Saturday, February 28, 2009


I received a patient the other night from the ER. His diagnoses were acute cholecystitis, left hip fracture and chest pain. When the ER nurse arrived with him, we obviously needed more than just the 2 of us to transfer him from the stretcher to the bed. My fellow co-workers all seemed to be in their patients rooms, so I waited for someone to appear. The ER nurse was not quite as patient as I was. In fact, she seemed rather anxious & at one point claimed her & I could move the patient. Ummm, he's over 200 lbs with a hip fracture...I'm not hurting my back cause you're in a hurry. She continued to be a bit jumpy - even going as far as calling down to the ER in hopes of someone from down there coming up to assist. I couldn't figure out why she was in such a hurry - because most of the time, they enjoy getting a break from the ER.

After about 2 minutes, I was able to round up my fellow nurses & we transferred the patient into our bed. The ER nurse was gone in seconds. As we turned the patient to get the extra blankets/sheets out from under him, it was soon apparent why the ER nurse was in such a hurry. Often times we have patients come to the floor that have had a bowel movement & for whatever reason (laziness or lack of desire to help clean someone up), the nurse seems to think that's ok. I, personally, think it's disgusting to allow someone to lay in their own waste. I don't like cleaning it, but that doesn't stop me for doing so.

My patient, however, did not have a bowel movement. Instead, he was covered in urine. When I say covered....I mean COVERED. So much so, that there were towels tucked in all around him - so that tells me the nurse knew exactly what was going opposed to "Oh, he just did that on the way up here during the transfer." Not only that, but this gentleman was totally alert & oriented. I asked him why he had so much urine in the sheets & he replied "I can barely move with this hip fracture and no one downstairs would help me with the urinal." Ugh...sad. He wasn't a complainer either. In fact, he was apologizing to me. I reassured him that he had nothing to be sorry about - we have to go to the bathroom, don't we?

Needless to say, I wrote that nurse up for neglect. I don't care how busy you don't leave someone swimming in their own urine. Why they didn't immediately put a foley catheter in him is beyond me. He's a hip fracture patient, he would have one placed prior to surgery anyways. He was in the ER for 8 hours....they had plenty of time to put one in. Ridiculous.

That wasn't my only problem with this patient. He had a hip fracture and what do they order for pain??? One darvocet every 6 hours. Are you kidding me???

His second set of Troponin came back positive. Granted it was just slightly above normal....his was 0.61, normal is 0.49 and below...but it was still positive. Not to mention his rhythm had those rabbit ears that looked like the letter M. I'm not sure what the clinical name is for it, but when I asked my clincal leader what it meant....she replied "Death." What????? She said the M pretty much means morbidity. What??????????????

So I call the cardiologist & explain to him what is going on. His reply......"Ok." That's it. "Ok." And he hangs up. Not quite the response I was looking for, but not completely unexpected either as this cardiologist tends to be like this most of the time.

I call the primary doctor....for a few of which is the positive Troponin, another for stronger pain medication & last to discuss the patient being allergic to one of the antibiotics he prescribed 6 hours earlier while the patient was in the ER. I get new prescriptions for the pain & the allergy, but I'm told "Oh really" in response to the cardiac information. "Oh really?" As if I'd just told him the latest gossip on Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie. Again, not quite the response I was looking for....but considering this doctor was snapping & yelling at other nurses left & right, I felt rather relieved with his calm "Oh really?" response.

I wait a few hours & then call the surgeon who was planning on taking this patient's gallbladder out in the morning. I obviously woke him up even though I waited until 6 am to call (what time do doctors usually wake up???). I tell him about the positive Troponin thinking he may want to postpone the surgery until the patient is cleared by cardio. Instead he asks me what the CPK and CKMB results are. I read them to him & he says "That means he has a 1% chance of having a heart attack, doesn't it?" Ummmm, what?????? I didn't know what he was talking about & replied with "I guess." He goes on to say he thinks the hip fracture is causing a false positive Troponin result. Ummmm, what????? I have never heard of such a thing. Has anyone ever heard of this?

My patient was such a sweetheart & would not complain at all. I kept checking on him & asking if he had chest pain because I felt like he was the type that wouldn't tell me even if he did & with his crazy heart rhythm, I didn't want to be surprised. Needless to say, I went home that morning wondering about this patient of mine & what his outcome would be since none of the doctors seemed all that concerned.

I found out later he was transferred to ICU as a "precaution." Uh huh....why couldn't they have done that earlier so I wouldn't have to worry? I'm glad nothing bad happened to him, but I'm also glad I followed my instinct to make all of the doctors on his case aware of his situation....even if I repeatedly didn't get the response I was looking for.

I've enjoyed another day off of doing nothing. I could get used to this lifestyle. I will attempt to clean & do some laundry later today...but that's it. I've needed this downtime for myself. It's my last week of being 39. Next Saturday I'll be 40...eeekkkk. Where did the years go?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

ICU nurse for a night

Last Monday night when I went into work - I saw my name under the ICU column. My first thought was "ummmm, this isn't good." I quickly figured that these would be PCU patients & that PCU must be I'll just take care of PCU patients in the ICU area.

I get to ICU & ask the day nurse "Are these PCU patients?" She mumbled something which I thought was a yes. But it wasn't. These were ICU patients. The problem is...I have no training in ICU. I know where the bed is & that's about it. Aren't you glad to see that hospitals really care about who might be taking care of you?

So I ask a few questions about these patients, because even though I have no training in ICU...the thought of only having 2 patients is QUITE appealing. From the response I was getting, it appeared to me that these 2 patients should be PCU patients...but for whatever reason (doctors being lazy maybe), they aren't. I accept the assignment with the blind faith that nothing will go wrong.

My night was pretty easy. I must say...having 2 patients is sweettttt. The drawback though...the night crawled by in slow motion. I didn't want to jinx myself by saying anything out loud such as the words quiet, bored, easy. Any nurse will tell you...never describe your night with those words until after the shift is over.

My one patient was diagnosed with syncope. The cardiologist rounded and asked me why the patient was still in ICU. Huh? I wanted to reply "I don't even know what I'm doing in ICU, much less the patient." I have learned that honesty is the best policy & I replied to him sincerely..."I don't know." He then said "You're paying for it." Huh???? I said to him (in a much different tone) "I'm paying for it???" Then he went on about how all taxpayers are paying for it. Ummm...the patient was like 81 years old & on medicare....that's part of the deal you get for surviving so many years here in America. It wasn't like he had no insurance whatsoever & this would be a tax writeoff for the hospital/state. I'm not convinced this cardiologist is from America I think he might have been a little confused or just looks at it differently than I do. If you make it to where you qualify for medicare...then it's all yours. We younger ones aren't allowed to complain about it.

This was a good patient...didn't ask for much at all & slept most of the night. Very easy to get along with, very cooperative & definitely not ICU material.....but that wasn't my concern as I was only there for a night.

My other patient (did I mention I loved only having 2 patients?)...well this one was a little more complicated. He was in for dehydration.....he's only like 29 years old. He also has downs syndrome & definitely does not have the maturity level of a 29 yr old. It was like taking care of a child. We started the shift with him complaining he was in extreme pain. I gave him some Dilaudid & it wasn't long before he was hallucinating. That's the thing with some of these meds....sometimes they can do wonderful things like take away the pain & induce sleep...but other times, they can make the patient seem insane & restless.

Every few minutes this guy would call out. I'd go check on him & he would be having a bad dream. This went on for about an hour or two. I had to reorient him every time. After a few hours went by, he asked for pain medicine. Ummmm, no. Not going thru that again. Amazingly, he never asked for it again & he slept the rest of the night.

That was the extent of it. Simple, easy patients = simple, easy night. I was due for a night like that. A couple of the clinical leaders told me I did well & that I should consider moving over to ICU. It's a possibility, but I would rather be trained at a hospital that has a good ICU training program & deals with much more traumatic cases. Our ICU doesn't see a whole lot as we are not a trauma hospital nor a cardiac hospital. We end up with people that unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide and elderly people that are nearing the end of life. That's about it. That's not what I want to learn. I want it all....haha.

On a side note...I strongly urge all of you reading this....find out what your local hospitals specialize in. For instance, we have 2 hospitals over here that are somewhat near each other......mine, which doesn't really specialize in anything & the other's the place to go for anything heart related/chest pain, etc. I don't know how many times I've received a patient with a heart related condition that I silently said to myself "I wish they had gone to the other hospital"......because we cannot care for heart related conditions the way this other hospital can. It's a delay of care when you end up in my hospital for something we cannot properly treat.

Often times we transfer patients, but sometimes it's a little bit too late. I'm just saying......find out which hospital in your area is the leader in heart related this way if you develop chest pain or anything heart know which would be the better hospital to go to....if you have someone to drive you. If not, the ambulance will take you to the closest hospital.

I'm NOT SAYING that you should delay your own care by skipping a hospital close by for one that is like 2 hours away....I'm just saying often times there are multiple hospitals in a small area & they each specialize/excel in something different usually. It would be good to know who does what prior to you needing them.

If I'm freaking you out, I'm sorry. I just know so many people think any hospital can do it all & we definitely can't. I've already told my parents which hospitals to go to & which to now I'm sort of telling you. Inquire...find out....don't wait until you're having a problem. Know in advance. But in case of extreme emergency - definitely go to the closest hospital possible.

Ok, that's enough of my service announcement. I did absolutely nothing today & I liked it!!! (sing it in the tune of Kati Perry's song) Actually I'm lying. I did do a few things. I talked to both of my best friends, I colored my hair, I went to Walgreen's with the sole purpose of buying Edy's ice cream - it's so yummy, I couldn't resist. So I did a few things, but that's about it. I'm about to resume my tv watching - I have so many shows to catch up on & that's my plan for tomorrow. And the next day.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Something Nice

Not sure who wrote this....I'm definitely NOT taking credit for it, but thought it would be nice to share.......

An Angel says, 'Never borrow from the future.. If you worry about what may happen tomorrow and it doesn't happen, you have worried in vain. Even if it does happen, you have to worry twice.'

1. Pray

2. Go to bed on time.
3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.
4. Say No to projects that won't fit into your time schedule, or that will compromise your mental health.
5. Delegate tasks to capable others.

6. Simplify and unclutter your life.
7. Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)
8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.
9. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don't lump the hard things all together.

10. Take one day at a time.
11. Separate worries from concerns . If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety . If you can't do anything about a situation, forget it.
12. Live within your budget; don't use credit cards for ordinary purchases.
13. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.

14. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.
15. Do something for the Kid in You everyday.
16. Carry an inspirational book and/or the Bible with you to read while waiting in line.

17. Get enough rest.
18. Eat right.
19 Get organized so everything has its place.
20. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life.

21. Write down thoughts and inspirations.
22. Every day, find time to be alone.
23. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don't wait until it's time to go to bed to try and pray.
24. Make friends with godly people.
25. Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.

26. Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good 'Thank you Jesus .'
27. Laugh.
28. Laugh some more!
29. Take your work seriously, but not yourself at all.
30. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).
31. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).

32. Sit on your ego.
33 Talk less; listen more.
34. Slow down.
35. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.
36 Every night before bed, think of one thing you're grateful for that you've never been grateful for before.

'If God is for us, who can be against us?' (Romans 8:31)

Numbers 27 and 28 are my favorite....I think laughter is so good not only for the soul, but for state of mind.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Actress on a Stage

I forgot to add....our new director told us yesterday that we are to be like "actresses".....ready to go on stage with a smile at all times. That we need to sell ourselves to our patients.

So a co-worker & I were discussing this & coming up with questions for our next staff meeting....such as...

1) Now that we are "actresses", what time will the hairdresser & make-up artist be in so that we can prepare professionally for our roles?

2) Where is the wardrobe room?

3) Will our salaries match actresses such as Angelina Jolie?

4) Will we have stunt doubles to insure we are not injured while "on the job?"

5) What time will kraft services be in to provide nourishment?

6) Do we need to get agents?

7) Where is MY dressing room?

Please let me know if I am leaving anything pertinent out!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wow, whoa, what?????

Ahhh, it's a lovely Thursday afternoon....meaning it's pouring down rain & I couldn't be enjoying it anymore than I already am...unless I decide to go outside & dance in it. Which I won't. Because I really don't feel like it...mostly because it's raining too dang hard & I imagine it's probably cold out there. Why do I enjoy it so much - because it justifies me staying home, indoors, doing nothing. It's a mind thing.

It was a busy week at work, but still a good week. I cannot say enough how much I enjoy my co-workers. They are more than co-workers, they are friends & they are reliable & dependable & helpful & most of all...funny. With all the twists & turns we are forced to withstand at work, I know that for at least part of the 12 hr shift, I'll be smiling.

My patients were fact, I don't think I had to call a doctor once this week. Those are always nice weeks. I did talk to a cardiologist as he was rounding & I noticed he doubled one of my patient's Coreg doses. I said "His systolic BP is right around 100, do I still give this med?" He replied "Do you want him to have sudden death?", not during my shift anyways. He replied "Then give the medication." Ok, no argument there. This patient I am speaking of was a little strange. I kept referring to him as the serial killer.....NOT because he was one, he just had that look about him. Like if I saw his pic on tv saying he just killed 10 people, I wouldn't be thinking "wow, he doesn't look like the type." Don't try to understand my mind, it goes off in various directions. Anyone warped like me will understand what I'm saying, so I won't explain it any further. Of course when I mentioned this to one of my co-workers...she was worried that he was a serial killer. She obviously doesn't have the warped mind set that I have.

I had an older man....91 to be exact. He was a sweetheart, but he also had a very stubborn side. Luckily, I didn't have to deal with the stubborn side as it only seemed to show itself during the days. That is most's usually when the sun goes down that we get new personalities in some of our patients. He had a lot of things wrong with him....aortic stenosis, kidneys were shutting down, very distended abdomen...but he was refusing all treatment to remedy those situations. He'd keep repeating "I'll be 92 next month, why do I want them to start cutting me open now?" I understood, but it still made me a little sad to think that his body was beginning to fail him. He was a sweetheart. It made me want to go the extra mile for him.

Every once in awhile I get a patient like that...where the rapport is really good. Not that I get attached....I don't get attached to any of my patients - at least not yet. I am able to keep from crossing that line, but it doesn't mean I don't care about my patients deeply. I do...but if I let their situations get to me, I'd be crying all the time & falling apart myself. Somehow not crossing the line is not a struggle for me. I think it would be different if I were working with kids.......I don't like seeing kids or animals suffering. Therefore I stay away from pediatrics and ER's...where the kids in pain are. That's what I do...I avoid the line.

I had another patient who was in with respiratory failure. After having her for 2 nights, I can see exactly why she goes into respiratory failure. She is very confused & she removes her oxygen every chance she gets....then has trouble breathing. She had advance dementia so trying to reason with her did no good. Of course that didn't stop me from trying, but it did no good. She would take the oxygen off, I'd put it back on, she's ask "What's that for?" I'd reply "So you can breathe." She'd say "I don't want that, I don't want to breathe. You take it." Over & over & over...that's how the conversation went. She would keep yelling out for help. I would ask "What do you need help with?" She'd reply "I don't know." So I'd tell her "You need to get some rest, get some sleep." She'd reply "I don't know how, show me how to sleep." Huh??? She was pleasantly confused, obviously living in her own little world. It's kinda scary because it makes me wonder if I'll end up like that one day. I mean it feels like my memory is already going & I'm not even 40 yet or have kids to blame it on. Scary.

Wednesday morning was the busiest. Our computers were down for 5 hours...which meant we had some time to chat with one another. Then we had fire school at 6, since our clinical leader agreed to watch our patients. We were told fire school only lasted about 20 minutes. 6:25, our fire instructor was only on the letter A in the acronym RACE. What happened to the 20 min only class? We ended up leaving because we had to chart & get ready for shift change. We manage to do that & I'm told I need to transfer one of my patients downstairs because we don't have enough nurses during the day shift up here. I have to transfer someone at shift change? What?

I call report to the other floor...the nurse is not happy, but I tell her neither am I. Then I get two ICU nurses to take my other patients..........they were floated over to my unit. All they seemed focused on was complaining that they had 5 patients as opposed to their usual 2. Welcome to my world! Then as all that is going on, another patient had a seizure. It wasn't my patient, but I called a rapid response as this was an obvious change in condition. Our clinical leaders get there after the seizure was over & say "Oh, looks like she's ok now, you don't need us" & they walk out. This is all at the change of shift.

Grrrr...that sorta annoys me. It's change of shift plus we have a staff meeting in 30 min. I think the clinical leaders should have jumped in, gotten that patient downstairs for her stat CT & left us to finish our shift & get out of there. But apparently that only happens in the movies (ha!) or in my dreams. So before I help take this patient down so this patient's nurse can call doctors to get this patient what she needs....I do put a call into the clinical leaders & tell them we need help. I told them my patient that had to be transferred was still here & they would have to take care of it. They agreed & said they would.

So me & another nurse take this seizure patient to the CT dept & there is only one person there. She says "The rest of the dept is in a meeting." Ummm, great. So we help her get the patient onto the CT scan equipment & we are ready to get out of there & to our staff meeting. The CT tech says "This will only take a couple of minutes." Ummm...I have been a nurse long enough to know that a couple of minutes in hospital time means at the very least...15 minutes. So I tell her we are nightshift, that she will have to call the floor & have the dayshift staff come get the patient when she is done. Mind you...if I didn't have a staff meeting to get to...I would have stayed as long as it took. But this was a staff meeting I did not want to'll know why later.

So the other nurse & I run up to the room where the staff meeting is to be held. The reason I didn't want to miss it was because we got the announcement that our manager/director (whatever she is) was resigning and our new director introduced herself. This is the 5th director I've met in the 5 years I've been at this hospital. Needless to say...I'm thinking it must be a pretty stressful position. I'm not sure what I think of her just yet. She is very direct, not exactly my style...but time will tell.

With this comes multiple managers, new director, new administration......same old staff who I am hoping will come thru it ok. We have been thru so many different things & somehow we still seem to have great teamwork - that just seems to come naturally.

On top of all that...I got my yearly evaluation & a raise. I am grateful that I have a job & got a raise....even if it was lower because administration claims we don't have the money for higher raises (even though they got $40,000 bonuses...grrr). My goal for next year is not to call in so much....eek, didn't realize I called in 7 times in the last year. I think I can meet that goal. We also had to fill out a "criminal record" this really necessary? And somehow they include speeding tickets as having a criminal record. Huh???? I said a speeding ticket is neither a felony or a misdemeanor. They replied "Well then, what is it?" Ummm...a driving infraction. Ridiculous....although I am in agreement that they should be doing yearly criminal background checks...but I don't think a speeding ticket or an expired tag ticket should be considered a criminal offense. Now that I'm thinking...I probably shouldn't even wrote speeding ticket as it was simply a "failure to obey traffic device" that really a criminal offense? Should I be on America's Most Wanted?

They also had a list of questions to ask...because as administration put it...we feel the best way to make this a better workplace is to start at the bottom up rather from the top down. nursing considered the bottom of the chain of command in a hospital? That's pretty sad as it seems we do the most work around there & keep them out of a zillion lawsuits. They are supposed to come around once a month & ask us how we are doing & are we surviving the economic changes, etc. I bet this lasts 2 months.....3 months top.

That was my wonderful week at work. Last night I went to see "He's just not that into you" with my best friend Maria. It was a good movie....except it had a girly ending, which I know is not how the real book is. Oh well.....gotta give a chick flick a chick flick ending I suppose. I liked the actors/actresses that were in was pretty good....typical chick flick so how can I complain?


Friday, February 13, 2009


It's amazing what one will do for ice cream. The administrators at my hospital came around the floors Tuesday night offering ice cream & chocolate in exchange for us signing some type of pledge. They didn't let us read it....just said "It basically means you're going to be nice to the patients." Do we really need to have that in writing? Isn't it a given? Speaking of administrators....I only recognized one of them because the rest are all new. And by new, I mean they are coming in & changing as we know it. I've been at the hospital 5 years now...I've seen plenty come & go. I'm sure it will be no different with this group. They step in, change everything, then decide it's too stressful & leave. I'm sure it's that way everywhere.

Work wasn't bad this week. I was busy, the hospital is super busy....but nothing too bad as far as my patients go. I did have one....a 93 yr old woman who had a stroke a few months ago. She can't speak or move the left side of her body. She does make garbled noises - it felt like I was taking care of a baby. It's weird how life can take you back to that age - does that make sense? In days prior, she kept pulling out her NG's what we were using to feed her with since she was unable to swallow food properly. Personally, I saw it as her saying "That's it, I don't want this, let me go peacefully, it's my time." The family however saw it as "It's time to have a feeding tube inserted into her stomach." As a result, we had to restrain her right hand, so she wouldn't pull anything she wanted to do.

The first night I had her, the daughter called me into the room & said "She's complaining of pain." I wasn't sure about that as I was told this patient doesn't speak. So I asked "How do you know she's in pain? Did she tell you that?" The reply..."No, she's pointing at her knee." Huh??? Has that become the universal sign for "I am in pain" & no one told me? I ended up repositioning her so the family would be happy. I think they just wanted her medicated so she'd sleep - but that's not how I do things. In the back of my mind I was thinking though that this should have been a hospice situation or at least a consult.

The next night the family calls me in there again & says "She's complaining of pain." I ask "Is she speaking today?" The reply "No, she's moving her right hand." Huh??? Are you serious? That makes you think she's in pain? I told them "She doesn't like being restrained, that's why she is moving her right hand - she is telling you the best way she can, she doesn't like this." All they said was "Oh." I don't get it.

I really try to picture it being a relative of mine & if they were 93 yrs old & just laid in bed all day moaning...I would like to think I'd try to do something to help even if it's the undesirable choice. I've already had this discussion with my parents & what they would want me to do if it came down to a feeding tube & not much quality life left. We all have the paperwork filled out. I wish more families would have these discussions so the right thing can be done. When it comes to death & dying, our pets get better treatment than we do - because no one wants to see a pet suffer. Somehow though, families overlook this with their loved ones. I guess there is hope that they will get better & be who they used to be. I don't know.

I did have a 91 yr old lady that came in with chest pain. She was the cutest thing ever. She complained of chest pain right before 9 pm. Then she says "I took my medicine, the pain went away." And she went to sleep for the night, woke up at 6 am, MADE HER BED (didn't I tell you she was adorable?) & sat in her chair talking about how she cleans her house. Way too cute - I wish they could all be like her. It's the first time I've ever seen a patient make their own bed. Of course her roommate couldn't take the competition....she was a 75 yr old that also got up at 6 & made her bed. I could really get used to having patients like those.

I had thought about going back to work last night for an extra shift, but the full moon was definitely out & half of the patients were confused & screaming & doing weird things. One was screaming as though she was being murdered & she woke everyone else up Thurs morning. There were just way too many signs I was seeing to stay home.

I'm picking up the niece & nephew & going to my parents house tonight. Time to catch up with family before returning to work Sunday night for another 3 in a row.

Have a good weekend!

p.s. Pamela - can I be invited to read your blog? I tried, but it says it's private.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Ok, I'm back

Ok, the destressing is over...for now anyways. I worked 4 nights last week & while the first 3 were exhausting....none were as frustrating as Thursday night. That kind of just pushed it all over the edge & I needed some time to relax.

I started out the week as a PCT (patient care tech). Basically you take vital signs & help the patients & nurses when they needed you. I did this while I was in nursing school....for 10 patients at a time. Monday night I had 18 patients. Just to do vital signs alone took 90 min to 2 there was half my shift right there. By Tuesday morning, my legs & feet were sore from spending so much time on them. I felt like I had just worked out all night at the gym with all the running around. I came home & slept like 9 hours straight.

It was a bizarre and downs & then just plain wacky.

Let's start with the downers:

1) found out a co-worker (who none of us knew) had gone home last week, had a fight with his gf & ended up shooting her & himself dead...aka murder-suicide

2) had a patient die that I took care of Monday night - it was weird because she had some type of blockage in her left arm so blood wasn't circulating like it should have been - - luckily she had a good nurse who was calling doctors in the middle of the night to get appropriate tests & meds to diagnose/treat what was going on. Needless to say, the patient was a little more than irritated because we were taking her down for tests in the middle of the night. I remember vividly her saying to me kinda rudely "What's next? Are you going to give me sleep deprivation pills?" It was starting to irritate us a little because all we were doing was trying to help her condition - would she have preferred we ignore it & she lose her arm?

The surgeon came in the next day & performed emergency surgery, she came back to us around 7:30 pm. She was alert...responsive.......for a few hours....and then she wasn't. We called a rapid response when she stopped responding to us & although she was a DNR...we got her some treatment & transferred her to ICU. A few hours later she passed away. We were told later that she had a heart attack after surgery. Ugh, yet another reason surgery scares just never know what can happen - even when it's over.

3) we were hearing different things from an administrative meeting...such as upping our patient ratio to 6 patients to 1 nurse & get this.........if we run out of rooms for the patients, just line the beds up in the hall & treat appropriately. What? In the hall? Who the heck wants to sleep in a if they'd even be able to sleep with how noisy it is in the hallway. Obviously these suggestions were coming from people who were either never nurses or who hadn't been bedside nurses in a long time.

And what annoys me is they hound us for not having higher patient satisfaction scores - yet they create it by not having enough staff to meet patient needs. Then they use the fact that patients are not satisfied as a reason to not give us a bonus. Grrr!

4) picking up an extra shift at the other hospital & being reminded of how dysfunctional it is over there - it's like no one cares & that attitude is contagious; I don't like it

Some of the good things that happened this week:

1) seeing how adversity at work can turn co-workers into friends...I truly cherish most of those I work with on the floor because we really help one another out & it just comes natural. I see it even more so after spending a shift at the other hospital - where no one helps no one.

2) having a weekend to myself so that I can get rid of some of the stress while at the same time getting some rest & catching up on tv shows.....not to mention...Nascar is back!

3) the Grammy's were on tonight & it reminded me of how comforting music really is....not to mention seeing the different people/groups uniting together to sing; it was a great show tonight - even if I don't agree with who won best album

Now for the weird stuff...when I became a nurse years ago...never did I imagine that I would...

1) be asked if I wanted to make-out by an 88 yr old male patient

2) have to deal with drugseekers...who if they didn't get their way, would turn into crybabies

3) have a 50 yr old patient asking for my phone # & having to lie & tell him I don't have a phone (lol)

4) watch The (overrated) Jonas Brothers nominated for "best NEW artist" at the Grammy's when they've been performing for at least the last 2 or 3 years (weirddd) & then I had to sympathize with Stevie Wonder for being forced to perform with them (poor Stevie)

5) finishing the Twilight series finallyyyyyyyy & still not understanding why there are so many Twerds aka Twilight Nerds

It's been a weird weekend.....I didn't eat anything at all yesterday, guess I was just too tired to feel hungry. Back to work Monday night for another 3 nights...and the cycle continues.

Hope everyone has a good week!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Destressing (is that a real word?)

I am currently in the process of destressing. It's been a long week...full of twists & & downs. I am mentally & physically I will post more soon.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Sunday, February 1, 2009 show

I have had the last few days completely to myself. My dog is at her grandparents (yes, she knows them by name), my brother is out there also & therefore...I have had the pleasure of being completely alone since Friday. For those that don't know me very well, I love time with myself. I don't get bored, I don't feel is actually the best way for me to get back into balance after working & spending all my time taking care of others.

So last night...after my Chick-fil-a dinner (I am not a healthy eater at all) & a stop at Wendy's for a frosty...I turned on my tv & took a look at what I had on the DVR. I noticed a show I have been seeing advertised for quite a few weeks....Toddlers & Tiaras. Has anyone else had the pleasure (lol) of watching this new show? If so......if you feel like laughing & feeling "normal."

Last night's episode was some pageant that sounded more like something you'd order at Taco Bell......Grande Supreme something or other. Not only was it babies & children competing...but their mothers also could compete against them. You know the type...stage moms who are putting their daughters through this ridiculous pagentry because they never got to have the spotlight when they were young (I'm guessing). Well, last night was their chance & a few of them took it.

I don't know which "story" was more comical. The mom who looked about 77, but was really only 47 with a beautiful 6 yr old daughter. The mom & stage dad (who I truly believe is gay or he is in denial about being gay) with the barely 2 yr old that had no concept of what she was even doing at this pageant. Or the perfectionistic mother of a 10 yr old (I think she was 10)....all I can say is really does wonders. This was a plain looking 10 yr old until they added the makeup & hairpieces. Then she was absolutely beautiful with an attitude to match.

I'm not going to give away anymore details...well, ok....spandex plays a part...but you have got to see it for yourself. I think it's on TLC or some such network & I'm sure they'll be replaying it 93032 times this week.

Check it out...let me know what you think!

p.s. Go Cardinals!