I have been battling a cold for about the last 2 to 3 weeks. Just when I think it's gone - it sneaks back up & is even worse than before. Some nights I can barely sleep, other nights anything less than 8 hours is not enough. I've been congested, achy, chills, hot - all this from just a cold! If anyone else is going through this, I sympathize with you. I usually have a pretty good immune system, but I think spending time with my niece & nephew while they were sick is what got to me. Oh well, it was worth it.
It hasn't stopped me from working. Well, it has stopped me from overworking, but I haven't the need to call in sick. I've been off on the nights when I felt my worst. I'm working 60 hours this week. Actually my week is almost over. I work Friday & Saturday night. Should be a piece of cake...lol.
I can't complain about work lately - I've had pretty good patients and we've had a patient care tech all the time too. It just works better when we have proper staffing. Our hospital is full as always as far as patients go. Lots of respiratory problems - pneumonia, respiratory failure, COPD, etc. There also seems to be quite a few people either attempting suicide or taking pills & saying they want to die - but not actually taking something that could kill them. It makes me sad that there are so many people out there that would rather kill themselves than live. We are just a small hospital - I can't imagine how many are showing up in emergency rooms around the country or around the world. I hope their families find them the proper help so they can live a positive life.
Nothing much was going on with my patients this week. I've noticed that I really don't get too rattled anymore by someone claiming chest pain or difficulty breathing. I just do what I need to do to relieve their problem. I did have one patient whose heart rate jumped up & sustained at 150 while he was sleeping. I ended up having to call the doctor at 4:30 in the morning. Doctors love that! I tell him what's going on & he orders "A 500 ml bolus of normal saline and then normal saline at 75 ml/hr." He was ready to hang up. I said "Are you sure you don't want something for his heart rate in the 150's?" I understood his line of thought - that perhaps the patient was dehydrated...but still...lets give a medication that will at least slow the heart rate down a little. He ordered Lopressor 50 mg PO. Again, I asked "Are you sure you don't want something IV?" Nope. I was looking for some quick results & IV is the best for that. I didn't argue....gave the patient the Lopressor & started the bolus. Within a half hour his heart rate was around 100 and by the time I left at 7 am it was in the 80's. Problem solved...pat myself on the back...lol.
I received a new admission Tuesday night - well, actually he came from our new "Express Admissions Unit." Instead of having a patient wait in the ER for a bed, they transfer them to this unit - another nurse does the whole admission process & then they transfer them to wherever a bed opens up. So I'm getting report on my new patient & I'm told he is a convicted sex offender & no one under 18 is allowed in the room. They had no private rooms that night so he'd have to share a room until a private room opened up. I didn't think it would be a problem as my other patient in the room was in his 80's & the only person that ever visited him was his elderly wife.
Still though - it made me feel a little uneasy. Not that I thought this guy would do anything to me or anyone else...but the fact that here is his roommate - an elderly man having to share a room with a convicted sex offender & not being allowed to know that information. It creeps me out. I never thought about situations like that. You never really know who you are sharing a room with when it comes to these semi-private rooms. Yet another reason all rooms should be private.
In a way I wish I hadn't been told that little tidbit of info about my new patient, but it is important that we are aware since children do come to the hospital to visit their relatives. I didn't want it to cloud my mind or have me treat him differently than any other patient. He was in a lot of pain when he was transferred over to me as well as having a high blood pressure (204/98), a fever of 101.7 and an extreme headache. None of it phased me...I treated the temp with tylenol, the pain & headache with Dilaudid and the blood pressure with some medications that were ordered. I got him a cool wash cloth, plenty to eat & drink and took the time to talk to him - to try to give him some emotional support that soon he would be feeling better.
He ended up surprising me by being very appreciative. He must have said "thank you" to me at least 50 times that night. I did all I could for him - now I just had to wait for the medication to do its job. Within a couple of hours he was feeling much better. By 4 am he was afebrile, blood pressure around 146/78 and the pain and headache was subsided. It's nice to see results. We don't always get to see them in such a short amount of time.
I'm hoping Friday & Saturday night go just as smooth. It's hard to believe I've been a nurse for 3 years. In some ways it seems much longer and other ways it seems like it's flown by. Only 30 more years to go to retirement...haha!
Have a good weekend everyone!!!