mobile or the hospital administrator's emergency line . A woman answers and I say,
"Hello, my name is ABB...I was supposed to start my psychiatry rotation today...but I appear to be lost. I followed the signs to the hospital but I can't seem to find it....anywhere!"
She chuckles. I am now acutely mortified by the fact that I am late and lost on my first day.
"You're in the town of Hospital. Like how Kilmallock is the name of the town, you're in the town named Hospital...take the road back to Kilmallock and ring me when you get there. I'll give you directions from town."
Of course the town of Hospital had to be spitting distance from the town I was doing my placement in.
Of course the town of Hospital has no hospital.