Thursday, June 23, 2005

Too good to be true (sigh)

We'll start with the non-medical issues first.  Mostly rental house.  Remember back to the home invasion & shooting?  Then a nice man asking to rent the home?  Well, the nice man took off & left without telling me & left people he knew living in the home....people that can't afford to pay the rent.  People that I had never even met, people that have no clue how to keep a clean house.  My dad went to collect the rent & that's how we discovered this change of events.  There are two families living there - with children & dogs.  We looked around the home yesterday & there are clothes all over the place, stuff all over the floor, no sheets on the beds, dishes piled up in the sink - how do people live like this?  It was gross.  I'm not the most organized person, but this was beyond me.  Anyways, we basically told them they have to move out by this weekend or we will be calling the police & have them arrested for trespassing.  Because that is what they are doing.  We offered them $100 cash to leave the place clean (unlikely), but we shall see what happens.  If they didn't have children, I think calling the police would have been the first option - but since they do have kids, we didn't want to see the families disrupted, the parents taken to jail & the kids put into protective custody.  We're being the nice guys & giving them a fair chance to move out  gracefully.  Plus we don't want to cause any type of situation in which they would want revenge - since they know where I live.  I think back to the mass murders last year that took place because of squatters being kicked out & I definitely don't want a situation like that.  Ya never know these days!  Hopefully things will go smoothly & they'll be out by Sunday.  With that being said, I also signed a contract to put my house up for sale.  I don't want to deal with renters anymore.  I'll be happy if it sells for what the realtor believes it will sell for.  Time will tell. 

Ok...back to the medical jargon.  My week was good...lots more self-discovery going on in the world around me.  I'm seeing that nurses that appear to know what they are doing sometimes are the least mentally stable people that I know.  I don't know why people I barely know tell me details of their life that if it were me...I'd never tell a soul.  It still shocks me what people will reveal.  So nursing students - when you're in clinicals & you're dealing with staff nurses that aren't so nice, it's because they have their own issues going on.  DO NOT take it personally & do not let it change your beliefs.  One day you'll understand what I'm saying.  :) 

On a different note, my patients were wonderful.  I had one patient that I had in the past - the one with the abdominal wound that I had to pack & apply the wound vac.  Why she is still alive, I don't know.  She is basically just rotting away from the inside out & it's sad that anyone has to live like that.  The family needs to let go, she has no quality of life anymore.  And this is a family that will try to intimidate & nag the nursing staff with no end in sight.  Luckily they weren't around the night I was assigned to her.  I managed to trade assignments the next night & didn't have her as a patient.  It's just too much work because she is unable to do anything for herself.  It wears you down both physically & mentally.  She is septic all over...has three abdominal wounds - two are hooked up to wound vac.  The third is where her feeding tube was removed & now there is a hole into her stomach & her NG tube feedings are coming out of that hole (ickkkkk).  Plus her arms & legs are weeping fluid continuously.  Her arms are wrapped with Kerlex because the skin is all broken down.  She has a really big sore on her bottom area that will never heal because you can't cover it with anything.  So everytime she goes to the bathroom (which is a lot), that stuff is getting into the wound & it hurts her.  It's just a bad situation that is being dragged out because the family won't let go. 

My other patients were more self-sufficient, not that they were totally walkie talkies, but mentally they were with it.  One had open-heart bypass surgery a week earlier at a different hospital & that pushed her into CHF & her left lung was filling with fluid.  Dr. did a thoracentesis & she was doing much better.  I was amazed at how much she was moving around after having heart surgery, although I know they try to get them up & moving right away - bedrest is not good for a surgical patient.  I also got to remove the staples from her legs.  That's the first time I got to do that - it was like using a staple remover & just popping those staples right out.  It was kinda fun!

My next patient was an older woman with a fecal impaction.  Lovely!  Doctor's order - "manual removal of fecal impaction."  Uhhhhhh, yuck!  I love how the doctors just write the order & leave.  I think they should be the ones sticking their finger up their patient's butt & removing the impaction, don't you?  Lucky for me, the day nurse took it upon herself to attempt this & found no impaction.  She also gave her a fleets enema - the woman was having a numerous amount of bowel movements, I didn't see how a doctor could determine there was an impaction because plenty was getting out even before he wrote that order & before the enema.  Oh well, just glad I wasn't the one having to search for this impaction. 

My other patient was an older man with syncope.  His cholesterol level was only 88 & he wasn't even on any cholesterol meds.  88 is too low, so not sure what they do for that.  His HDL & LDL were too low also but all of his other labs were normal.  They were running tests on him, but so far nothing to really determine what was going on. 

My last patient was a transfer from ICU.  She came into the hospital with a blood pressure of something like 242/110 & wasn't responding to any of the blood pressure medications.  Finally they put her on a nitro drip & that helped.  She had a left carotid endardectomy done also.  When I got her, the pressure was 170/74.  I still didn't like that, gave her some medication & got it back into a normal range.  She slept most of the night.  In fact, most of my patients were sleeping the entire night & I was bored!  I didn't dare mention I was bored though cause I know that would jinx me.  The night went by so slowly...that's the only good thing about being super busy - the time flies by.  It's nice to have a slow night though.  Even my clinical leader had fallen asleep.  Nice, huh? 

I work this coming Sun, Mon & Tues nights & then have an entire week off.  Yay!  I love the freedom of flexible scheduling.  I'm also getting closer & closer to making that call for an interview at the other hospital.  I just heard they are offering a $5,000 sign on bonus...yessssss.  Hopefully I'll qualify for that.  I'm trying to prepare myself for changing facilities.  Just when I was getting comfortable here, it's time to go somewhere else.  I simply don't like the way this hospital operates.  Their gallop scores are so in the bottom 1% of the area hospitals.  That just leads me to believe that these other hospitals have it a little more together & hopefully the staff is a bit more happy than where I'm at now.  Still though, change is hard but must be done.


ernurse2bee said...

Hi, this is my first time leaving you a comment although I have been a lurker to your journal for quite awhile now.  I am a graduate nurse in an ED here in Central Florida and just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading your posts about your job.  It's so different then mine!  If you don't mind me asking what hospital do you plan to apply to?  Sounds like it is time for a change plus change is always good.  Well I wish you luck on your future endeavors and with selling your home.  

Take care,

cah601 said...

I found where to click to read  THE REST OF THE STORY.   Jen, I love what you feel, it is really REAL.  You are becoming an EXCELLENT  nurse and are seeing through to the truths of nursing and what it is all about.  I am so sorry to hear about your rental people, having been in a similar situation myself in the past when I rented out my house in Phoenix.  Keep up the wonderful work you are doing.  NURSING jobs will be there for you for the rest of your life, ..........look at me, I am 62 and will be 63 in August, and still nursing .............