Thursday, September 1, 2005

A quiet week

This was probably my easiest week of work since I became a nurse.  All 3 nights were uneventful, peaceful & quiet.  It felt more like babysitting rather than nursing.  My patients were all alert & oriented and other than doing my assessment & giving their pm meds, they didn't need anything.  Needless to say, I made sure I got my patients back each night.  I did have to give up one of them because my clinical leader said her name was too similar to another one of my patients & they try to avoid giving the nurse patients with similar names - even though they had given me both patients the night before & ended up giving the day nurse the same patients.  Oh well, not a problem. 

My first patient was a woman who had breast cancer 5 years ago & it has spread to her bones.  She came in with syncope so they did an MRI of her brain to discover the cancer had spread there also.  It's everywhere - amazing that she is still alert & oriented.  The family was told of her recent diagnosis, but they have withheld telling the patient.  I'm not sure I totally agree with that...since she is alert & oriented, I think she should be informed about her condition.  It doesn't seem right that they can withhold that information.  The family is very caring & supportive of her.  The first night I had her, in the middle of the night her heart rate went from 100 to 170 instantly.  She sustained it for about 30-60 seconds & never had another episode during the night.  The next day it happened again, so they consulted a cardiologist & he started her on a small dose of Lopressor.  The next two nights her heart rate remained stable.  She is undergoing palliative radiation.  It is wiping her out.  I hope the family comes to terms with her condition & turns to hospice. 

Gina had a patient with a similar diagnosis of terminal cancer.  Her attitude was amazing.  She told Gina straight up her diagnosis, her family completely understands what is going on, that she doesn't want any special treatment, etc.  She was so upfront & vocal speaking about it.  I am not used to that, but it was unique to see someoneable to accept their terminal condition.

I won't go into details about my other patients cause there really isn't anything that stands out with them.  They were all very easy to care for & I am thankful to have such a "quiet" week.  Any medical person knows they should never use the word "quiet" as a description...I'm probably jinxing myself saying that, right???

I start my first shift this Friday night at the new hospital.  I'm looking forward to it & hopefully won't have to have a preceptor for very long.  Just need to see how things flow over there & how to use the computer charting & eMar. 

I'm also officially "part-time" at my old hospital.  I don't think they are too thrilled, but oh well.  I have to look out for myself & what is most beneficial for me & my career.  They continue to separate Gina & I on different floors.  It's ridiculous.  It seems that the director is finally addressing the low employee morale or at least she's making an attempt.  We'll see if anything really changes.  She has been known to say in the past that employee morale is not her problem.  Umm, yes it is if you want to retain your nursing staff or get decent gallup poll ratings.  It won't be long before the majority of staff there is travel or agency nurses.  I think right now the rate is about 50%.  The last two weeks I've been working with either agency nurses or ICU nurses.  Where are the PCU nurses???  We're becoming an extinct species at that hospital.  :)

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