Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone!

Nothing exciting going on this week.  It's been very nice having nearly a week off, but the time goes by way too fast.  The job fair was a waste of time.  The hospital we wanted to talk to wasn't even there.  Plus it was more of a student convention, so we were out of place even being there in the first place.  Amazing how just one year can change things though.  Last year we were sooooooo looking forward to the student conventions & this year - no at all.  We have no interest in study guides, nclex reviews, etc.  Even the free pens & merchandise were no big deal this year.  Last year we were lucky enough to have the National Student convention in Daytona Beach.  Gina & I left there with bags & bags of stuff...all free.  One person commented that it looked as though we went shopping!  I still crack up thinking about Gina in the parking lot carrying all of her bags to the car.

Anyways...the next step in gaining experience is to apply to another hospital.  Yep, another hospital - they are starting to get farther & farther away.  We'll have to start carpooling soon.  This hospital is opening a new floor...a 23-hr observation floor.  Sounds interesting, plus the floor is closed from Friday afternoon thru Sunday afternoon = no weekend commitment.  I'll be emailing my resume sometime this week.  I'm still interested in travel & agency nursing, but want to gain a little more experience first.

I'm working Mon, Tues & Wed nights this week.  I couldn't pass up the bonus money.  Besides, no one comes to my house on Halloween anyways.  There are very few houses around me, so I would find it odd if someone did show  May as well make some money.  I am leaning more & more towards taking 2 weeks off coming up here real soon.  I need to work on my rental house - the interior needs painting & it's not gonna happen by itself.  Plus I want some "me" time as well as Christmas shopping time. 

I managed to catch up with one of my nursing school classmates on Friday night.  We went to dinner & to see the movie "Elizabethtown."  It was fun seeing Kelly, but the movie was not really all that good.  The meaning was good - that rather than focusing on our failures, we should focus on how we respond to failing.  That true success is picking yourself up & moving forward...something like that.  I like the one line in the movie..."Do you ever feel like you're just fooling everyone else?"  Ahh, I can so understand that line.  Not that I am fake or hide the real me, but there are times when those type of thoughts come across my mind.

This post seems beyond I will end it  I'm babbling = time for bed.




Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Hurricane Wilma came & went - no problems suffered here by me, but many have wind & flood damage.  We lucked out by having a cold front move in & keep most of the damaging parts of the hurricane away from my area as well as bring in some nice cool temperatures.  It finally feels like fall.  I love this weather.  I've got my windows open & breathing some fresh air.

This morning both Gina & I formally resigned with a two-week notice to the not-so-great hospital.  We worked last night.  It was a pretty good night, however, I told Gina it was probably the calm before the storm.  And as usual - I was right.  :)  Since our manager wasn't there, we put our resignation letters in an envelope & taped it to his door.  About an hour later I received a voicemail acknowledging receipt of my letter.  He also went on to say that according to my contract, I must work an additional four days.  That I must call him back & let him know what days I will work or else he'll simply schedule me & I'll be expected to show up."  Grrrrrrrr!!!!!!  I don't have a contract, we have no agreement, I'm not officially scheduled until Nov 14, which is well over 2 weeks away.  I'm wondering what happens when I don't show up because there is no way I'm going back.  I mean if they didn't treat us right when we were there as staff, how are they going to act knowing we are quitting?  Forget it.  I don't even want to know.  I'm not sure how to handle this.  Any ideas or advice? 

The only thing that worries me is that this hospital organization has a reputation of not allowing rehire at any of their hospitals (they are the largest health organization in the south) if you don't resign the correct way.  I thought I had - giving 2 weeks notice.  Obviously he doesn't agree.  Everything he has told us has been lies, so I am apt not to believe what he's saying now.  There is no contract, no obligation, no agreement...but I do think he would still be able to ban us from any rehire in the future.  Which doesn't bother me at this particular hospital - I'll never go back.  But this is a large organization & I don't want to have a black mark from ever being able to work at a sister hospital of theirs, you know?  Oh well...I guess all I can really do is see how it plays out. 

I was contemplating mailing a letter to human resources so that they have a copy of the resignation letter as well as turning in my badge.  I just don't know how to handle this.

On a brighter note, my first hospital is offering incentives to work...$100 bonus per shift.  Nice!  They are also promising to have more support staff to help.  I'll believe it when I see it.  I worked there on Sunday & I do like the people there - it's nice not feeling/knowing everyone is talking behind your back like at the not-so-great hospital.  There is a job fair tomorrow also that we are going to check out.  Ideally I'd like to go agency, but I need to investigate it all first.  Anyone with any advice?  

I only worked 2 days this week - both relatively good nights.  I am leaning more & more towards cardiac nursing.  Both Gina & I like the chest pain r/o MI patients.  It amazes me that even when someone is having a heart attack, that a lot of the time - they don't even notice it.  I guess because medical intervention has begun & they are receiving pain relief.  I just think back to that image where someone is clutching their chest in great pain, but that isn't what we see in the hospital.  Outside of the hospital I'm sure is a different scenario.  

There is another hospital with a floor specifically for 23 hour observations.  That sounds ideal to me, but I need to find out more information.  I have decided I am not yet ready for ICU.  I want to learn at a gradual pace rather than having everything thrown at me.  I don't thrive off of stress nor do I want to hate going into work.  So maybe after a few years of experience, I may venture in that direction. 

Ok, enough of the boring chit chat.  Have a good night everyone!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

State of Emergency

Hurricane Wilma is on her way.  Most of Florida has already been declared a state of emergency.  The govt offices & schools are closed tomorrow.  I wish the hospitals would  Hopefully this hurricane won't cause too much chaos.  I'll have some updates tomorrow.

This journal entry will be a short one as I have to get ready to go to work as well as finish watching Nascar.  Go Stewart Go! 

I'm very proud of my oldest nephew - he received a baseball scholarship at The Citadel.  He'll be playing first base & pitcher.  He is an awesome baseball player & may also receive an opportunity to go pro right out of high school - time will tell.  I can't believe he'll be going to college in a year.  I still have vivid memories of when he was a toddler & also just starting out by playing t-ball.  These years go by too fast.  Great job, Eric!


Wednesday, October 19, 2005


One more day to go...I do believe that Monday night will be my final night working for the second hospital.  I am planning to give my 2-weeks notice after my shift is over that night & since I am not scheduled to work for 3 weeks, I believe it will be my final shift there.  The reason = incompetent staff.  I truly believe my nursing license is at stake if I remain working in such an unsafe environment.  Maybe I'm overreacting because I'm new or because I have different expectations of patient care...but I rather err on the side of caution than what I experienced during my shift last night:

When I arrived for my shift last night, I saw that I did not receive all of the patients I had the night before.  Instead, they gave me a new admit & gave one of my patients to someone else.  When I questioned this, I was told "Well, that nurse is also going to be the charge nurse tonight, so she can't take the new patient - he has too many issues going on."  Nice answer, huh?  Let's give the new nurse the toughest patient on the floor.  I looked at the telemonitor & saw that this patient's heart rate was 150.  I asked the day charge nurse "Is this being addressed?  Has he been given any meds to bring down his heart rate?"  She looked at me like I was overreacting.  She said a call was placed to the primary doctor (he had no consults) & that I shouldn't be so concerned about the heart rate.  HUH??????  Not concerned about a patient that is sustaining a heart rate of 150?  She advised me to get report from the dayshift nurse & I would understand why his heart rate was so high.  Ummm, ok.  Not the answer I wanted, but figured I'd see what's up. 

The day nurse advises me that this patient is a "frequent flyer" (shows up at the hospital often).  And that he is not only yelling & screaming at her, but he's urinating & deficating all over the floor multiple times.  Wonderful!  Add on that he has tuberculosis & aids as well as a heart rate of 150 for the last 3 to 5 hours...can it get much better?  Oh yeah...his H&H is 7.1/24.0 and his K+ is 2.8.  NONE of which has been addressed neither in the ER or when he got to the floor.  If this had been my first hospital - he would not have even been admitted to PCU, much less a surgical telemetry floor = he would have gone directly to ICU.  However, we are not talking about my first hospital...this is the second hospital.  I leave report & the day charge nurse tells me "The doctor called, I got you Ativan 1 mg & to transfuse 2 units of red blood cells & if pt's heart rate remains greater than 120 after the 2 units have been transfused, to consult a cardiologist."  What kind of orders are those?????  I'm not a doctor, but I had a pretty darn good feeling that this pt's problems would not be resolved with 1 mg of Ativan.   And I'm supposed to watch this patient's heart rate remain elevated for at least the next 4 to 8 hours & hope that the Ativan & blood brings it down?  I'm not a cardiologist, but in my limited experience, this patient would need a cardiac med to slow down the heart rate.  When I questioned it again with the day charge nurse, she replied again with a comment such as not to be so concerned about the heart rate, that the patient has issues.  Issues!

I go in to assess this patient with issues - totally expecting some out of control madman.  What I find is my patient lying in bed practically sleeping although he is awake.  I went ahead & gave the Ativan in hopes that his heart rate would come down a little.  I quickly checked on my other 4 patients to make sure they were stable, then I went back to this patient.  I wanted to get the blood transfusion started as soon as possible.  He had been typed & crossmatched before I arrived, but no blood consent form was signed - I found that odd, but went ahead & got him to sign it.  The ativan had practically knocked him out, but his heart rate was actually increasing.  It was in the 160's now!  I turned to the night charge nurse for advice - she had none.  She wasn't concerned one single bit about this patient or his condition.  She had patients of her own & that is all she wanted to focus on.  Her advice to me - give the pt some Tylenol.  TYLENOL????  He did have an temp of 101.3, so I gave him 625 mg of Tylenol & called the nursing supervisor.  I informed him of the dr's order to consult a cardiologist after the blood was transfused if the heart rate remained above 120.  I told the supervisor I was not comfortable with sitting here watching this patient tach away with a rate of 160-165 & not be doing anything to get that rate down.  He agreed & advised me to call the doctor.  Again though, the supervisor was not really concerned overall.  I called the doctor & basically told him that we needed to address this patient's heart rate as well as I needed an order from him to start the blood transfusion even though the patient had an elevated temp.  I rec'd an order to push Cardizem 10 mg IV & go ahead with the transfusion....and give Xanax 0.25 mg.  Why Xanax?  The patient couldn't be any more still in bed than he already was, but I went ahead & gave it as well as the Cardizem.  Gina was kind enough to go down & pick up the unit of blood....finally got that started at midnight.  I continue to watch the monitor & the heart rate has not changed at all = 160.  Ughhhhhh!  An hour goes by, still no change.  I call another nursing supervisor to inform her of this, she tells me to call the doctor again.  She is not overall concerned either.  Why am I the only one worried about this patient that has now gone nearly 7 hours (that I know of) with a heart rate higher than 150?  I call & wake the doctor, receive an order for 5 mg more of Cardizem and 0.5 mg of Digoxin.  I administer it & hoping it works.  Luckily after another couple of hours, his heart rate is down to 125-130.  By the time I left this morning, it was 115 - yay!  I found out a couple of hours later, he signed out AMA.  I get the feeling that no one at that hospital probably even cared or urged him to stay. 

It just amazes me the attitude at that hospital.  I know he was a lot of work, a pain in the neck & non-compliant outside of the hospital.....but aren't we supposed to give them the best care we can while they are in the hospital?  Maybe I'm still naive, not yet jaded....maybe I'm too worried about keeping my nursing license or don't know the ins & outs of covering my butt so I do things by the book...I don't know.   However, their lack of concern really opened my eyes to the danger I am placing myself in by remaining on a unit such as that one.  I have no support staff, no one to turn to when things are going bad......except Gina, who is another first-year nurse like me.  I can't imagine what takes place there when someone codes or has a heart attack.  The phrase "Give him some tylenol" plays in my mind.  As if Tylenol is some miracle cure.

Somehow Gina is more fed up with how things were last night than I was.  We both called off for tonight.  I don't want to go back, but I am scheduled for one more shift on Monday night & will fulfill my obligation as well as give a letter of resignation/two week notice.  When I called in today, my unit manager responded with "Your troubled patient signed himself out AMA if that makes a difference."  As if it was the patient that is causing these doubts I have.  It's not the patient's fault that his heart rate was tachy & no one at the hospital wanted to address it. 

Sooooo, luckily my first hospital is very short-handed & picking up extra shifts will be no problem.  At the same time, I have managed to save up some money & I may take a couple of weeks off in November or December.  I'll just play it by ear.  I am looking more & more into travel nursing.  I'd like to start out somewhere local through the holidays & perhaps actually travel elsewhere in the state or even out of state in 2006.  That's my latest plan anyways. 

I did have a situation arise on Monday night while at work.  One of my patient's was the father-in-law of one of the nursing supervisors.  Upon his return from surgery, the father-in-law told the supervisor to get out of his room, that they were not family.  So rather than asking his father-in-law how he was doing, the supervisor would ask me.  Anyone in nursing knows all about HIPPA...which is basically the patient's right to privacy.  I didn't like the situation this supervisor was putting me in - the patient obviously didn't want him to know anything & yet he was asking.  What do you do?  I managed to avoid the supervisor all of Monday I didn't violate any privacy issues.  By Tuesday it seemed the anesthesia had worn off of my patient & he was a little more receptive to his son-in-law being involved in his care. 

Anyways, that is the latest saga of my nursing adventures.  I am still tired & worn out from last night.  My feet are killing me, I have a headache...but at least I finally have an answer.  I have learned a valuable lesson.  If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  Computerized charting, admission nurses & patient care techs are wonderful to have, but it doesn't mean squat if you are working in a unit that throws you to the wolves.  That short chapter of my life is choice.

Oh, one more thing....Hurricane Wilma...make her go away!  More updates to come.


Thursday, October 13, 2005

The drama continues

I had a 12-lead EKG class today.  I feel like I've learned nothing other than seeing a Q-wave is not a good thing.  I've got a new respect for cardiologists also.  The heart isn't a very big organ, but man does it have a lot going on in there!  Needless to say, I think I'll be taking the 12-lead EKG class at the other hospital because I feel like I definitely did not grasp any type of understanding of what I'm looking at.

Before the class started, our (Gina & I) manager showed up.  He told us he sent us an email - which of course we haven't read yet because we haven't worked there since Tuesday night.  He goes on to say something like his advice is to branch out & start socializing with the other nurses, that they are feeling slighted that we aren't spending a lot of time with them.  What????  Is this a job or is this a country club?  I am always polite to everyone (can't say the same about Gina...haha) & make small talk "Hey, how's it going?  How are you doing? etc"....but I have no desire to sit around & socialize with these nurses that have already gone out of their way to cause trouble.  I'm blonde, but not dumb.

Our friend in the ICU told us today that the manager of the ICU is considering bringing us into that unit.  I think at this point, it's the only way I would stay at this hospital long-term.  I am eager to learn, but still intimidated by all that happens in ICU.  I also saw an ad at another hospital (farther away) for pediatric ICU - no peds experience necessary.  I'm not sure I could bare to see children in such critical condition though.  I imagine it has to be very heartbreaking - not that seeing an adult in critical condition is some picnic, but children are young & innocent - they have yet to really live life yet & it isn't fair that they have to deal with pain & suffering.  That's my opinion anyways.  I'm thinking it all over.  There are so many opportunities out there that it's difficult to figure out which is the right one.  In the back of my mind is still travel nursing as well as agency nursing.  I figure the answers will come to me (in time) & that I will be led in the direction of where I'm supposed to ultimately be. 

After class was over, I decided to get my haircut.  Sounds like something simple - but for those that know me - it's not one of my favorite activities because my hair grows sooooooooooooooo slowly.  I got about 2 to 3" cut off - it was rough seeing it cut, but the funny thing doesn't feel much different.  I knew the ends were damaged & had to go.  I'm thinking about getting a pedicure this weekend - time to pamper me, right?  What else am I working for?  :)



Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sincere or fluff???

Well.......Gina & I were called into a meeting with our unit manager last night during shift change (nice timing, huh)?  Our manager basically apologized about 5 times to us for the treatment we received while he was out of town.  I want to believe he was sincere about it & that it wasn't just done as an effort to keep us from quitting, but I just don't know.  Seems he had a few excuses for those that were out of line, but on the upside, he had nothing but positive things to say about us.  He launched into a lecture about the saying "nurses who eat their young" & how he doesn't understand why they do it.  Then he said something like "Surely this isn't the first time you've encountered it."  Ummm...yes, it is.  Well, other than when we were students & the nurses didn't really want to give us the time of day - but even that wasn't as bad as the rude behavior we received last week.  I interrupted him during that lecture & told him rather than asking us why we think it happens, perhaps he should go to the source ("S") & ask her why she resorts to this behavior.  Basically we've been getting the same b.s. excuse - that she has a rough home life & takes her stress out at work.  Sorry, that's not acceptable & it should not be tolerated.  And it's not just us she treats rudely - she is downright rude to the patients.  We keep hearing that no one likes her, that they've all just learned to ignore her - why is she still employed there? 

We basically allowed him to say what he had to say & then we asked about our patient load & why we get such a guilt trip from the others when we won't go over our assigned patient load.  He said it was cause he was out of town & it wouldn't happen again.  We're up to 5 patients each now.  Well, last night - not more than 3 hours after this conversation took place, I got a call from the charge nurse trying to assign me a 6th patient., I will not accept a 6th patient.  Once again, I got the guilt trip - I finally had to say "CALL THE UNIT MANAGER &/OR THE NURSING SUPERVISOR - DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO - I AM NOT TAKING A 6TH PATIENT TONIGHT."  This is so unlike me...I'm usually easy-going, a team player...but I have my limits & it seems like this hospital continuously pushes the boundaries & somehow I end up looking like the bad guy.  Not only that, but there were regularstaff nurses who only had 5 patients - they should be the next in line to move up to 6 patients since they've been there for years.  It seems like they think they can push the "new nurses" (that's our nickname) around.  Uh,'s not happening.  I'll quit before I let them take advantage of me. 

It's discouraging - to have a conversation directly with the unit manager saying one thing & the reality being something totally different.  It's not a good sign.  At least at the other hospital - there are no broken promises - they tell you exactly what to expect...even if it's not the best news.  It's the way I prefer it - straight up & to the point, no surprises........besides, I only like good surprises.  :)

Who knows if "S" will be reprimanded or not.  We told our unit manager how she is throwing out verbal warnings, threatening us with written warnings & still harassing us.  He says it will be dealt with.  We also found out that "S" is lying about us (big surprise).  She told him that we leave the floor without telling anyone & that we're gone for over an hour at a time.  Yeah...right....that would be abandonment & you can be immediately fired for that.  Besides, I would never do that to my patients.  I'm definitely not perfect, but I don't put my patients in danger. 

With that being said, my week was rather uneventful.  I worked one day at the first hospital & one day at the second hospital.  I have a 12-lead EKG class on Thursday.  I might pick up a shift or two this weekend - not sure yet.  I know it's going to be a busy Nov, Dec & Jan - so I'm leaning towards the free time I have now before dedicating most of my time to work.   It will be a lot easier to start working on Sunday nights once Nascar is over - go Tony Stewart go! 

I'm watching Martha Stewart (I am so NOT a home improvement type person), but she has pets up for adoption & they are sooooooo cute.  It's giving me the itch to get a new puppy.  I can't do it though - it's not fair to keep a puppy/dog cooped up for 14 hours a day while I'm working.  I have a 12 yr old dog who is pretty content with sleeping the entire time I am gone, but I know a puppy isn't going to tolerate that.  There is a puppy on this show who looks exactly like my dog did as a puppy - sooooo cute.   I wish there was a way to have one, but not with my work hours. :(  Maybe I'll get a kitten...but it's just not the same as having a dog.

Thanks to those of you that wrote with support of the harassment Gina & I received.  It's nice knowing we have those that understand.  Take care!





Saturday, October 8, 2005

Disney World

Last night my friend Julie & I surprised my niece & her daughter with a trip to Disney World...not the usual Disney World trip...but the "Not-so-scary Halloween Party."  It was great...not too crowded, no rain, lots of smiling faces & free candy.  I think the longest we had to wait in line was one time for about 5 min or so.  The rest of the time you could just walk right onto the ride without waiting - excellent!  It's getting to be a yearly tradition & it was a great way to end a not so great week (workwise anyways).  I love spending time with my niece...she's almost 9.  Soon she won't want to hang out with her Aunt...she'll be wanting to be with her friends.  So I'm cherishing the time I do get to spend with her & making sure she has a lot of fun.  I'm an Aunt - I'm supposed to spoil her, right?

As far as the episode at work, I am eager to see how the unit manager handles what happened earlier this week.  I think both Gina & I have pretty much had it at the new place.  It's too "clique-ish" & just plain odd.  We're planning to attend the job fair at the end of the month - hopefully that will give us some other opportunities. 

I had a patient this past week that was described to me as "The nightmare patient."  The dayshift nurse complained about him non-stop so of course I was a little weary going into the patient's room.  He was grumpy & complaining, but it's cause he was in pain & he was hungry.  Once I got those two issues resolved, I was practically his best friend.  During the night second night I had him, he said to me "Jennifer, I think I love you."  Pain medication will cause people to say out of the ordinary things.  He was a sweetheart.  I felt for him...he's a diabetic & is facing a 90% chance that he'll lose his foot.  They are doing a fem-pop bypass in hopes it will restore adequate bloodflow to his foot, but there is just a slim chance that will work.  He expressed to me his concerns about losing his foot, said he's not sure he could live that way, etc.  He reached out for my hand, I gave him as much emotional support as I could & it seemed to ease his mind for a little while.  I can't outright lie to someone, especially in his predictament.  I can't tell him he'll get through it just fine, that life won't be so bad - but honestly, if I were in his position, I'd be worrying the same things he is.  By the third night with him...the day nurse got his medication changed from Dilaudid to PCA Morphine...ugh.  It just made him loopy/spacy & didn't relieve the pain at all.  I really think the dayshift nurse got this ordered so he wouldn't have to address this patient's concerns nor would he have to go in the room throughout the day.  The patient said as soon as the PCA was started, he never saw the nurse again until change of shift.  Nice...ugh!  That night the patient was saying to me "I just wonder if I taught her enough about finances, if she'll be ok without me, etc."  He was talking about his wife.  So sad!  The patient care tech came to me later & told me the patient said to her "Where's my nurse?"  She replied "She's in the hallway, do you want me to get her?"  He replied "No, just knowing she is there for me is all I need to know."  Awwwwww!  Those kind of patients really get to me. 

One bad thing about our last Gina & I were walking out after the shift ended, we were talking to one another about "S"....little did we know she was right behind us the entire time.  Eeekkk!  Lol...oh well.  We didn't say anything derogatory or mean, we simply stated the truth.  Considering she was the charge nurse that shift, she wasn't any help to me when it came to patient care.  I had one patient who was refusing to wear his cardiac monitor & I had another whose blood glucose level was 45.  She came into the room & said he looked fine & left.  Nice!  That's where it crosses the line though - it's fine to try to get me in trouble for stupid stuff, but when it comes to interferring with patient care or providing less than adequate patient care, I have a problem with that.  If she is incapable of being a true charge nurse, then she shouldn't be one at all.  Yet another reason not to work at this one wants to help us when we need it & that could very well jeopardize a patient. 

It's amazing how opposite the attitude is at my first hospital.  We all help each other out, we're all friendly, there aren't cliques, there aren't mean-spirited nurses.  If we could just get computerized charting & an adequate number of patient care techs - it would be an ideal hospital.  I have no idea why some doctors prefer the second hospital.....cause when I compare the nursing staff, I think the first hospital's staff far exceeds when it comes to intelligence. 

Enough of that for now...I finally have a night of peace & quiet - time to relax & catch up on tv & movies.  Tomorrow is the big race - did I mention that thanks to Tony Stewart once again (from last week), I won another bet...this time it's dinner & drinks.  Thanks Tony!  Aaron is refusing to bet against me  Go Tony Stewart Go!

Thursday, October 6, 2005

Chew you up, spit you out

It's officially happened - Gina & I have run into our first loser nurse.  By loser, I mean someone that suffers from such low self-esteem/jealousy, that she has to take it out on us.  It happened the other night at the new hospital that we have only been at for about 6 weeks.  Mind you, this is a nurse that has absolutely no authority except in her own mind.  Early Wednesday morning is when the confrontation took place.  Gina & I were on our dinner break with another nurse over in ICU.  The nursing supervisor came by & gave us a heads up that "S" (aka insecure nurse) was watching us closely.  We went back to our unit & "S" approaches us quite quickly & says "Girls, I need to talk to you."  Then she brings us into the nurses lounge & launches an all-out assault.  She was bitter that our patient load was 4 patients max (the other nurses had either 4, 5 or 6 patients).  She was bitter that we (Gina & I) had time to talk to one another & to take breaks.  She felt that if we had that much time, then surely we could increase our patient load.  Mind you, this was not a discussion - this was a one-way lecture towards us.  Gina & I stood there & stared at her like she was a lunatic (which it seems she is).  "S" went on to say that "all of the nightstaff is talking about us & that if we keep up this behavior - they will chew us up & spit us out until we can't take it anymore!  I've been here for 13 years & I won't put up with it!!!!!"  She has quite a charming personality, doesn't she?  The thing is...Gina & I only take 2 15 min & our dinner break.  Anyways, we eventually walked away from this lunatic & discussed how to handle this situation.  We ended up writing an email to both our manager (who is out of town this week) & the person that is above him who happens to be one of the people that recruited us to work there.  The email basically discussed what happened & that we felt it was verbal harassment & that this behavior is not warranted nor is it tolerable. 

Last night we had to work with the lunatic again - this time she was in the charge nurse role (ughhhh) - which is a power trip for her.  When we got to work, we got pulled aside by another co-worker who told us he heard what happened & to basically ignore the lunatic - that she does this quite often, that they all know how she is & that they know she is in the wrong.  He said it was being taken care of.  Ok, good start so far.  We also received an email back from the person in charge of our unit - which was an email to every nurse working on the unit last night basically saying that we need to learn how to work together & to treat the new employees (Gina & I) better...that we are helping them out by going off of orientation early & that we are not to be made to feel uncomfortable nor guilty about our patient load & that it is to remain at 4 patients each ONLY.  (The past 2 nights they had been pressuring us to take more patients & when we refused, they got an attitude.)  Our manager is on vacation & probably won't be back until next week - but I'm hoping more will be done than this because her behavior is not acceptable & I'm not simply going to learn to just ignore it.  She should not be allowed to harass us. 

After shift change, she had the nerve to come up to us & say "I talked with so & so and she said to consider last night a verbal warning and if it happens again - you'll be written up."  What the heck did we even do wrong???  I interrupted her & said "This matter will be discussed with the unit manager."  She again repeated her stupid phrase - I swear she has some type of mental problem.  Gina interrupted her & said "Your behavior is inappropriate right now."  The lunatic continued to go on & on so I finally said something like "You don't need to be talking to us, this will be discussed with the manager when he gets back from vacation."  She finally walked off.

Needless to say, both Gina & I were shocked by this behavior.  It was childish & ridiculous.  I told Gina it's a sign not to stay at this place - especially if they allow her to continue to behave like that.  She is always talking about us......we have the patient care techs telling us the things she says.  Why are people like this?  At the other hospital we work at, no one is like that...we've been there nearly a year & no one acts like most of the staff at this hospital.  The only good thing about this is that when itdoes come time to resign, we have a very good reason & they won't be able to argue that.  I won't work someplace where this behavior is tolerated.  Life is too short.

I have more to write about this past week, but my niece is here now & we're going out to dinner.  So this will be continued later...


Saturday, October 1, 2005

ACLS certification

I did it - I'm officially ACLS (advanced cardiac life support) certified!  I was a little worried because they originally paired me up with this other woman - a woman that rarely speaks a word.  A woman that when told the scenario "Your patient is non-responsive...what do you do?"  She stood there & looked at her patient from a distance.  I wanted to push her towards the patient to do her ABC assessment.  :)  When the instructor asked for her to answer "what do you do?"  She replied "I'm going to stick a tube down her throat."  What???  Luckily, this was just the oral airway sign-off & wasn't part of the code.  The instructor paired me up with someone that was there for re-certification & we did great.  The scenario was we were at the mall & a woman drops to the ground in front of us - what do you do?  Step over her & keep walking???  Noooooo!  My partner started an assessment & I went to get the AED.  She started CPR, I hooked up the AED pads & we allowed it to analyze the patient.  Shock of 3 shocks given.  Paramedics finally arrived & since we were ACLS nurses - they would follow our lead.  It was interesting, that's for sure.  There were a couple of people that didn't pass.  I felt bad for them.  I'm sure it was probably their own nerves that messed them up.  I also got recertified in BLS.  So now when I go for recertification in the future, I can get it all done in one shot.  It is such a relief to have this class over with.  It was very educational & I do feel like I know more now.  Little by little, the whole picture is starting to come together as far as cardiac nursing goes.  I'm sure there is a lot more to learn, but at least it's starting to be more clear.  The instructor kept calling Gina & I "baby" nurses.  Which is a good term for nurses that have less than a year of experience.  Soon we'll be

I can't believe it's October 1st already.  Where has this year gone?  I feel like all I've done is work, work, work.  I don't mind though.  I definitely did something right when I chose this line of work for a career.  I am sleepy - I've been up since 2:30 am.  Reason being - I went to sleep at 8:30 last night.  So I need a nap if I'm going to stay awake this evening.  Later all!

Nursing Humor

Actual writings witnessed on hospital charts:

1. She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.

2. Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.

3. On the second day the knee was better, and on the third day it disappeared.

4. The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.

5. The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.

6. Discharge status: Alive but without my permission.

7. Healthy appearing decrepit 69 years old male, mentally alert but forgetful.

8. The patient refused autopsy.

9. The patient has no previous history of suicides.

10. Patient has left white blood cells at another hospital.

On another note - someone asked me what nurses like to receive when the family is grateful for their care.  You can never go wrong with food...the sweeter the better, but most nurses will eat anything found in the break  Honestly though,  for myself personally, I think a hand-written letter or card says it all &/or a verbal compliment said in passing.  It's always nice to be appreciated - no matter what type of job you have, isn't it? 

ACLS was ok yesterday.  I'm so glad I took the prep class, otherwise I would be lost.  After 8 hours of class, we had to take a test.  We were allowed to miss 5 questions max & of course I missed 5 questions...whew.  I did get all of the EKG strips correct though.  Gina & I had to do a sample mock code yesterday.  We had been told to know these algorhythms: V-fib, pulseless V-tach & PEA.  We were ready, we knew our problem.  We get up in front of our group & the scenario was none of the above.  It was a patient returning from surgery who had a pulse & was awake, but lethargic...what do you do?  Huh????  Wait for him to go into v-fib, pulseless v-tach or PEA - then we'd jump into  Hopefully today we will get one of the scenarios that they told us to know.  I just want this all over with.  Wish me luck!