Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Night Shift in the Nether Regions

It's 0300 on a Sunday NocShift in BFE......

I am surrounded by the tick, tick, tick of the second hand as it wraps it's way around to 12 again.  I start to understand why the psych hold room doesn't have a clock.  The ER is empty and I am trying to catch up on the latest issue of People Magazine Nursing 2013.  As my eyelids drift closer and closer to touching, my cheek finds a new home in a puddle of drool and a slick magazine page.  I hear the swish of the automatic doors and I instantly jerk upward almost toppling my chair in the process.  Housekeeping has arrived for linen restocking.

I wipe the slimy wetness off my cheek with the back of my hand and then wonder if I remembered to wash my hands after I cleaned the diarrhea off the edge of the stretcher in Room 3.  Shrugging my shoulders, I step over to the back counter and guzzle down the remainder of my hot Diet Coke from 3 hours ago.  Sally from Housekeeping is looking at me with a wary eye.  I think I may look a slight bit possessed.  She shuffles off into the ortho room to restock the closet and then disappears.

Dr. Q is nowhere to be found.  I assume he has hit the sleep room with his blankie and a good book.  I wonder why the doctors get to sleep during their 12 hour shift but the nurses do not.  It seems like a slightly unfair working condition and I ponder staging a sleep-in to alert administration to the needs of the nursing staff.  This thought is quickly discarded as I realize I drooled all over Dwayne Johnson's face in the magazine.  Poor guy.

I haven't had a patient in 3 hours.  Three hours that have passed over what feels like a solid month long stretch.  Wandering slowly from room to room I straighten linens, restock cupboards, and organize the cords hanging off all the cardiac monitors.  My muscles ache with fatigue and I feel like I am walking through the sludge of slowly drying concrete.  It crosses my mind for the 5000th time that evening that I hate working night shift and will never volunteer for one again.  

I sit back down at the desk and stare aimlessly into space, my mouth hanging half open and my arms flopped at my sides.  "I wish I had something to do," I say to the walls.  

Never wish for something to do in an ER.  Seriously.

I am started out of my zombie like state by the EMS tones......."Head on collision on State Route 48. 2 victims, multiple injuries."

And so it begins.........

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How Not To Date A Nurse

I was told the other day that I was "a hot little redhead and I might have to come to the ER more often to see you."



Please don't. 

I believe that the furrowed brow and look of incredible disgust on my face was an appropriate reaction - or maybe it was the fact that he had just thrown up all over my scrubs and the smell of alcohol drifting off his body put him at a probable .30 on the ETOH scale.  

Seriously people, don't hit on your ER nurse.  Unless you are The Rock and newly single, it just isn't going to go your way.  We know everything about you.  Everything that is important anyway, such as your history of herpes and your habit of frequently using a "few too many" of your monthly supply of oxycodone.  

My nursing career has surprisingly put me in the path of many romantic opportunities (what IS it about you men and the fascination with nurses?).  I've even been proposed to.  The reality is that it is completely unethical to date a patient.  I won't sit here and tell you I have never been tempted, but I can say I have never acted on that temptation.  I may have the wind knocked right out of me when I walk in a room and lay eyes on my patient and stammer like a school girl, but I won't ever hit on that patient.  I may enjoy the view and the interaction but that's it.  I've heard of some nurses who cross that line and it makes me very uncomfortable.  These people are vulnerable while they are under our care.  I feel like those nurses may be taking advantage of that situation.

Now, if you run into them at the grocery store a year later......well.......

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Alaska - how I love thee

I miss Alaska.

I want to move back. I want to move back and spend the rest of my life in that gorgeous, beautiful state. I lived in Sitka during my formative years and I still call it home.

Therefore, I've been perusing every hospital website in the great State of Alaska over the last week or so. Choices, choices, choices.

How about suggestions?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

SP vs. BSI

I got into an argument today with a medic on an internet board (I know, I know ........ you don't have to say it) regarding the terms SP vs. BSI. She was insistent, and I mean name calling, snarling, spitting, vulgarity insistent that we MUST! MUST! MUST! use the term BSI for Body Substance Isolation and that the term SP (standard precautions) went out with the dinosaurs and RN's are incompetent killers if they continue to use the term SP.

So minus all the emotional rhetoric, what say you guys? I had never been exposed to the term BSI (at least in any way that stuck into my brain as being a requirement for use). We've used SP forevah! Go SP!

I looked up the CDC guidelines (from 2007 admittedly, but the BSI were from 1987 so which is more current?) and they can be found here: CDC Guidelines

1987 - BSI outdated

1996 - standard precautions into favor.

WTF am I missing here? Is this just a medic vs. RN thing? Is it an unstable mental person (her or me? Who knows!) argument on the interwebz?

The term truly doesn't matter, I know it's the idea of providing barrier protection between potential infectious agents for pt/care provider.

But damnit, I wanna know what you all think! So lay it on me.

People Do Amazing Things, Yo


You cannot make this shit up............... Man shoots nail into his brain.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

I Am The Patient....... (and not a very good one either)

I have found out that I am the type of patient I want to punch in the face. Seriously. I have issues.

I broke my ankle after Christmas. I knew it as soon as I stepped my foot wrong on the step and rolled my ankle 180 degrees. I mean I *instantly* knew it was fractured. I heard a pop, felt a crunch, and lost my balance. Then I proceeded to fall down the next 3 steps........ in front of my 13 year old child.

It was awesome.

I COULD NOT BELIEVE how much it hurt. Holy balls batman. I needed to puke, hyperventilate, and scream "Mother Fucking Fucker of all that is Fucked! What the Fucking Fuck? AHHHHHH!" all at the same time. My poor child was standing there with her hand over her mouth unsure on if she should laugh, cry, or tell me to shut up because I was embarrassing her (my bet is the latter). My mother came running down the stairs after me, screaming "I'm calling 911! I'm calling 911!"

Now let's talk about my mother - she's a bit.......um.......how do you say it......... Hystri-fucking-ONIC! I had to catch my breath and tell her if she called 911 I'd have to cut a bitch. There is no way in hell I'm letting my EMS coworkers come pick me up. They'd probably get me naked and stick a rectal tube in.... or somethin'. Just sayin'.

My mother backs the car up into the driveway (almost taking out my head in the process - thank God my 13 year old has the reflexes of a cat and knows how to scream "STOP!" in 0.25 seconds), and I manage to pull myself up into the passenger seat. I do believe the neighbors got quite an eyeful of my ass in the air while I was crawling into the seat too. I've always wanted to be in the annual neighborhood block party slide show - I figure they can use the pictures of my ass for that.

Away we go to the hospital.................

My first thought as Mark came out the door was....... "Oh shit." He's the best nurse we have, but he's also Ron White on crack. I was going to be spending the next 2 hours with a jacked up jokester who would hit on my mother even if she was 85 years old and using a walker. Mark helped me out of the car into a wheelchair and rolled me back to the exam room.

I was sobbing like a 3 year old who got her Barbie stolen from her. Seriously. I could not control myself. It was like something possessed me and would not let me stop crying.

What the fuck?

I don't cry. I just don't. I mean, unless I am pissed off and thinking of killing you or frustrated because you are being an asshole and I can't punch you in the face. Otherwise I don't cry.

Except for this time apparently.

I think Mark was wondering who the hell I was. He looked at me like I was an alien with 3 heads. He was not used to seeing me act like I even remotely had a heart. I think I shocked him into silence.

Until I cried out between snot rags............"OH God - I haven't shaved my legs!"

Mark laughed and then shoved a BIG ASS needle into my vein - followed by some morphine that I'm SURE he was using to shut me up. I mean really.......12 mg of morphine for a little fracture? It couldn't have had anything to do with the fact that I kept asking for "just a couple more milligrams Mark." I was just trying to maintain a 0 pain level, right? I KNOW you all know what I'm talking about (especially you haters who bitch me out every time I post about drug seekers).

Anyway, Mark was awesome as always, even though I whined like a baby the entire time I was there. They got me splinted, gave me some percocet and sent me on my merry way. I go in for casting on Monday. Hopefully then I can bear a little weight on my leg. Living on crutches and being non weight bearing this past week has sucked balls. It's hard to get around with metal extensions attached to you.

So I lift my crutches to all you people out there! Happy New Year! May you enjoy and injury free 2012.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Yeah, Whatever

Seriously, it's hard to keep up with this blogging thing. I'm ready to throw in the towel. I keep making promises and never following through. Kinda like and addict...............maybe I should find a new habit!

So I will make no promises nor will I say I will even try to keep up. But if something strikes my fancy, you may find it on here, or my coworkers may just hear about it at work.

We shall see......

We shall see.......

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rural ER

It's a totally different world out here in the the boondocks. Lab and Xray have to drive in from home, the doc is probably at the playoff basketball game, and you just had someone pull up to the ER with an unconscious cowboy in the back of their pickup who got thrown off his horse.

Oh - and the next closest hospital is 2 hours away. In fact, the next town is 2 hours away. Across the barren land of desolation.

Now it's just you and Lucy for the next 20 minutes. JUST you and Lucy. 2 nurses alone in the world (can you hear the violins playing?). No admitting clerk to register them, no scribe to write what happens. EMS is out on a call 40 minutes from town. Your CNA is elbow deep in diarrhea and falling old people.

What do you do?

a. quit
b. pop some vicodin and go to sleep
c. throw out a few good fuck, shits, and damn its
d. grab Lucy, slap her across the face, and tell her "This is it! It's now or never!"
e. wonder why you ever applied to work at this damn facility anyway
f. curl up in the fetal position and cry like a baby
g. get to work

Ummm....... do I have to answer?