Saturday, September 8, 2007

Finally Recognized

It was supposed to be an easy week: 2 nights of work & 1 night of Basic Life Support Class.  I went in on Monday evening & found out I was the Unit Secretary.  No problem...I don't mind putting orders in & Monday was Labor Day so most of the doctors had already been in before I even got there.  So I thought it would be a slow, but uneventful night. 

They had 3 codes during the dayshift - I know 2 of the patients died, not sure about the 3rd.  We haven't had many codes at night lately - well, except the one I accidentally set off from sharpening my pencil!  The wire from the pencil sharpener tripped the code blue button thing we have at the nurses station.  Luckily I was able to cancel it before anyone really showed up - especially the ER doctor.  It's the second time I've accidentally done that, but's not my fault.  We should have a better button on the wall than the one that barely stays up & will set off with the tiniest of movement.

I was told around 11 I would be pulled to the North side to be a nurse & take admissions because the emergency room was packed.  They weren't kidding - I got 5 admissions in 6 hours.  Whew!!!!!!  Luckily, I had another nurse there to help put all the orders in and a really good patient care tech to make sure the patients were comfortable, vital signs taken & heart monitors on.  It's the little things that really do matter the most. 

I got a little annoyed with the ER when they brought up the second and third admissions within 10 minutes of one another.  I understand they were busy & pressured, but at the same time, I have to be able to assess my patients properly.  Especially these two - one was in with a TIA vs CVA (stroke) and he was acting all loopy & disoriented.  I really thought he was going to end up falling & breaking a bone.  Luckily the worst thing he did was drop his urinal & urine went all over the floor...ick. 

My other patient - as soon as he got to the floor & the ER nurse left, he starts violently vomiting.  Luckily, the patient care tech had asked me for the garbage can right before this happened & this patient was alert & oriented enough to get it all in the trash can.  Whew....disaster averted.  We're talking like 1000 cc's of vomit.  The good thing about that is he felt perfectly fine after getting that out of his system.  His wife, on the other hand, I thought was going to fall at any moment.  I went to get her from the waiting room & she was staggering down the hall.  I don't know if she needed a cane, a walker or was simply exhausted - it was about 3 am. 

I thought maybe I'd luck out & that would be the end of the admissions...but they started back up around 5:15 am.  Two in a row.  They were stable - so all was good.  I took it all in stride.  What else could I do?  It's my job.  I did joke to my clinical leader that none of these patients better be discharged by Tuesday night because I did not want anymore admissions.

Sure enough, one did go home & I had to get one admission on Tuesday evening - but that was fine.  I got a card from my manager - she took the time to write about the situation and how wonderful my attitude was.  I also got a little symbol thing that they give out when you do something above & beyond what is required.  It's just a small thing, but like I said earlier - it's the little things that mean a lot.

Wednesday night was CPR class.  It was pretty simple - a few things have changed as far as the amount of compressions you do.  A nice refresher class.  She also reminded us of how important it is for us as healthcare workers to help out when out in public if we see a situation going on.  I'm not always the best at that because I don't want the liability or the expectations.  When I was on my trip - on the train, they called out for any medical personnel to come help with a situation.  My dad urged me to go, but I didn't - using the excuse "I'm on vacation."  I just don't like walking into situations like those without any backup that I trust - as opposed to being at the hospital where there are plenty of people to help out if I am unsure of the situation.  I'll work on getting better at that.

My puppy Shay is growing so quickly - I want her to go back to being that little puppy I got 2 months ago.  Hard to believe it's been 2 months.  She was just a tiny thing....8 lbs & so small.  Now she's nearly 25 lbs & has changed a lot.  The black in her fur is practically gone - except around her face & eyes.  She is definitely german shepherd & I don't know what else - I'm thinking yellow lab, but who knows.  She did well with getting spayed, although she does have a bump under the incision.  I'm reading on the internet that it isn't uncommon, but she goes to the vet on Monday to get her stitches out, so we'll see what he says.  It was hard to keep her calm for 7 days - she was running around the day after surgery.  She seems to be pain, no discomfort, she doesn't even mess with the stitches. 

She has sooooo much energy.  I finally took her on a 20 min walk to drain some of it so that she'd take a nap.  Well, we both ended up taking a nap...sooooo much for trying to get things done while she's sleeping.  Once she gets the ok from the vet, we're gonna start doing longer walks & she'll finally get to see what a dog park is all about.  She seems to be really good around other animals - hopefully she won't attack anyone!  She's turning into a good guard dog.  Here's her latest pics.  She's officially 17 weeks old now.



tendernoggle said...


cindyb2463 said...

Hey Jen,

This is Cindy from the Feb. 2005 boards.  I just thought I'd let you know that if you saw a medical situation out in public and helped out, you would be covered under the good samaritan law.