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!


Anonymous said...

It's great when the night goes well. I hope my next two I am as lucky. Great post and you handled yourself great btw.

Amanda said...

Any time a family member is drinking in the parking lot, you know its going to be a good shift ;P

Anxiously awating more man details BTW.....