Sunday, July 30, 2006

Here goes...

This is gonna be a long post - so sit back &  Sunday night I had a patient that also works at the hospital.  I don't normally like to take care of people I know or that work at the same place I do.  It's just awkward not to mention sort of a test.  I mean this is someone that is capable of telling others how you are as a nurse.  Luckily by the second night, she was praising me & by the fourth night, she was filling out positive comment cards.  Whew!  That's the nice thing about working continuous days in a row - you tend to get the same patients back & can build up a good rapport. 

I'm not going to go into details with each & every patient I've had - that would take way too long and in all serious, their conditions were not all that interesting.  Instead, I will give you my version of "General Hospital" as it has been a dramatic week at work between my patients and their families. 

I had a young man in his early 20's that came in with nausea & vomiting due to stress.  The first night I had him, he was wiped out - like sleeping the entire night.  The report I get from the day shift nurse is that he had a fight with his roommates and the stress had gotten to him.  I get a phone call from his mother wanting to know everything that's going on.  Thanks to the privacy act, I tell her that until he's alert enough to set up a password, I can't give her any information.  99% of the time, this does not go over well with someone on the phone.  She yells "I AM HIS MOTHER."  Ok, well, anyone can call & tell me that, but it doesn't matter - he's an adult, he gets to pick & choose who he wants to hear his medical information & until he is awake, it's not gonna happen.  She insists I transfer the call to his room.  Well, ok...but he's sleeping & probably not gonna say much.  A couple hours later, his fiancee shows up after a 2 hr drive.  She was easy to get along with.  She went in to visit him & he woke up just enough to set up a password so that I could share info with her & she in turn, shared it with his mother.  Everyone's happy, right?  Nope.  He has a step-father that can't stand the mother or the fiancee & he doesn't want them having any contact with the patient.  Ummm, sorry, that's not how a hospital works.  He is an adult, HE gets to choose who he wants to communicate with.  The step-father insists (over the phone) that he wants the fiancee out of the room by 8:30 pm.  Nope, that doesn't fly with me.  If he enjoys her being there & she is the only one that I saw visiting with him the entire time I was there...then she can stay past visiting hours for a little while.  I also got to meet the grandmother who started to share with me the drama & I instantly got myself out of that by cutting her off & telling her if she wants to see him - to go do it now.  I don't have time for all this family dynamics.

I had another patient that came in with chest pain after fighting with his wife or ex-wife or soon to be ex-wife.  I get a call in the middle of the night from his out of town girlfriend telling me to not allow the wife to see him.  Ok, again, this man is an adult, HE can say who he wants or doesn't want to visit him.  We're all thinking that it's just anxiety that caused his chest pain...but surprise, surprise...he was having a heart attack.  See what stress can do!

There was another patient on the floor - somewhat confused to start.  By the time the lab girl came in to draw blood, it got out of control.  This woman was scratching, kicking & spitting.  Ugh, spitting is the worst.  It's just so disgusting.  We ended up putting a mask over her face in which she continued to spit - guess she couldn't figure out that the only person she was spitting on was herself.  Restraints were also applied, but not before she kicked the lab girl in the head.  As if this wasn't enough, a couple of hours later she started screaming - very loudly.  She woke up the entire floor.  I don't think I've ever heard anyone scream as loud as she did.  Quick fix, close the door & leave her nurse inside the room with

Gina had a "fun" patient also.  A frequent flyer/drug seeker.  She would complain that she was having excruciating chest pain & within 30 seconds, she'd be sleeping - snoring away.  Then she'd wake up & moan loudly about all the pain she was having & right back to sleep she would go.  She had been in the room for quite a few hours & we figured she had to go to the bathroom even though she was saying she didn't have to.  So Gina tells her she can't give her anymore pain medication until she goes to the bathroom.  We have never seen anyone get up so quickly to use the bedside commode as this woman.  It was actually comical.  I also noticed how she had like 8 bottles of flavored bottled water with her.  Who brings bottled water with them to the hospital while they are having chest pain?  She had a whole bag packed...hmmm...usually chest pain comes on suddenly & you don't really have time to prepare.  Not this lady - she looked like she had packed enough to stay awhile.  As if she was going on  I'm glad she was Gina's patient & not mine.  :)

There was another family member of some other patient that whenever she got on her cell phone....whoa...the language coming out of her mouth was beyond foul.  We just sat & watched her - it really was like watching a live taping of General Hospital.  Although you couldn't write this stuff out - it was all just

I had another patient in which half his family lives here, the other half in South Carolina & the battle was brewing over where he would go into a nursing home - it was like the Hatfields vs. the McCoys.  It wasn't enough that they were fighting amongst each other, they tried to drag the nursing staff into it also.  Not me, I wasn't getting involved.  After they finally left, the patient was telling me a little about it.  I asked him "Where is it that YOU want to go, because that is all that really matters."  The poor guy felt bad letting either side of his family down if he were to make the choice.  He ended up going to South Carolina.  He was a sweetheart, kept asking me for my address.  I have no idea why, I gave him a copy of the hospital address with my name.  I know his family is going to be like "Why in the world did that nurse give you her name?"  And he probably isn't going to remember asking.  Oh well. 

It was a fun week.  A few of us on the nursing staff had fun picking on one another.  It makes work more bearable.  That's one of the few things I like about that place...the staff.  Most of them are easy to get along with & make working with one another fun.  It's actually the reason I have yet to leave.  I really doubt that anywhere I go will it be this good amongst the staff.  I'm still inching my way towards agency or travel nursing.  Slowly but surely.

I think I'll wrap things up.  I have my niece Elizabeth for a few days.  We're gonna go see "Monster House" & hang out at Chili's today.  Fun, fun!




1 comment:

am4039 said...

sounds like a very interesting week at the hospital. LOL. What goofy people or the families at least. Hope you have a good time with the niece.