Work. One of those days. Everything is peachy keen. I go to an early lunch. I have two extremely special guests come to the hospital to have lunch with me. Wonderful. Rare. I come back from lunch all happy. Feeling warm and fuzzy.
PACU is divided into two phases. Phase 1 is where all of the surgeries are done. Phase 2 is where all of the colonoscopies and EGDs are done. All of the nurses in PACU take turns working in both phases. The nurse I’m working with, in Phase 2, goes to lunch. I have 4 patients. No problem because I know the other nurse will be back in about 30 minutes. She does comes back. She tells me, “I have to go up to Phase 1 because they need help.”
I say, “NO WAY. I need your help. Just get one of the patients going. Discharge them. Who made this decision? It was Alpha Nurse, wasn’t it?”
Pot De Stir Nurse looks at me. Not answering my question. I watch her skedaddling back to Phase 1. She doesn’t look back or return. Little puffs of steam rise from my head. My situation is as follows:
I have one patient on his knees with his head down, bottom facing up, rocking back and forth desperately trying to release air. FART. I do offer to insert a rectal tube. Hey I have a heart. He doesn’t see it that way. He moans and tries to get out of my reach. His monitor is beeping like crazy due to his constant movement. After I assure his privacy I have to unhook him from the monitor before he pulls it out of the wall hurting himself creating a shit load of paperwork for me! Bay #22 has a patient waking up looking at me with that “deer in the headlights look”. Bay #24 contains a patient knocked out like a light. The forth patient in Bay # 23 is a possible candidate for bleeding from banding. A timed CBC is ordered on her to make sure she isn’t hemorrhaging. Oh LORDY. Her family is by her bedside asking a zillion questions while I try to stay CALM and smile. I get almost squeamish thinking about BLOOD leaking, on her inside, resulting in a very pale patient on the verge of you know what. Oh yeah I have to make sure the blood draw is done. Then I have to hunt all over creation for the doctor to tell him the results. This patient also needs a new medication called into a pharmacy. Dr. DoDa has not written out specific enough orders with DETAILS like how much, how often and for how long. Pot De Stir Nurse was supposed to call it in, but didn’t because blah blah blah. Deserter.
More puffs of steam rise from my head. My hair is developing ringlets of frizz. Lovely.
I feel pressure to get these 4 patients going before the afternoon cases start rolling out. A dirty trick to leave me in Phase 2 with 4 patients from the morning. People wonder why nurses burn out. Maybe it’s because no one gives a rat’s ass about anyone else. Nursing is not for the faint of heart. Other careers are like this too….right?
I can’t believe it. No one asked me if I was going to be alright with this scenario. Someone…..Alpha Nurse and probably Pot De Stir Nurse just decided to do what they wanted. The heck if anyone, ME, didn’t like it. You see the thing about Alpha nurse is that she always needs extra help depending on which Phase she is working in. Obviously she’s in Phase 1 today. The nerve. The real boss happens to be gone for the day so Alpha nurse is running rampant.
I’m working by my lonesome except for my night in shining armor aide. He is a lifesaver. He assists me in getting IVs out, helping patients get dressed and filling the DAMN water cups. I get quite upset about the water cups. Waters are a huge deal to me. If we have 15 patients scheduled we should have at least 15 ice waters ready to go. I should not have to leave my patients to retrieve water from the kitchen which is around the corner and down the hallway! For crying out loud it is not my job to fill the waters!! It adds miles to my day, leaves my patients alone for minutes, but they can be important minutes. SON OF A BITCH…..someone fill the water cups every single day for crying out loud!!!!!!
As you can see my happy fuzzy mood has gone to crap-o-rama el pronto.
No one died. Everyone got to where they needed to be. My princess crown is bent to hell, but I will survive.
893 hours done as of today. Please let me behave and buck up for another 107 hours.
TIDBIT In the early 1900’s shared water glasses, dippers or ladles were used at school water faucets or barrels. A good way of getting a drink….NOT! It was a a good way to pass around viruses and germs. Paper cups were discovered in the early 1900’s. They were a desirable replacement for shared glasses especially in populated areas such as schools or trains. They were called “Health Kups” at first. Commonly known as Dixie cups today.
Florence didn’t have the luxury of paper cups in her day. I wonder if she would approve of paper cups? Or would she be more concerned about staying “green”. The pendulum swings from a throw away society to a clean and reuse civilization. I work in a hospital and I have seen some pretty disgusting things come out of people. The receptacle that catches those “things” could NOT be sanitized enough for me to reuse them. I don’t want to hurt Mother Earth, but I also don’t want to pick up an angry virus or infection from an improperly sanitized vessel.