Monday, October 16, 2006

Called off

I worked Wed, Thurs & Fri last week. I was supposed to work Sat night also, but they called me off. I was happy, mostly cause I was tired & could use the extra sleep. I'm probably the only person that is thrilled when they get called off. :)

I had another easy week - it's sort of scaring me because it has been so easy. I didn't have to call a doctor at all the entire week. My patients were stable and alert & oriented...except for one on my last night. I'll get to her later. Another patient came in with dehydration, admitted to med/surg...well they ended up overhydrating her...so much that she went into pulmonary edema & transferred to my floor. We ended up giving her Bumex (diuretic) round the clock - the poor lady - I don't think she slept for more than an hour at a time with as much as she had to void. She maintained a great attitude through it all. She kept calling me her angel. She couldn't wait to introduce me to her family. She was being discharged on my last night & as much as I was happy to see her leaving because that meant she was better, I sort of wanted her to stay another night. It's rare to get a patient with such a great attitude.

We had another female patient on the floor that was the total opposite. She thought we were there to cater to her every need & normally I don't mind helping, but when they overdo it - it makes me want to do less & it wasn't even my patient. I don't like drama & I especially don't like when a person that is perfectly capable of taking care of themselves, sit back & ask for you to do what they are able to do. That's one of my pet peeves - people that take advantage of the system & would rather remain or pretend to be sick just so that others will take care of them. I see it at the hospital, I see it in patients that go home. I guess they like the attention &/or they are just too dang lazy to do things for themselves. They milk the system, but it ends up that they are mostly hurting themselves because the people helping will tire of it eventually & they'll be left to fend for themselves & not be able to do it. I couldgo on...but I won't. I'm sure anyone reading this knows exactly what I mean.

On my third night I got report on a woman in her 90's that was pretty much in a coma & the end was near. Her family had been contacted & told of this change in her condition...their response = call us when she dies. I try to understand what kind of family can do that to their family member, but I'm unable to understand it. I don't know how they can live with themselves knowing they had an opportunity to be with her, but choose to let her die alone or die with only the hospital staff around. Perhaps they can't handle being there or they think it will be much worse than it is...I don't know. It seems cold-hearted to me, but that's probably because I am not afraid of death....not a peaceful death anyways. Her heart rate was in the mid-30's, low 40's when I took over care & it remained there through the shift. Her breathing was getting more labored & for some reason they were filling her with fluids & she had practically no urine output. I turned off the IV fluids - she didn't need them. Her skin looked like it would pop like a balloon if you stuck it with a needle - she was third spacing. The family wanted us to give her morphine, but I didn't - she wasn't showing any signs of being in pain & her blood pressure was like 65/30. Morphine would have just pushed her over the edge & I wasn't going to be the one to do that. Her K+ (potassium) level was 6.4......I was surprised she made it through the night. I have a feeling she probably passed away sometime during the day shift. I'll find out when I go back.

This is the final week of handwritten charting. We switch over to the computer system on Sunday. I'm debating about whether to work that night or not - I have a feeling it's gonna be a mess. They did listen to Gina & I and came up with a report sheet so that change of shift won't be so difficult.

I got a flu shot last week also - I haven't been sick in a few years now...which is amazing, but just in case...I don't want the flu either. That's the nice thing about being in healthcare...all of your immunizations are free...lol.

I've been relaxing today - it's overcast, the temperature is getting cooler...finally feeling like fall. I have volleyball tonight & after that I may see "The Guardian." I'll see how I feel after volleyball. Hope everyone had a great weekend & also hope you have a good week.

1 comment:

tendernoggle said...

You need to write a book!
I don't understand how anyone could do that to a family member!!! To let them die alone..nobody should have to die alone.
I am so glad that you are there....
love ya,
carlene