Friday, December 9, 2011

Not that great of a week

I worked three in a row this week & it wasn't too bad....except for early Monday morning. I had a pt in her early 90's with gallstones. Her daughter was staying in the room with her. Pesky daughter, but she meant well & I think she saw that her mother & I sorta bonded. Daughter comes out at 2:45 am to say she is leaving & her brother will be here soon for the rest of the shift. Says her mother sounds like she has some liquid in her throat, but otherwise no changes. Around 3 am, I decide to take vital signs. I like to get vital signs out of the way as soon as possible...I am so NOT a procrastinator at work (unlike the rest of my life).

I start with her first. I put the blood pressure cuff on & start it. Then I put the 02 sat on. I see her heart rate is 91. Pretty normal. The blood pressure comes back at 75/35. I think "uhhhh, that can't be right." The 02 sat reads 80%. Hmmm, no, that can't be right either. Heart rate is still saying 90. So I retake the blood pressure & attempt to wake this little lady up. I get nothing. By now I realize this isn't going to have a happy ending. I call my charge...she's on break. So I drag two other nurses in to confirm what I'm witnessing. They agree...she's actively dying. I call the daughter to tell her to turn around. That her mother isn't responding to me. I call the monitor tech to let him know to watch. As I'm on the phone with less than 10 seconds her heart rate went from 90 to 44 to asystole. She was a DNR...thankfully. I would not want to have cracked her ribs trying to save her. The three of us (nurses) are at the end of the bed just watching her. I started the vitals at 3 am. Time of death is 3:06 am.

Just as I turn to walk out of the room, the son walks up. Ugh, this is the part I hate. Breaking devastating news to family members. He's all smiles as he hasn't realized what just happened. I tell him she just passed away. Ugh, heartbreak. He, of course, is in shock. This is the part of nursing that I hate. Well, that & trachs. The daughter arrived...shocked, but at the same time it makes me wonder as the patient was in hospice care before coming to the hospital for a check on the abdominal pain. So it shouldn't have been totally unexpected....still though, losing a matter what age is devastating I'm sure. They didn't stay long.

I go on to take my other patients vital signs because this is nursing & you don't get breaks....even when your patient dies. You are expected to just keep going. Not more than 10 minutes later do I have the charge handing me a paper on a new admission. Seriously??? She replies "you're down to 2 patients." Now this I totally disagree on. It isn't like my 3rd patient just disappears because she died. I still have to do charting on her. I still have to get her ready for the morgue. Can I at least get this stuff done before you bring me someone new? So annoying sometimes. Luckily, my new admission was a wonderful woman who was not in any distress & just wanted to go to sleep.

My other patients this week were pretty good. One had this forceful cough that scared the heck out of me. I thought he'd be the one coding as he looked like he was about to die every time he had a coughing fit. I got some cough medicine ordered & gave it to him. It was no help. Did I mention he was on a 50% venti mask at the time & he would rip it off every time he started to cough. And his 02 sat would drop to 75%. Ugh. I called the doctor after a few hours of this coughing cycle & she tells me "there is no miracle cure for coughs." Really????? There is nothing out there that can help someone stop coughing? Fine, whatever. I bring respiratory in on this & we decide that since he rips the venti mask off anyways, let's switch him to a high flow nasal canula at 10 liters. Wouldn't you know it...that solved the coughing problem. It isn't to say he stopped coughing completely, but I can definitely say it was the venti mask irritating his throat into these coughing spells. I'd never seen that happen before.

I'm off until Tuesday now & it has been a rough week outside of work. The "guy".....well, it's not going so well. Not going to go into details, but I don't see it lasting. I'm beginning to think there is no Mr. Right out there for me. Oh well. Things could be worse.

And I learned this week that someone I went to high school with was strangled to death in her home. She is a recently divorced mother of 5. They have yet to name the ex-husband a suspect....but I would bet everything I have that he did it. It's not cause she had a restraining order on him that makes me think that. Or the fact that she had a security camera installed in her house because she felt he was coming in when she wasn't there. It's not the fact that in October, she got a judgment against him....he owes something like $65,000 to her. It's not the fact that he has been telling the police she has been using online dating web sites to meet men & how "dangerous" it is to meet online people. You know what seals it for me...the ex states he got a text message from her on the day she was killed asking him to pick up the kids from school. The police state they aren't sure if she texted that or the killer did. Now come on!!! What random person who is in the midst of killing someone is going to stop, text the ex to get the kids & continue to kill? Or why would she text that? She wasn't even in communication with him. I have no doubt he is the one that killed her & texted that after the fact as he picked up all 5 kids and kept them at his house while her body lay in her house for over 48 hours before being found. Disgusting. I can only hope they have enough evidence to prosecute him.

I am trying so hard to get into the Christmas spirit. Seems like December is flying by. Oh well, I am ready for a new year. Hoping 2012 isn't as crazy as 2011 has been.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wow, feels like ages

Wow, feels like ages since I posted, but it's only been what...3 or 4 days? There isn't much to post regarding work....except for the fact that I hate those surveys the government requires when someone goes home. Because our administration gets the results & then tries to make us believe we are the worst hospital in the world...which I know is not true. They are so confusing too. One minute they are telling us that we are in the top 15 percentile of all hospitals in the nation and the next minute we are in the lowest 1 percentile. How is that possible? I've given up trying to figure out their strategies to motivate us & I will continue to do what I do....just be me & treat my patients as though they were a close family member. That's all I can do....really. I refuse to get caught up in that stress trap that keeps popping up.

Thanksgiving was wonderful. I can't believe how quickly it goes by. The only thing I bought this weekend was a new dryer...cause mine stopped working on Saturday. So that was my present to myself...lovely. It's amazing an appliance can somehow make you a little happier. Maybe it's the newness of it or just out with the old. I want to wash things just so I can see how fast this thing can dry them. Silly, I know. Don't try to understand me.

I ventured out today & saw Breaking Dawn. Sigh. I'm sorry....but I felt like it was so lame. I guess my imagination is better than what they are producing in the movies. I try to like Edward, I really do....but it is impossible. He is too wussy for me. Anyways...I have totally forgotten what was written in the 4th novel & plan to reread it sometime between now & next November....when the final Twilight movie is released. Because I totally forgot what happens next & want to know.

I watched in horror as my Florida Gators lost yet another game...this time to FSU....ugh. Can't get worse than that in football.

My back is about 90% better. I am not even on Advil anymore & it feels pretty darn good. The ears are better too. I finally was able to unblock the left side. Every now & then it clogs back up, but it doesn't stay that way. The new thing now though is if I put my head back or when I lay down...everything starts spinning. Personally I enjoy it. It is sort of like being on a rollercoaster or a ride that makes you dizzy. I'm not too concerned about it as it only lasts maybe 10 seconds. I figure it has something to do with my ears & that as soon as that problem resolves, hopefully the dizziness will too.

That's been my exciting weekend. I go back to work Tuesday night. Maybe I'll have a story or two to tell. :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I have much to be thankful for...but these few things I am not...

*this never-ending cold, I have had it for 3 months now & just when I think nasal congestion is the worst thing drains from my nose into my middle ear. Now I am convinced that is the worst thing ever. My hearing is all muffled & I can feel the fluid moving. I have tried everything...antibiotics, all the allergy meds, Advil, Flonase, neti pot, etc. My latest try is Mucinex D along with the neti pot, Flonase & Afrin. Only this time with the Flonase & Afrin, I have to put my head down & tilt the bottles in hopes that they reach the Eustachian tubes. Because I am convinced that if I can open those up, all the fluid will come out. And it worked on my right ear, my left is being a bit stubborn. I'm not giving up hope yet.

*my very sore back, I was taking a shower this past Saturday morning & silly me, I leaned down a little to dry off my shins/calves & I instantly felt pain. I know this pain & in my head I was saying nooooooooo, noooooooo, nooooooo! This resulted in me having to call in sick for 2 days from work. I could barely move, even with muscle relaxers. I am feeling better today, but it is still sore. Guess the universe is trying to convince me that there are worse things than ear congestion.

*my tooth, or should I say what is left of my tooth. I was eating some of that laffy taffy candy stuff & lucky pulled out part of my tooth. And my dental insurance doesn't kick in until Jan 1. And it is a holiday weekend. Sigh. Yet the universe trying to show me there are worse things than ear congestion & a sore back. Luckily, I have no pain associated with this tooth loss. At least not yet. I think I may have had a root canal with this tooth, but I honestly can't remember. I sure hope so...cause I don't want tooth pain. It is a long way until Monday.

Ok, can stop trying to show me there are worse things than what I am currently experiencing. I'm convinced.

Quick update on the guy....well, 2 weeks ago I thought everything was ending. Again, it is my own issues that led me to this conclusion. I see it so clearly. Luckily, I don't scare him off when I run in the other direction. He was needing reassurance & I thought he was wanting out. We tried to just be friends.....that lasted approx. one day. So moving forward, everything is good & back to normal. It's tough though....not living near one another. In a way it is good too, cause we kinda have to take things slower. It can be frustrating too though. Oh well, time to be thankful & for that I am. Just like I am amused he is so crazy about me. I mean it is neat to see how just me being me can make someone else happy. He wrote this to me the other day...

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an
encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle
the inner spirit.

Sweet, isn't it? Ok, enough of that.

Work is still a pain. They are constantly thinking up ways to torture us. At least it seems that way. We have a new manager...again. I have come to learn that nurse managers don't last very long. I have no desire to ever be one or to even be a charge nurse. I just want to take care of my patients & go home. That's all.

Yay for Tony Stewart........2011 Nascar Champion. Yessssssss!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Hope you have a safe & wonderful holiday.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I Survived!

I worked 4 night shifts in a row & have survived to tell you about it! I cannot remember the last time I worked that many hours in 4 days. Truthfully, it wasn't bad. I know I was spared from having any real disasters. Either that or I'm getting good at fixing a disaster before it happens. Who knows?

I had a woman that came in with a fever & 2 weeks later she lays in a bed without any ability to really move or speak. Somewhere along the line she had had a stroke. Next up on the menu was to insert a feeding tube. Sad.

I had a male that up until a month ago was a pretty heavy drinker. Then one day he just stopped & according to his wife...says he began acting strange. Hmmm, perhaps that is why she put up with him drinking...she didn't like his normal behavior. He was ok for me....thoroughly confused. Who is the President........his reply....Woodrow Wilson. Say what? I have never had anyone respond with that answer ever. I had been warned this patient could get combative & that he was one strong dude, so watch out. The first night I had him...piece of cake. Second night...he was a bit more alert which meant he then had a desire to try to stand up. Why do they do this? Our computers were down, so I grabbed my ipad & sat in a recliner next to his bed, reminding him to stay in bed. I was lucky enough to be able to do this for 4 hours. My other patients were good patients should be.

After reminding him to stay in bed for the 3940283043 time & him starting to get restless...I decide it is time for Ativan. Once he felt me flush his IV, the drama started. He latched onto my arm as though I was attempting to cut his other arm off. I hadn't even had the chance to hook up the Ativan, much less push it. I could have taken the easy route & called someone in to help...but nah, I knew I could handle this. So being the talented nurse I am, with one hand I hold his free hand that is trying to attack me & with my other hand, I attach the syringe & push away....all while distracting him with my congested voice (yes, I still have this damn cold 10 weeks later). It worked, within minutes he was relaxing. I was now free to roam around the cabin....just kiddingggggggg.

My third patient was a new admission & very easy to care for. The next night I got the same patients back plus one. Easy night. Monday night...not so much. I was told I was getting a direct admit at shift change. Ugh, hate direct admits any time of the shift, but especially at shift change. Obviously the doctor feels they are so sick they should bypass the ED & go right to the floor, but that means I know really nothing about them as they have had no workup done & the doctor's order reads "Call me when pt arrives to floor." Which means time calling him, him calling back, him placing orders, me having to write orders, me having to clarify with pharmacy the meds, me having to make sure the pt is comfortable, meds are corrects, etc. IT IS TIME CONSUMING & the beginning of the shift is the worst time as I have no extra time.

I didn't stress about it & I am very lucky my patient was not in any distress. She did have CHF & Pneumonia & a drunk daughter outside drinking in the parking lot (lovely).....but the patient was stable & wasn't demanding. My other patients were great too....well, the one basically in a coma & the other one knocked out with one more that only wanted to read his bible. I realize I really lucked out.

We had a town hall meeting where our CEO basically told us we are the best staff ever & we are #1 against all other Adventist based hospitals as far as employee engagement. I don't know how he does it...because the entire nursing staff is highly stressed & short-staffed, but a few words from the CEO & suddenly we feel wonderful. Brainwashing I tell ya!

I'm off now until Monday night. I'm spending a couple of days with my man. Ahhhh....yep, I haven't run in the other direction yet. Friday I have a nursing skills fair thing. Saturday is a class reunion & Sunday will be my day to do nothingggggggggggg.

Hope everyone is doing well. Have a good week!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's funny

It's funny how things aren't always as wonderful as you pictured they would be. Like having 10 days off. Don't get me wrong...I loveeeeeeeeeee not being at work. Especially this week as I heard AHCA is in the house (hospital) doing inspections. Not that they are there at night, but the day staff is usually frantically stressed out & I like not having to deal with that. I don't go back to work until Friday night........and Saturday night......and Sunday night....and Monday night. What have I gotten myself into? 4 shifts in a row at that place is like working 4 months straight. Sigh. Let's not think about that until Friday.

Where was I? Oh yeah....when I scheduled myself to have 10 days off.....I pictured myself....relaxing, spending time with friends & family, getting my house organized, spending a couple days at the beach, feeling rested & relaxed before I had to return to the crazy place I call work. My first day off was last Tuesday. I didn't really accomplish anything between Tuesday & Friday....except sleep. I slept so well....ahhhh. And I caught up on my tv shows. I did spend the weekend with my brother, niece & nephew. That was fun...relaxing...nice. By Sunday afternoon, I couldn't wait to have my house to myself again. My fav football player, Tim Tebow, was starting for the Denver Broncos. I couldn't watch. I'm really not that interested in pro football. I had the tv on & I could hear it, but I wasn't watching it. I knew they were losing. I checked out facebook & saw all the people dissing Tebow. That he's overhyped. That he has no talent as a quarterback.

It was at this point that I barked back at the haters & decided to watch the last part of the game. I knew they were losing 15-0 & virtually had no shot at winning....but something drew me in to watch. And guess what...not only did they tie it up...Tebow went on to win the game. A M A Z I N G ! ! ! Of course I immediately went back on facebook & posted "Uhhh, you were saying????..."

It isn't that he is a talented athlete. He works hard....harder than probably any other athlete out there. But I think what works for him is his ability to motivate. Heck, he had the Miami fans cheering AGAINST I don't think his calling is football, but if that's how he can reach people right now...then that is his purpose for now. He's definitely a leader. Remember the name!

Ok, so that was all good & I finally got the one thing I had been craving for the last 2 weeks or so = Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts. Mmmmm...they are yummy. Almost as good as the Pumpkin Pie Blizzard at Dairy Queen.

I am getting together with my friends tomorrow night. And more than likely I'll go away somewhere on Wed & Thurs. So most of my to-do list is done. Well, except the organizing part. I'm good at procrastinating that.

But right now I sit here hating the dating life. Not that things are going bad. They are still really better than I thought possible good, but not too good to be true good, if that makes sense. What I hate is all the old emotions it brings up from past relationships....disappointment, lack of trust, mind games, unsure of myself. He doesn't bring that out in me...he's been the opposite of all that. So I know it's my issues & I don't know if they are being brought to the surface because my "walls" are coming down or if I'm looking to keep them in place. I'm actually looking forward to going back to work to get my mind on something else...because I'm finding too much time for myself = too much time to think about things I don't need to be thinking about. And it doesn't help that PMS showed up on Friday & seems to still be here. Sigh. Breathe Jen Breathe. I'll be ok. Venting is over.

Highlight of last week........seeing Sugarland in concert!!!!!!! They are so awesome. Highlight after seeing Sugarland in concert.....finding out Luke Bryan is coming to Orlando on Jan 22. Yay!!!!!!!!! He's opening for Jason Aldean....not really a fan of him, but I'll be going to see Luke. And I also found out Lady Antebellum will be in concert in May. Not sure if I'll go see's in Jacksonville, so I'll need to have some extra money for a hotel. We'll see how much I work the next few months & decide from there.

Work was great last week. I had 3 really good patients, two nights in a row. However, other patients on the unit would not stop screaming. It felt like a psych ward or possibly the labor & delivery room. Nothing was wrong with them. They were just screamers. You get people like that sometimes. I seriously don't know how employees at nursing homes do it. Maybe they are hard of hearing? I have a nursing skills fair the beginning of Nov & I think we have a big meeting next week to review our employee satisfaction scores. So exciting...NOT. We have lost 2 more night nurses & what does our manager do...hire new grads. Which means they won't be ready to be on their own for 12 weeks. Great! Oh well, that should mean I can work more...which is what I need to do.....for my emotional needs & my bank account needs. :)

p.s. Operation Workout is on hold....I know, I will do me good emotionally. I'm trying to get motivated. Where is Tim Tebow when I need him???

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Nightmare Continues

Yep...same old stuff at work. We have Jcaho & Ahca doing inspections....well, they are due to randomly show up & inspect. So all the administration is on edge, because if we don't pass inspection...we don't get reimbursed by medicare. Such a crock. Needless to say, so much time is spent on paperwork now that I get very little time for actual patient care. Is this what healthcare is coming to? All paperwork to cover our butts & very little nurse-to-patient interaction. I'm trying to just roll with it & hoping that once the inspections are complete, life will return to normal. Time will tell.

I got back from my Caribbean cruise last Saturday. I'm a little depressed. I miss the life of luxury where all you think about is what to eat or drink. Nothing else. Sigh. Meanwhile, I'm already planning my next cruise. I believe it will be in December.

I still have my cold. Yep, this sucker isn't going away. It's been like 7 weeks now that it has dragged on. Right before the cruise, all the congestion from my throat area moved up into my sinuses. That has been a lot of fun, let me tell you. Nothing like not being able to breathe while you sleep & non-stop coughing! I have tried nearly everything to no avail. I got a prescription for Flonase today. Everyone keeps telling me it is great for stuffy noses. So far I don't notice any change, but they tell me it takes a few days. Meanwhile, my doctor wants me to drink whiskey. Seriously? Yep, seriously. I can't do it. The thought of it makes me nauseous.

It has been raining here pretty much non-stop for the last 48 hours. I'm tired of it. Someone turn it off. I work tomorrow night & am praying I don't have to drive in it.

I'm still working part-time. Two days is more than enough for me to be at work. Especially with this sickness that won't leave my side. I do need to get focused though. Like if I'm not going to work as much, I should at least be working out at home & getting my act together. All I seem to do is come home & sleep or watch tv. I'm yawning now...but making myself stay up so I can sleep during the day before work. Ahhh, the life of a nightshift nurse. Exciting, huh??? :)

I did have a fun date last weekend. We watched the Florida Gators lose miserably, but we still managed to have fun. I don't know what the future holds, but it is nice to have a connection with someone. Ahhh, jb. :)))

I work Sun & Mon...then off until the following Sunday. I vow to clean my house really good & start exercising....starting

Hope everyone has a great week!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Shoot em up = bullets

**Work has been outrageously insane. I don't even know what happened. Two years ago I started at this hospital & it was paradise. Even a year ago it was still paradise. is hell. It's like the administration is coming out of the woodwork with new rules & regulations & 99.99999999% of it is absolutely ridiculous. Just when I think I have heard it all & say to myself...what more can they possibly add to our jobs? And then they add something even more ridiculous. I'm telling you, it won't be long before they have us cleaning the rooms & giving manicures....sigh.

**I guess I could be worse off. I could be like one of my patients this week. A drug addict. Late 20's...hooked for years. Doesn't appear like your typical druggie, but she's been to our ER alone over 100 times in the past couple of years. May as well multiply that by 3 as there are other hospitals nearby that she rotates ER visits. What I don't get is why the doctors review past visits & think...hmmmm...maybe she is faking her symptoms just to get Dilaudid. And hmmmm...maybe giving Dilaudid to someone that is pregnant isn't the smartest idea. Her latest antic was to crush up Ambien, mix it with water or something...and inject it into her bicep. Yep... intramuscular. Not really sure how you can get a high off that as I've never seen anyone do that before. I guess she's exhausted her veins as it is nearly impossible to even get an IV in her. Anyways...she has injected her arm multiple times & you know what happens. It gets an abscess & infected & she needs to be hospitalized for IV antibiotics & she begs for Dilaudid & gets her way. It is such a waste of time & money. Then she'll complain of a headache....a normal doctor would prescribe Tylenol. Her doctor....MRI of the brain, MRA of the neck & brain. Thousands of dollars in tests wasted.

**Another sad story...a perfectly rational person that is homeless & has nowhere to go & no money for food.......comes to our ER complaining of chest pain & tells the ER doctor he wants to jump in front of a bus. Before you go...awwwwww...mind you.....he was just looking for a place to stay for 3 days knowing full well the MD couldn't let him be discharged. So he was Baker Acted for being a threat to himself. While I have a lot of sympathy for people who have nowhere to go, I do not think a hospital is the place to be. I understand it, but again...numerous tests being done all because he wants a place to sleep & some free meals.

**I had a patient fall this week. I kick myself, but I shouldn't...because I knew this was going to happen. I must have gone to his room 100 times during my shift. I was telling him so often what would happen if he attempted to get up on his own & he'd brush me off. He was alert & oriented & used to getting up whenever he wanted at home. I can't keep him tied to the bed. All I could do is keep re-educating him the risks of getting up without anyone around for assistance. He assured me he would not get up. He was sitting in the recliner chair. I had just gone to his room..."you need anything?" NOPE. "You want to go back to bed?" NOPE. "Here's your call light, push it if you need anything...DO NOT GET UP." OK, NO PROBLEM." Within 120 seconds of me walking from his room to the nurse's station, I hear that dreaded noise of someone falling to the ground. I wanted to scream in frustration cause I knew who it was. Luckily he was fine, no injuries whatsoever. After that I told him he didn't have a choice...he was staying in bed where I could have a bed alarm on so I'd be alerted when he was attempting to get up. I do not like falls!

**One more shift to go (tonight) until my 2 week vacation begins. I CANNOT WAIT! Well, I will probably go into work early Weds morning to get the Nursing Skills fair done, but that doesn't really count as there is no patient care involved.
My cruise leaves on the Caribbean....hopefully there will be no tropical storms or hurricanes floating around down there.

**Operation Workout begins when I get back from the cruise = Oct 1. No more excuses for me. I'm tired of being this size. You would think with the 930840248 miles I walk per night when at work, that I'd lose something, but nope. I have never sweated more at work than I do now. I don't know if it's hot flashes or just a workout for me...but something needs to be done. Exercise is key.

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Almost All Better

Hey all...I'm almost all better. Whatever that virus was, it knocked me out for like 10 days. Every night I was having fevers and after a few days I had a terrible cough. I thought I was going to collapse my lungs. I ended up seeing my doctor & although he really didn't want to give me an antibiotic, he did because of the recurring fever. I also got some cough medicine....the good stuff. Much more effective than over the counter.

The antibiotics did knock out the fever. The cough, however, is still lingering & it's nearly a month later. My voice is 95% back to normal. There are still some days where I wake up really warm or like right now...feel warm...but I'm beginning to think those are more like hot flashes than some illness. I ended up missing 4 days of work. I've never called in that many times. I had too though...I can't go to work with a fever. I did end up getting a verbal warning.....because of their stupid can't call out more than once in a two month period............regardless of whether you truly are sick or in a car accident or having an organ transplant. It is a stupid rule.

Work has been hell. The patients are sooooooo complex & soooooooo ill. Top that off with us being extremely understaffed & unappreciated...well, needless to say, my unit is a mess right now. Even our manager is bailing on us to go to another floor. Nice. And the hospital also decided that all those foreign nurses they recruited & gave work visas to over the last couple years...well, they won't be sponsoring them any back to their foreign countries they go. Which means we will be even more understaffed. I want to scream.

It has really forced me to reconsider going back to my old hospital. Sure the raises suck & there are no bonuses, but at least we were properly staffed & the patients weren't so complex.....and they have patient care techs. I'll make a decision after my cruise.

Yesssss...that's's nearly cruise time. I work tonight, Friday night & Sunday night...then I have 2 weeks of vacation. My cruise leaves on Sat Sept 24 & I will be gone for a week. I need an escape.

Back to the patients....there was one that really stood out the other night. He wasn't my patient, but it is the first time I really felt fearful of getting attacked. He was in for syncope & collapse....but had a history of schizophrenia & it was in full effect. It was downright scary. He yelled at us (the nurses) for 5 hours straight. Yelled! Our charge nurse was a whole lot of help.....she told us to stay away from him. Keep an eye on him...but stay away, we don't get paid enough to risk being attacked. Gee, thanks. Do you think we could get security or some male brought to the floor just in case this patient goes off the deep end? Nope.

I asked the nurse if she had any type of anti-anxiety drugs or anti-psychotic drugs she could give him. She told me he refused his meds. Ummm, great, but he's an agitated patient that is out of his mind right now....he doesn't get a choice in the matter. She managed to give him some Ativan IV & within 2 minutes, he was sleeping like a baby. Thank goodness, otherwise I would have been the one needing the medicine. All of his yelling & bullying towards us made me want to bang my head against the wall. I'm not even being funny. And it truly scares me that he lives at home alone & is probably like this quite often. So much for thinking I'd never go into psych nursing. They will come to you. I did not like it at all.

At my other hospital, when we had patients get out of control...we'd call a code grey (asking for extra manpower) & a bunch of men would show up & usually that would be enough to intimidate whoever was out of control & put them back into reality. If not, then they would be physically moved to a bed & restrained & getting anti-anxiety meds. Never would they have allowed the nurses to have to put up with such verbal abuse with the risk of physical violence. Never. It's discouraging to say the least...the way my current hospital handles it.

Hope everyone is having a great week!!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Summer Flu???

I have been dealing with some type of illness the last 4 days. I had been off for nearly 2 weeks. Took a trip to Atlanta and another trip to Daytona. I was all ready to go back to work last Saturday. Then Friday I was exhausted. Slept a lot. Woke up in the evening with a fever. Ugh...I never get sick!

I started taking Advil. I knew I couldn't call in sick to work. I already called in on time in July and you aren't allowed to call in more than once in a 2 month period without getting in trouble. Stupid rule! So I went in to work Saturday night. Big mistake. As soon as I got there, I could feel my temp starting to rise. I was flushed & tired...and hadn't even done anything yet. Luckily they had enough nurses there so I was able to go right home. Didn't even have to take report or anything. I don't care if I get in trouble for calling in sick. I am sick & no way can I work nor should I be around other sick people.

So I came temp is normally 97, but now it was 100. I figured it's low-grade...let my body fight whatever infection it is trying to fight without intervening. Another big mistake. Within a couple of hours it was up to 103. Way high for me. So I resumed the Advil, put some ice packs under my arms & in the groin area (since that's what I do for my patients at work) & it took awhile to come down, but eventually it was back to 97 by morning. Weird thing is...I really don't have any other symptoms than a cough. My nose, head & lungs are clear. Stomach is fine, no UTI. My throat is just a tad scratchy but nothing to complain about. Even with the high fever, I felt ok.

So now it's Sunday morning...I called in sick to work. No way was I going in after what I dealt with Saturday night. I retake my temp & it's 96.4. Even better! Till the evening. Back up to 101 with Contac cold medicine & fever reducer. So I start back with Advil & went to sleep. I woke up all sweaty, but too exhausted to do anything & slept some more. Monday morning, my temp is back to 97...yay. Jump in the shower & then back to bed. Took a nap from 1 to 4 & woke up with another temp. Started Advil again.

I don't know what this is & I wish it would just go away. Luckily I don't have to go back to work until Thursday, but I'd like to get back to normal before then. I'm debating about whether to see a doctor or allow them to start me on a broad spectrum antibiotic. I'm all for my body fighting its own battles...but not when I see no results. And did I mention...I never get sick. I don't know anyone that is sick or has heard of being sick. So I don't know what this is.

And on top of has made me all weepy. Like I rented Soul Surfer Saturday night & could not stop crying. You would have thought that was my kid in the movie. Then Sunday night I watched this special on Amazing Animal videos...omg, a polar bear was attacking a woman & I got all emotional. And they showed that Christian the Lion clip at the very end. Forget about it....cry me a river. I've seen that video 93040932 times...but it gets me every time. And this morning...someone on FB posted a pic of one of the fallen Navy Seals funeral & his dog lying by his casket. Niagara falls for me...could not stop crying. It's just a picture!

Hope everyone is having a better week than I am!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Third Degree Heart Block

I am still thoroughly enjoying my part time schedule. I'm there just long enough to get a decent paycheck, but short enough that when a night goes bad...I'm so glad I don't have to come back.

I had 3 patients last week. One with a mystery as to why he was so weak & suddenly anemic, one alcohol withdrawal and one who has chronic anemia, but again, they have no idea why. They sounded terrible on paper. I should know by now not to assume they will be as terrible as they sound...because usually the train wrecks on paper are awesome patients, while the ones that sound too good to be true...end up being a pain in the ass. So I should know by now not to think the worst. I just pictured having to give blood to two of them while dealing with an out of control alcoholic as the third patient. Luckily, NONE of that happened.

Pt #1...mystery man. I made an extra effort to connect with him. I could tell he was frustrated being in the hospital for a couple of weeks and not getting any real answers. We could tell him everything it wasn't, but one had figured out what was causing his problems. So I really took my time to comfort him. He slept like 10 hours out of my 12 hour it wasn't bad.

Pt #2...the alcoholic. He looked a mess, but for some reason, he & I bonded. He didn't give me any trouble, I didn't give him any judgment. Whatever he needed, I got it for him...if it was ordered. One thing I wouldn't get was nausea medicine. I cannot allow myself to call an MD for nausea medicine when a patient says "I'm feeling nausous, I need medicine....oh, and can you get me a turkey sandwich, a pepsi & some ice cream too." Uhhhh, no...pick one or the other. Nausea medicine or food. Which is more important to you? He always chose food.

Pt #3...although his hemoglobin was enough to make you the 5 and 6 range, he actually never asked for a single thing and the only time he would call was if his IV machine was beeping. During his time at the hospital, they had already transfused something like 15 units of blood. His count would go up for a day & then drop back critically low. NO.IDEA.WHY.

I also got an admission around 4:30 in the morning, but one of my friends did nearly the entire admission. She rocks! The patient had an active GI bleed. Eeeekkkk...don't like those because the smell is horrible. And you never get used to it.

So my first night was good. You know what that means. My second night would have to be bad.

I come back & get my first 3 patients, but didn't have to deal with GI bleed. Well, other than continuously spraying the hall every hour because that odor was creeping its way into the nurse's station. My patients were all doing well. You know you've bonded with a patient when they say "Heyyyyyy girlfriendddddddddddd" as you enter the room. That would be pt #2.

Everything was going great until about 4 am when I'm told I'll be getting an admission. Ok, fine. I start getting report from ED and the nurse tells me the patient's blood pressure is labile. Ummmm, can you explain a little more in I'm clicking on the vital signs tab on the computer. She says "It goes up & down." I look...he came in it was 130/65, now two hours later it's 75/22. Uhhhhhhhhhhhh....................hold up. I call the nursing supervisor & she says she'll check it out. I tell the ED nurse what's going on & she says "I understand what you're saying, but you do know that blood pressure & stability are NOT related. Really? What nursing school did you go to?

The nursing supervisor checks him out, says he's fine...talking, joking, bp currently 110/60. Ok, fine, whatever. Bring him here...fully expecting I'd have to do a rapid response should his bp drop. I take my other patients vitals. Everyone is great...stable. My new patient arrives, no less than 2 min later I get a call from the monitor tech...."uhhh, your patient is sustaining a heart rate of 30." So I rush over to that room. It's pt #1. Thirty min earlier he had been normal sinus rhythm with a heart rate of 80. Now he was 30. Luckily he's talking to me & his blood pressure hasn't changed. Whew..did not want a code blue.

I tell my charge nurse what is going on....5 of us go back in his room & are staring at This is the tricky have to tell your patient why you are there, but you don't want to scare him either. I leave to call the cardiologist. Someone else reminded me to call rapid response. I call the rapid response nurse & get the reply "He sounds fine." Uhhh, you can tell all that over the phone??? So he comes up, looks at the rhythm strip & runs to the room. He tells us the patient is in 3rd degree complete heart block. Eeekkk...this can be fatal. In my 7 years as a nurse, I have never seen someone go from normal sinus rhythm right into complete heart block.

I'm still waiting for the cardiologist to call back, so we order an EKG and I call the primary to get an order for ICU. She calls me back quickly, I get the order....easy peasy. Finally the cardiologist calls back & after I read him the EKG strip. He thanks me for telling him & hangs up. WTF? I wasn't telling him the morning weather report.

Anyways, we quickly got my patient to ICU. The nurse down there asked him what was going on as a gauge to see how much he knew. His reply..."one minute I was sleeping and the next thing I knew...5 beautiful nurses were standing over me asking if I was alright." Awwwwww....sweet! I really hope he's ok.

Needless to say, I got back to my floor at 6:30 am...I checked on my admission who was now sound asleep & I passed him onto the day nurse. I had a staff meeting at 7:30, so no way would I have been able to do the admission. And he was sleeping, it could wait. Wow, what a morning. So glad I then had like 9 days off. :)

Weird thing is....within 48 hours...two more patients on my floor went into complete heart block. This never happens!!!!!!!!!!

Some good things...
*We got a cost of living raise....yesssssssssss

*I pretty much spent that raise staying at a resort for 2 days & drinking frozen drinks by the pool....yessssssssss

*I went from having no guys lately to two asking me out....yessssssssss

*I got a new dishwasher....yessssssssss

*Found out my friend that just went thru a double mastectomy for breast cancer is now cancer free....yesssssssssssss!!!!

Hope everyone is having a good week!!! :)))

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What The F???

Not guilty??? Seriously??? What kind of people are those jurors? Never mind, don't answer. Believe me, I already know & I can sum it up in one word = MORONS!!!!!! The more they talk, the more they annoy me. They did not even take her behavior after the death or her numerous lies to everyone into consideration. They were more focused on trying to figure out if her father was involved & how she died. Helloooo, McFlyyyyyy....if someone is acting very suspicious, never reports her child missing for 31 days & everything she says is a lie...even to law enforcement & the child's remains are found in a garbage bag in a swamp a block or two from the house...and the face has duct tape all over it, then you should consider that that liar is hiding something. I give up. Just reinforces that common sense isn't so common. And if another one states "Not guilty doesn't mean Innocent"...I am going to throw something at my tv.

I've spent the last 7 weeks watching this drama on tv & the last nearly 3 years hearing about this case day after day because it's local. She gets out this Sunday & I can only hope that she disappears forever. She has what's coming in due time & by a higher power. At least I got the pleasure of learning who Jeff Ashton & Yuri Melich were. :))) is exhausting me lately. It truly feels like I work in a psychiatric hospital. We have patients screaming, patients yelling, patients detoxing, patients acting bizarre...and it's not even a full moon. I called in sick tonight. I was feeling nauseous & feverish, but I'm doing better now. I need to get some sleep. I was puppysitting the last few days & not getting nearly the amount of sleep I need.

Hope everyone has a good week!

Monday, June 27, 2011


Things I hate about nursing:

*Patient's, not all of them. Just the annoying ones. The ones who think they know it all or think they are staying in the penthouse suite of some fancy hotel & that you're their personal servant. You know the type. 9 times out of 10, they are worse than the patient.....and funny how when they leave, the patient feels much better.

I'm not dissing family members as a whole. If my family member were in the hospital, I'd want to know what was going on. I would not, however, let the staff know I was a nurse nor would I try to boss them around. I have yet to spend the night in a hospital unless it was for myself & that was one night back in August of 1996 when I had my gallbladder removed. I'm just not a fan of sleeping at hospitals. I can see if your kid is hospitalized, but beyond that...I'm not sure why people spend the night with their family members. Regardless, no biggie. Just don't climb in the bed with them. This is a hospital, not a hotel! And don't get mad when we ask you to get out of the bed because you are in the way.

Also, do not get mad at the nurse when your family member dies. Case in patient...the other night. An eighty something year old, veryyyy sick. Organs failing. Pt two days earlier stating she knows she's going to die. Doctor discusses with family that they need to decide on you want her to go home & have hospice to the house or do you want her admitted to a hospice facility? Family couldn't make a decision. "We need to think about it." Ok, but that isn't going to delay the fact that your family member is actively dying. They leave at 8 pm that night. She had labored breathing since I got there at 7....well, she had it for the last week or so, this was no different. No worries. I get her hooked up to TPN (nutrition through a central line). Take her vitals...they were fine. Only thing I didn't like is that she wasn't waking up, but day shift had given her Ativan due to a panic attack a couple hours earlier. So I figure she's in a nice comfortable sleep.

Check on her again at 9:20 when respiratory is there giving her a breathing treatment. Heart rate was the same as when I took her vitals 40 min earlier. Still not really waking up, but breathing rate the same. I come back about 15 min later...don't really know why at the time, but it's obvious afterwards that God was sending me there. I look at my patient & see that she no longer has labored breathing. I think for a quick second "wow, that breathing treatment really helped." As quickly as I thought it, that thought went away only to be replaced with patient is not breathing AT ALL. Ummm, not good. I know she is a full DNR, so I'm not panicking. I calmly tell my charge nurse I can't get my patient to wake up.....I don't like drawing a crowd. No one but my charge is interested, so she follows me to the room & declares what I had been thinking....she's not waking up cause she's not breathing.

At this point I find it odd that the monitor tech hasn't called me...because surely if she's not breathing, she can't have much of a heart rate. So I call him & ask how her rhythm looks. He was like "Oh Sh*t, I'm sorry, I didn't notice...she's in the 20's." That's ok...luckily I was on top of it. There is nothing to do when it is a DNR...except wait. Oh & call the MD & the family. I dread calling families over the phone in situations like this. I hate being the one with the awful news, plus I worry that they'll get in an accident while driving to the hospital. I page the MD & then call the family. I don't want to tell them that she's pretty much gone, but I do want to stress that they need to get to the hospital. What do I say? What do I say??? I tell them that her breathing pattern has changed (it's the truth!) & that I don't expect her to make it through this change. They get my point & rush on over.

One of my co-workers met with them & was in the room with them when I walked in. I overhear one of them saying "the nurse should have known she was going to die earlier & then we would have stayed." Ummm...what? We're nurses, not psychics. While I may have had a feeling she wasn't doing well & made a comment an hour earlier to a co-worker that I hope she makes it through my shift...I had no idea that she would be gone in less than 5 minutes. I tried to explain that we did not see any changes in her, that it happened very quickly. Then I quieted down because I realized they don't want an answer...they just want someone to blame. This family member had skipped seeing their mother that day & had planned to see her the next day. I can only imagine the guilt she was I just stood there & listened to her complain about how disappointed she was with the hospital care because we should have known she was about to die. We left them to grieve & I never went back in again. My charge nurse handled it, because I couldn't. It's the one thing I don't like about nursing....dealing with heartache & grief. It would pull me too close to that emotional line I try to stay away from.

*Another thing I blue scrubs. Well, I don't hate the color...I hate the fact that we all have to wear the exact same uniform AND we have to pay for it ourselves. How is that legal? They require it, yet we have to pay for it. I miss having some variety & pretty colors.

Things I love about nursing:

*Those wonderful shifts that tend to follow miserable shifts...
I was dreading coming in the next night. I wasn't emotional, I just didn't want another sad night or exhausting night. Guess the universe understood, because I got 3 very easy patients the next night. Patients that liked to sleep & were not needy for anything. I had so much free time on my hands that I got to (you're gonna love this, Amanda!) watch 3 hours of Prison Break on my cell Netflix! And I got to read. Not continuously of course...still did my one hour rounding & gave one of my patients a bath...but that was about it. No drama, no one expecting me to be a psychic.

*Another thing I love about nursing....CPOE. It's where the doctor's put their orders in the computer instead of writing them out. We just started it a week or so ago & I love it! Veryyyy little redlining the charts. And very little responsibility on the nurse. If the doctor doesn't order something's on him/her. All the responsibility falls on the MD...where it belongs. It's the future at all hospitals & I fully support it. Change is hard, but this is a good change.

Other things I hate:

*Casey Anthony & Jose Baez. This trial is making me crazy. Just when I think the prosecution has proved their case....the family members get on the witness stand & lie & cry & screw with everyone's head. I'm sorry, I love my family members...but if one of them kills a child......I'm not lying for them. Makes me sick. And then court on Saturday gets dismissed for a reason they won't disclose. Talk about patience being tested!!!!! I am counting the minutes to 8:30 this morning so I can see if court resumes or if there is a mistrial or if one of her lawyer's are quitting. Drives me crazy I tell you.

Other things I love:

*Jeff of the prosecutors. He's just awesome. Nuff said.

*89 days to my cruise in September...yeahhhh!

*My family & friends.

*Luke Bryan (y'all should know this by now!)

Hope everyone has a fantastic week!

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Katy Perry concert was ahhhh-mazzzzingggg. She is really good. I guess I'm comparing her a lot to the Gaga concert & well....Katy kicks butt. Only because she doesn't seem to be a freak (except when it comes to marrying one) & it was a concert, not a performance like Gaga. I'm done with concerts now until October....Sugarland. And of course whenever Luke Bryan publishes his concert lineup....ahhhh...patiently waiting... ahhhhh.

Can't really say much about work. I haven't been there since last Tuesday morning. Having 8 days off is sweeeeeeet. I feel least as far as work goes. I know I was close to feeling burnt out & angry with things I don't need to be concerned about. So to be able to take a step back &'s been nice. I'm glad my unit gives me that flexibility. I'm going to continue to do this light schedule at least until October. Cause I have a cruise in September & nothing's getting in my way of that!

We celebrated my parent's 51st wedding anniversary last night at the best steak & lobster restaurant in Orlando. A good time was had by all. I ordered a margarita & I swear they showed up with a fish bowl size glass. Whoa! As my facebook status reads....3 giant margaritas later...mmmm hmmm. I was feeling no pain. And I had lobster tail...from Australia. It is the best. They are gigantic. Yummm! I've been recuperating today. Hoping for some good weather tomorrow & Tuesday so I can work on this tan...but it's supposed to rain. So who knows what I'll be doing. I'm sure I'll find something. :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

What Makes Me Happy

This is how I get thru tough times at work...replaying his face & music in my head. :)

He's the next big star of country music! He's an awesome performer. He just rocked the CMT Music Awards...check him out...

p.s. his name is Luke Bryan....future country music entertainer of the year...mark my words

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Silly ER nurse!

Sunday Night at work was wonderful. I started with 3 walkie talkie patients....which NEVER happens. So I was in my glory. I knew I was open to get a 4th patient since I had such easy patients. No problem. I've got plenty of time to admit someone and my new admit was also an easy patient. So I just knew Monday night would not go as well. Never is it possible to have 2 great nights in a row.

Monday night I got 3 of my patients back. Great, I think. The charge nurse gives me an admission while at the same time one of my patients is getting discharge orders. Wonderful! @@. I take report from the ER nurse. It had to be one of the worst reports ever given. I'm hoping he's a new nurse, otherwise....he doesn't belong in nursing. The patient's name sounded very familiar to me, yet I couldn't place her face. I'm told she overdosed on morphine tablets....but didn't mean to. She took 10 times the dose she was supposed to. Ummm, that doesn't sound like an accident to me. Apparently she was just trying to get rid of the pain. At least that's what she told them when she was still conscious. Fastforward approx 2 hours later and I'm told they gave her 2 doses of Narcan & she's still unresponsive, but has lots of secretions that they are suctioning. Ummm, ok??? He goes on to tell me she has normal saline running at 100 ml/hr through a #24 IV in her thumb. And that they bolused her with 1,000 ml's. I asked how was her urine output. He sounded surprised & answered honestly....he didn't know. I asked does she have a foley cath or a diaper on...since she's unresponsive & obviously not getting up to pee. The ER nurse doesn't know. He's reading through the orders when I ask if she has any oxygen on. He replies 2 to 4 liters. Ummmm, which is it? He isn't sure. And he proceeds to tell me he cannot get an O2 sat on her. Then how do you know this drug overdosed unresponsive patient is getting enough oxygen? He doesn't know.

Now I'm starting to wonder if our ER has any doctors...because this is making no sense. I ask what her rhythm is. He says sinus tachy at about 120 or so. No one is concerned about that rate. Guess they're just happy she has a heartbeat. He proceeds to tell me she is a Baker Act & requires a sitter. I thought this was a little silly as she was unresponsive, but she obviously was a threat to herself, but ok. Only there is no sitter available. WTF? This is a joke, right? I hang up with ER cause now anything I ask, I get the generic response of "I just got this patient.". I go to my charge nurse & tell her I do not think this obviously unstable, critical patient belongs on PCU. Since no sitter is available, she calls the supervisor & refuses to accept the patient. Later I hear that she is in ICU, still unresponsive, on a Narcan drip with a blood pressure in the 80's and a temp of 103 and on the verge of being intubated. I want to know who the heck made the decision that she belonged on a PCU unit. Ridiculous!!

I did end up getting an admission. Luckily, it was after I discharged my other patient...who by the way was so happy to go home, that she surprised me by giving me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. I don't usually like strangers getting that close to me....unless we're talking about someome like say Tim McGraw or Luke Bryan. :). It was sweet though, so I didn't flip out.

I'm off now for 8 days...yay! Celebrating my mom's birthday tomorrow, then the Katy Perry concert on Thursday & a nice lobster dinner on Saturday night! Yum!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cold Blooded Murder

Never did I think something like this would happen. Not that it couldn't happen, because it can & other places, but not here...not so close to home. I'm in shock.

Yesterday I got to work & was told there was just a shooting at our sister hospital...someone got shot in the parking garage. I didn't know what to think. Like why of all places...a hospital parking garage? I was able to get in touch with someone that was working there that night & she informed me that it was a surgeon that had been shot. The news was reporting that both the shooter and the victim were in critical condition.

It wasn't long before I found out the shooter died. Silently I thought...GOOD. What kind of person murders a surgeon in cold blood? Not just any type of surgeon, but a transplant surgeon. Those type of surgeons perform nothing short of miracles. Their glory isn't in the money they make, but in the lives they save.

Our hospital is well known for having a dream team of a transplant team. It's a small team, but a great one. Last year...the 4 surgeons & the rest of their team transplanted 3 livers and 5 kidneys. They also harvested 2 hearts, 4 livers, 4 sets of kidneys & a pancreas in ONE weekend. They are awesome people. Yeah, it's not much compared to the big hospitals in this country, but for was recordsetting & it shows their commitment to doing what they love...helping people get a new chance at life.

Back to Thursday night...a disgruntled patient...hunted down one of the surgeons & shot him in the hospital parking lot. It happened with other people around. We know for certain the surgeon was the target, because thankfully, the shooter didn't shoot anyone else....besides himself a few minutes later.

They both died.

Things aren't supposed to happen like this. Anyone involved in health care knows we are in a vulnerable profession. We try our best to help people who are feeling their worst. Sometimes we end up having to care for people that are not mentally stable. We all know the risks...mostly in the form of abuse...physically &/or emotionally. It's a given. Not everyone is going to like you. We don't expect to be murdered because of our job.

We were talking about it last night at any given time, anyone can walk into our hospital & just start shooting. I guess that can happen anywhere (and does). I can only hope that this does not become more common. I'm not going to say we should have better security because of what happened. I doubt any amount of security could have changed what happened Thursday evening. If someone really wants to hurt you, chances are more on their side of it happening than ours.

Still though, it's not right.

RIP Dr. N.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Yeee Hawww

The time has come that I give in to being a "country" girl. I was born just outside of Chicago, but raised here in Florida (most of my life). I never listened to ever. For me, Florida, was in the south...but not a redneck, southern accent, beer drinking type place like all the other southern No one has a "Florida" accent. Probably cause 95% of us are from somewhere else. Unlike Georgia, where you can barely understand anything they say or North Carolina or Tennessee...the ones who have the real southern accents.

Sure I like (ok, loveeeeeee) Tim McGraw & Garth Brooks. I enjoy Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney & Martina McBride. But it was not until May 1st of this year when I heard Luke Bryan sing for the first time, that I decided I am partly country.....if that's possible. Now I'm not gonna start wearing jeans & boots or start drinking whiskey...but I am going to enjoy listening to his music. I'll be honest...I'm not sure if it's the music or his looks....ok, yeah,'s his looks...who am I kidding. He's adorable. His music/accent takes a little getting used to...because to a degree he does have that Georgia Gomer Pyle type accent. More than his looks though, the man can work a crowd!!!!!!!!! Like from 0 to 60 in no time flat.

What I'm talking about (if you're still reading this) the Emotional Traffic/Tim McGraw concert. The Band Perry opened for him....ehhh, they have a long way to go. They have one really good hit song, but they are amateurs compared to the other opening act.....Luke Bryan. I had heard his name, but never his music or him in person. He livened that crowd right up. I don't even know why he's opening for people...he could definitely sell out concerts on his own. I guess it takes time, because last year it was Lady Antebellum who I saw opening for Tim & now look at them. :)

Dare I say it.......Luke was better than Tim. GASP! And you know how much I loveeeeeeee Tim McGraw. Don't get me wrong, the concert was great...something was lacking though. Seemed like Tim didn't have a lot of energy. He needs to do whatever Luke does, cause that guy has tons of energy.

Ok, enough of the concert review...back to work type stuff. Hmmm...this part-time status is great! My bank account isn't too happy, but mentally I like it. I feel like I hardly ever work. On top of niece & nephew finally got to go home. So I have my house freedom! Oh, how I have missed it. I worked last Wed & Thurs...have been off since Friday morning & I have not left the house once....except to get the mail & newspapers. My sleep schedule is all messed up...I'm not sure I'll ever figure out how to successfully go from a night schedule to a day schedule. Regardless, it doesn't matter.......I can sleep when I want. I can be awake all night long & it doesn't matterrrrrr....cause I don't have anywhere to be & nothing to do but rest & relax. It's heaven on earth, I'm telling you!

Work is still crazy. I have never seen a hospital so full all the time. I don't know where these people come from. It's not like we're the only hospital in the vicinity. There has to be at least 7 or 8 hospitals within 30 miles of one another. Yet we are filled to the capacity night after night, day after day. I don't know if it's that we truly are busy or that they are just admitting people that normally wouldn't be admitted. If they are, they aren't on my floor...cause on my floor, the patients seem really sick.

I had a pretty good group of patients this past week. One man is a sad story his 60's, broke his hip, had surgery, discharged to rehab only to end up with a septic infection. Now he's been in the hospital for over a month I think...just laying there. Can't pass the swallow eval, family is hesitant to agree to a feeding tube. Sad. One minute everything is fine, the next you fall & your life changes forever.

Speaking of falls...lately we've had a bunch of them. They keep asking us what we can do to decrease it. I have no idea. We do now more than ever....round every hour, bed alarms, clearly communicating to every patient to call us for assistance. Short of sitting next to their bed all night or restraining them to the bed...I don't know what else we can do.

I had another patient who came in with a hemoglobin in the low 6's. That is really bad. We gave him 4 units of blood, but have yet to determine where he is bleeding. His stool was negative. He had no signs or symptoms. What the heck? Where does the blood go? The lovely doctor on his case wanted us...the do a digital disimpaction. Ummmmm...yes, it's as gross as it sounds. United, the nursing staff refused & put it back on the doctor that if he wants that done, he can do it himself. My fingers are not going there. There are some lines I must draw. Luckily, the patient was able to go on his own.

I had a few other patients, but nothing really stands out. It's nice to be working on weekdays & seeing some of my other nursing friends who I hadn't worked with in awhile. Hope everyone has a great week!!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Updates updates updates

Ahhh, such a wonderful way to start a morning...watching a fairytale come true. Yep, that's right...I've been up since 5:30 am watching the Royal Wedding. Nooooo, I didn't set my alarm. I just happened to wake up & figured I'd turn it on. I'm glad I did. It was beautiful. The groom looked handsome, the bride looked stunning & there's no doubt they love one another. Ahhh, William & Kate. Of course now I feel old because I can still remember watching Charles & Diana get married & seeing them introduce William as a newborn. Enough of that!!!


*There are still some GRUMPY older people that will never be pleased. Luckily, I haven't had to deal with any of them lately. I worked 3 in a row last weekend & I had the same patients all 3 nights. This rarely ever happens. And they were great patients for the most part. One didn't want anything from me ever. The second one ate nearly everything we had to eat on the nightshift...all three nights. And the third one...couldn't eat anything. Poor thing was only like 60 lbs and even unable to absorb the tube feeding we were trying to give her. I really think social services should be called to investigate. It is not normal to be that weight & the family denies any problems. You could see every bone in her body. It was not pretty. I felt like she could break a bone with any movement. She didn't even have the strength to lift her head. It was like taking care of a baby. :(

*The HCAPHS (govt) surveys are still a pain in the butt & probably always will be. Grrrr!

*My eval rocked! And we get a 2% raise. It's not much, but it's something. Of course my eval only lasted maybe 10 min, the other 50 min was a discussion about HCAPHS surveys. Ugh!

*I no longer love my 2 day work weekends, so I switched to part-time status with the requirement only being 2 days a week, but I can pick up additional shifts. My reasoning being...I need a break & I'm not going to get that with full-time status right now. I think at the beginning of next year, I will switch back to full-time (I'll reevaluate that later in the year), but summer is nearly here & I want to be able to take some vacation time without anyone being able to say no. Weekend status wouldn't allow me that freedom & sometimes I want weekends that's the reason I got rid of that status. What I don't want is to become burnt out on bedside nursing & that is easy to do if you feel like you don't have enough time off. I don't want to be one of those nurses that hates my job, but can't do anything else because the pay is decent in nursing. So although I'll be making less $$$, mentally I'll be better off.....for now. :)

*I'm still waiting on the doctors to put in their own orders. June is when they say it will start happening. I can't wait to see it!!!

*The jury is still out on how I feel about my new manager. Talking to her during the eval was helpful & I see her approach, but at the same's still odd that she won't come out of her office to talk to us. I would never want her job in a million years & in my 7 years of nursing, I have yet to see a manager last more than 2 years in that position. It's not easy. So I'll try not to judge & hope that she has our best interest at heart.

*We just had a nursing survey & I'm sure the hospital won't be happy with our results. Maybe it will wake administration up. Still looking forward to the employee satisfaction survey in August.

*I still have my niece & nephew. Supposedly the boyfriend will be moving out this weekend & the kids can go home on Monday. I'm not holding my breath nor getting my hopes up. I do want my freedom & privacy back...but still in doubt this will actually happen. The kids don't even want to go back. Soon it will be summer & I'm sure they'll be over here again. One day I will get my place back to myself. (fingers crossed)

*The Lady Gaga concert......amazingggggggg....yet weirdddddddd. It will be shown on HBO in May from Madison Square if you have HBO, check it out. You'll see what I mean. I used to think she just did this bizarre stuff to get attention.....but now I think she truly is bizarre & this is totally normal stuff for her. I'm not sure what her message was during the concert. There was some type of message, because she talked A LOT, but I have no idea what her point was. It was a great performance though...over 2 hours of HER. That being said, I don't think I'll ever go to another concert of hers again. Once was enough.

Ok, those were my updates from the last post. Now on to current stuff...

*Prayers for all of those affected by the tornadoes these last few days. So heartbreaking.

*I'm feeling sad that today will be the final space shuttle launch. I grew up in Florida & launches are a normal way of life. The thought of never watching another one or never hearing any more sonic booms...makes me sad. I can only hope the next President brings it back. Way too much is invested to just slash space shuttles from existence.

*I'm heading out to my parents house in a little while. They are right on the east coast & I've never been there to watch a shuttle launch. It's also a nice little get away for me.

*Tim McGraw concert is on Sunday....and it's his birthday! Can't wait!!!!!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Nooooo...not the bang bang kind. This kind:

*There really are some grumpy older people & NOTHING you do will make things better.

*Co-workers rock! The govt is getting ridiculous with their demands for "customer satisfaction" & in turn...that makes hospital administration get ridiculous with the way we now interact with patients. Sometimes I feel like an actress with all the lines I'm supposed to recite.

*Evals are this month. Will there be raises or won't there???

*I had a patient last night that I thought I was going to have to use the Heimlich maneuver. However, he was choking on that wouldn't help me. Actually he was aspirating the liquid into his lungs. As soon as I figured that out....after yelling at him to cough....I told him no more drinks for him. He wasn't happy...but helloooo, you're choking on it.

*I love my 2 day work weekends. It goes by so quickly. I don't think I'll ever be able to go back to 3 days a week.

*Soon the doctors will be putting in their own orders instead of writing them. I cannot wait to see how this goes, although I'll miss the guessing what this scribble mark means type games I play with my co-workers.

*Our new manager....she's been there since the beginning of January....has yet to come out of her office & speak to us. If we want to talk to her, we have to go into her office or email her. I thought maybe she was shy at first, but now I see this is just the way she operates. It's the most bizarre thing I've seen when it comes to someone in a management position. I think I've said "hi" to her twice since she started. I guarantee you, she doesn't know my name. I don't know what she's afraid of, but the more she stays hidden away, the more the staff resents her.

*And lately nearly everyone is getting written up for anything. So far I've managed to avoid that, but hearing my co-workers "infractions" irritates me. Especially when it's the newer nurses. Instead of condemning them, use it as a way to teach them. Now they are afraid to mention anything they think might be wrong because they are in fear of getting punished. Such an unhealthy work environment.

*I cannot wait for the employee satisfaction surveys in August. It's still far away, but from what I'm hearing...people are going to be giving zeros. It's sad really....because last year we were the most satisfied working staff in all of the hospitals "chain"...which is at least 35 (or more) hospitals. It makes me wonder if administration is even aware of how unhappy the staff is. If not, there will be a wake up call in August...that's for sure.

*Ok, enough whining about work. Let's now whine about my home life. My ex-sis-in-law has been involved with a loser for the last 9 years or so. Loser clashes with my niece...because she has never been afraid to verbalize her hatred for him. As time went on, his behavior got worse....erratic, frustrated, bossy, etc. I hated that my niece had to live with such a monster. Fast forward to 6 weeks ago....loser tells everyone he's going on a trip to China...just to get away. Uh huh, yeah right. Turns out he was hooking up with some chick in China. Everyone here found out about it because he blabbed to his friends before he left. So my ex-sis-in-law declares she is dumping him & kicking him out of their house. Sounds like a dream come true...especially for my niece. Well, not only is he a loser, he wrote in an email he wishes my niece would die. Nice, right? When I saw that email...I refused to let her go back to her home while he is still living there. Because if he was an a-hole when he lived there, he's going to be ten times worse as he's getting kicked out.

*I have had her & my nephew at my house since March 7. Loser is still living with the ex-sis-in-law. She keeps saying he's moving out...but he's still there. Who knows if or when he'll ever leave. I find it truly disgusting that she is choosing this freak of nature over her own children. And you know how many times she's seen them since they've been at my house....ONCE. What kind of mother is that? She lives like 5 miles away & has seen them ONCE.

*It's been a sacrifice for me giving up my life as I know it....privacy, freedom, etc. But for those kids I'd do anything. I'm adjusting to having "kids." Some days are great, other days I just want calgon to take me away. :)

*Ok, now really...enough whining. I get to see Lady Gaga in concert in 12 days...woo hoooooooo.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!!!!!!!!