Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Drama Central!!!

What an insanely crazy past weekend...and I'm not talking about the patients! A couple of my co-workers were falling apart. I don't know if there was a full moon or what, but there was a lot of crying going on. I've never seen anything like it. I don't know them that well, but obviously there has to be issues beyond nursing that caused them to cry so much...because it wasn't related to patients. Everyone was telling me their problems. My head ached from all the negative energy around me. I'm not kidding when I say I went home & just stayed in bed all day & night. I was physically and mentally worn out. I still am...but feeling a little better. Next time I'm just packing up my charts & sitting somewhere else.

That's the thing about nurses....most of them carry a lot of weight on their shoulders. They are so busy taking care of others...patients, family, friends...that they forget to take care of themselves & the stress will eat you up. So far I've been able to avoid that...I try not to take life too seriously. Of course there are times/problems that have to be serious, but you also need to find the balance. I think I have that. My biggest problem right now is deciding whether to return my smartphone or I can't complain.

Speaking of I'm leaning towards keeping it...because after all, it was FREE. And it's beginning to be convenient. I have 2 days left to decide & I don't have a sure answer either way. I like seeing my email right on the screen & the test messaging is fun. I'm not obsessed, in fact, I leave it plugged in most of the time when I'm at home & only pick it up to answer a text or make a phone call. So I don't know....if it wasn't free, I'd be more inclined to return it...but it was. These are my options...switch back to the 1500 min/5 line plan with no internet & pay $160 a month, or keep the 3000 min/5 line plan with 2 phones having unlimited internet for $190 a month. I can't get rid of any of the lines...they are all being well used. Decisions, decisions. Still love my ipad, but it's not like I can stick my ipad in my pocket!

I'm trying to plan something fun for Spring Break. It's the 2nd week in March. Do I go to Atlanta? My niece & nephew have been wanting to go...check out the zoo, of I just get a place near the beach? The weather in Florida has been amazing. I'm just going to wait & see what the weather is like the closer it gets & decide from there. I'm also checking out the Caribbean, for later this year. Gotta have something to look forward to & the Caribbean is always long as there's no hurricanes looming. Can't predict that.

Work was exhausting this weekend & not just cause of the crying nurses. We're supposed to only have 3 patients per nurse...because we have no techs. But lately they've been pushing us to 4...which doesn't sound like much, but most of these patients are totals & if they aren't totals...they are demanding. It wears me out. Maybe I'm getting older, I don't know if that's the reason. I had a patient on Saturday night....alcoholic who quit drinking in December. Not because he wanted to, but because he was told he needed a new liver & could not be on the transplant list until he was 6 months sober. Well, I can tell you right now...he's not going to make it to 6 months. His liver is failing & now his kidneys are failing. It's a slow, painful way to die. His issue that night for me was his potassium level. That morning it was 5.4....a little high, but livable. When I got there that night, it was 6.7. Eeekkk...don't like that AT ALL. The day nurse gave all the meds the doctor ordered & redraw was at 8. The results = 7.5. Scaring me now...because that can be deadly if left untreated. The patient's main concern = ice chips. I was trying to "educate" him on potassium levels because all he did was complain when I was giving him the medications we were using to try to get his potassium lower. I don't believe he understood, because all he wanted were ice chips. I gave regular insulin, D50, Diuril, Bumex, calcium gluconate, Kayexelate....2 liters of sodium bicarb. Amazingly I got it back down to 5.4...but I knew it wouldn't last. Hospice was being consulted. :(

I got a Baker Act at 3 am Monday morning. She took a bottle of Tramadol & then tried to convince me she just followed the directions of "take one as needed." Uhhh, ok. She's got a 5 month old baby at home....and her drug screen was positive for cocaine. Sad!

The next 2 weekends I work 3 nights in a row. I'm already dreading it!

Friday, February 18, 2011

So sorry

Ahhhh, soooo sorry it's been a month since I posted. Time just flies by. Work has been ok. Nothing much really stands out other than our hospital seems to be slammed week after week. I don't remember it being like this last year...even with all the swine flu overkill. And the patients being admitted don't even have the flu this year. Lots of respiratory, cardiac, GI problems...but no flu like symptoms. Weird. The nice thing about that is that we no longer have to wear these gas mask looking contraptions on our r/o H1N1 patients. All we have to wear is surgical masks...muchhhh easier to breathe! And we don't look like exterminators. I'll have to take a pic sometime & post it. My fellow nurse now uses hers when she cleans her bathrooms at she doesn't breathe in all the chemical smells. Not a bad idea!

I have had a couple of patients that wrote nice cards regarding how I care for them. That's always nice. And at the other end of the spectrum, there's always one family member that thinks you're the worst person to ever step foot on earth. I would really like to know why her expectations are soooo high. My hospital is one of the best in the nation & we go above & beyond to make sure the patients and families are happy. Every once in awhile we will get a patient come with syncope/dizziness & not be able to figure out why it's happening. Newsflash...that is NOT the nurse's fault. Take your frustrations out on the doctors....they are the ones diagnosing patients. We simply care for your family member & do our best to make sure they don't fall while in the hospital. Ironic thing....the patient would thank us at least 20 times for whatever we did...whether it was to help her to the bedside commode or simply turn off a light in the room....thank you, thank you, thank you...I really mean it, thank you. Why couldn't a little of that appreciation rub off on her family members? Sigh. Done venting.

We have a new manager. She rarely comes out of her office. It really is bizarre to go from having such a social manager who would greet us in the mornings, come out to the nurses station and even occasionally stay later at night to interact with the night staff. This her office all the time. She loves her emails. I'm not judging her...maybe she's shy? She's very encouraging via email. That's fine. It's just different than what we're used to & some people I think are a bit offended by her lack of physical interaction with the staff. I'm ok with it.

Weekend option is still going very well....other than the fact they forced us to pick up an extra shift per pay period. I figure it will come in handy when we do run into the slow season & we're being called off. So I won't complain.

I bought tickets to see Katy Perry in June.....I cannot wait. Lady Gaga in April. And Tim McGraw is coming to town in May. I tried to get Taylor Swift tickets...but all the ticket brokers bought them up. So I either have to pay a lot to see her or just skip it. So far the thought of skipping it is what I'm going with.

I did upgrade my cell phone to a windows phone. However, I'm returning it next week. I hate the camera on it...hate it! And I just can't justify in my head paying an extra $50 a month for my nephew & I to have the internet on our phones. I miss my old easy phone. So I'll be switching back. Just giving it a few more days to see if I get attached to the new phone. I like some things it offers...but cannot justify and extra $600 a year to read my email & be on facebook & have access to the internet. Maybe if I didn't have an ipad.

The weather here in Florida is beautiful. In the 80's for the next 5 days. Hope everyone has a great weekend!!!