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.........

No comments: