Friday, May 23, 2008

FIRE

Yoga was hard. She is kickin it up a notch, big time. Down dog-plank-chatta-cobra--hips up! Down dog--plank- repeat repeat repeat. A plank is basically a push up that you just hold, my arms turn to quivering shaking masses of jelly. Then we worked our abs until those were shaking too, and I felt like I had just had abdominal surgery.
I should be looking like a super model for the amount of suffering. Our instructor always says, you should be feeling the burn. YEAH where is an extinguisher? We go beyond burn into outright flames, see the smoke?

I took this smoldering body of aches to work last night and guess what? More fire. The charge nurse said, "I'm going to give you two patients because we have more coming and everybody else wants to keep their patients." How can one human being look another human being in the eye and basically say, we are going to dump on you.
I did say, your planning on giving me 4 admits? She said no. Well, I had 3 with frequent vital signs that the aids cannot help out with. You go try and take a set of vital signs every 15 minutes on three people and see how much else you can get done. I needed those shoes with wheels in the bottom that the kids have. Then at 8pm the clerk told me the patient in number yada yada needed pain medication. I said I don't have that patient, oh yes I did. No one bothered to tell me, nor did I get a report. So I knew nothing about this person. I went in to the room to see what she needed and she was just moaning. I asked her where are you hurting? "My belly," she said. When in total ignorance, I am a firm believer in talking to the patient. So I asked her,"Tell me about what happened to you today." She told me about her surgery and she was an alert oriented person, this was to my advantage believe you me. Next question, "have you peed since you came back?" She replied, "I've been peeing all day but not very much." OK now we are getting somewhere. I ran and grabbed the bladder scanner and a pain pill. She was a heavy person and the scan isn't always accurate, but I got almost 700. That is a lot, that would explain the belly pain. In between all of this action is the stinkin scanner situation which is driving me, no definitely a short walk, to nuts. Thumbing wildly through the chart for a post op, in and out cath order. Nope not there. I asked the charge nurse if he felt comfortable writing an order for an in and out cath. No he did not. They have been firing people for the smallest infractions, like eating in the wrong place. Whew talk about a relaxed work environment. I look at the patients doctor and he is one of the head honcho heart surgeons a big cheese. It is NIGHT and he is not going to want me to call him about a stupid catheter. Oh boy, I braced myself for a big a-- chewing out. I got someone else, an on call doc who actually just wanted me to get it straight exactly what the procedure was that the big cheese had done on her. This is not my area and I fumbled my way through that. After which he said, "Now what's the problem? I made it plain English easy, "I scanned her and she needs to pee, I need to do an in and out cath," "Fine." That means yes.
Run to machine that holds supplies, check out cath kit, fly back down hall. Explain to poor lady who is about to bust, that I'm about to save her life. Cath in and pee out, pee everywhere, little disposable tub that holds 1000cc's is almost full to the top and pee is still coming, umm think quick what to do? Grab plastic bag, kit came in, sterile inside, put cath into bag and take very full container to bathroom and dump it. Bag has collected a fair bit of pee so back into the tub for some more, and finally she quit. I said what I always say,"I bet you feel better now." Yep she did no more belly pain.

Fine, but what I have to wrestle with now is my anger at not getting report, not knowing anything about the patient, missing a 7:30 check, she was another patient on frequent vital signs, and feeling a bit put out. No time for this, the patient across the hall's wife comes out and says, "he's bleeding." Ok If you haven't guessed I was working in a step down unit heart floor. I am not really comfortable with hearts, it's a vague nursing school memory with some old ACLS stuff. I am definitely not in my comfort zone, but I know people, and most things cross over. Bleeding ok, first question, from where, how much, how fast? Let's look. There was some blood up around his neck on his pillow but this was not a hemorrhage, good. No gushing, better.
I again hurry down the hall looking for an experienced nurse to this floor, someone who can help me assess and decide what to do. I hit the jackpot. I got two! Two helpers, very nice actually and one who had cath lab experience and told me step by step what to do and how to talk to the doctor, who by the way is one of the better ones. YEAH, called his cell phone repeated exactly what she said, received orders, ran back, helped redress area, calmed down patients wife. Gave pills with stinkin slow scanner. Checked clock it was nearly 10pm and my 9 o'clock meds needed to be given and I have now officially lost track of where I am in the vital signs on all of these patients. Home looks good, potentially very far away, maybe one in the morning? Uh uh bad idea, just sprint.

I did have a few more fun events like the pharmacy telling me to go ahead and give a pill without scanning it. I had asked for a replacement because someone had opened it and put it in a med cup back in the drawer. I knew what it was, but there is no way in hell that I am going to give a patient an opened unlabeled drug. Forget about it. What were they thinkin? I did miraculously get to leave at 11:45 only 30 minutes of overtime. Praising Jesus. My feet however are still on fire this morning. I am going back tonight for more. This is where a Renfield laugh would make a great sound effect. Or a wicked witch cackle with a bit of insanity in it. As burned out, and burned up as I am after doing this job for all these years,it is amazing that I care. if I ever get where I can't care then I quit, not there yet.
Is the moon still full?

6 comments:

noble pig said...

I am beyond exhausted listening to this. Whoa, what a night! But it sounds like you helped some people who really needed you. For that I'm sure they are grateful!

Brenda said...

Sounds like a stressful job. Didn't you explain to her that you have done the plank and downward dog and so cannot be expected to do strenuous activities?

Laura ~Peach~ said...

hence why I do not do prn work any more... they abuse the crap out of you... and leave you hanging... Thank God you were there for your patients... When I was the patient...I had to pretty much keep track of and do for myself with 152 staples and 3 JP drains ... they would not even check on me... Stopped the narcotic meds on day 2 post op went straight 650 mg typenol, helped my surgon do my dressing and went home evening of day 3 as care at home was better than the darn hospital....sigh... my kids are better nurses than the ones I had.
HUGS to you!

thislittlepiggy said...

Imagining me doing yoga. ROFL.

With the night you had, it sounds like you don't need yoga!

Nice to meet you! :o)

The Trip to Bountiful is my all time favorite movie.

Karen Deborah said...

Brenda you made me LOL. Welcome Piggy, and Peach, what on earth did you have done that required 152 staples HELP!? Poor baby. I still go because I care, guess I'm a glutton for punishment. Actually i am a good nurse, I give good care. I don't ignore people with busting bladders or infected incisons or anything else for that matter. Shoot if you can't poop I'll fix that too. People need help when they are sick and vulnerable. We've truned helath care into such a business that idea is falling by the wayside.

Angela said...

I bought yoga pants last week,,does that count for doing yoga??lol