Thursday, April 30, 2009

I am Tired of Crying at Work -or- How Roughly $13 of This Paycheque Will Be From Sobbing Uncontrollably in the Bathroom

So awhile back I screwed up. Hung a bag of D5W with 20K instead of NS with 20K. Pt wasn't diabetic, nothing bad came of it. Got written up as a med error. Had a nice long chat with the managers with a Union Rep present, did some crying for making a stupid mistake. Then nothing came of it and I moved on.

About 3 weeks ago I made another mistake. Pt was put on End of Life Care, and I'd never dealt with those orders before. I was being pushed to get the patient off our unit, since we don't deal with EOLC patients. The family member was pushing me to make the pt comfortable.

So I screwed up. Didn't do the orders right. Screwed up on med dosing. Made the patient comfortable though, and didn't overdrug. The family member thanked me for making him comfortable so quickly.

But it was another med error. So another meeting with the managers, with a Union Rep present.

These meetings are supposed to be short investigations into what happened. 15-20 minutes to get the full story. Instead I end up with a 45 minute interrogation, literally cornered in a tiny conference room. I wish I could remember all the things that were said.

I wish I could convey the tone in which they were said. The manager let J, the assistant manager run the investigation. He should not be allowed to do this ever again. The way he looked at me, the way he talked to me, it was like I was dirt. Why was I there, contaminating his Unit?

The first time I lost it was when he was demanding to know how I would avoid making the same screwup in the future. But it wasn't a simple "Now that this has happened, how are you going to avoid making the same screwup in the fuure?". It was a long, convoluted diatribe that ended with making me feel like there was no hope for me to do things right *ever* Man, I wish I'd recorded this. I know it's not coming across right and I'm sorry for babbling about it. But it's my blog, so there ya go.

I ended up having to call a time-out to cry for a little bit and get myself back together.

J and T ask a few more loaded questions, and babble about inconsequential shit for a bit, like the chain of command for various things. I'm pretty sure they just like hearing themselves talk, as they tend to say the *same damn thing* over and over in different ways. And they had the audacity to ask if I felt like I was being supported by them while on the unit.

But the kicker. The one that killed me.

It feels like the meeting of doom is finally almost over. And J says, "And you've got to remember, that with all of the orders and everything, the one thing you *should* be caring about is the one in the bed"

Something in me catches his tone, so I ask, "Are you telling me that I don't care enough about my patients?"

"That's what it looks like to me."


I felt like I'd been kicked in the solar plexus. Every molecule of oxygen was sucked from my body and all I could do to get it back was sob. I have never cried like this in my life. My chest was tight and I was gasping, nearly shrieking, with every breath. All I could get out was "What the fuck? I am out of here. I can't handle this shit anymore. Fuck this. I'm out of here."

The Union Rep ushered me out of the conference room and into the bathroom so I could pull myself together. I felt bad for her. I am usually pretty stoic. But there are a couple things that really set me off. One is telling me that I am incompetent. The other is claiming that I don't care about something that I put my whole heart into doing.

She said she couldn't believe he said that. That she should have stepped in and stopped him in his tracks, but she didn't think he'd actually *say* what he said; she didn't think it was possible.

She said she'd talk to the Union higher-ups about what happened.

We have to go back in to officially finish the meeting. I ask if I can just go home, as I am, once again, "on committee".

J looks like he will say yes, but T says I am needed here for Very Important Work. But if the census stays the same then I can go at 1900.

The very important work of the day? Going thru everyone's charts to see when they had their last BM. I am dead serious.

1900 rolls around, and I am ready to GTFO. But no. The census is changing, and I will be the admit nurse. So at 2015 I get a new admit, and at 2130 I get another. At least they were easy admissions, and MH the Wonder Resource really helped me out on them. Sigh. Sorry MH for crying at you in the copy room. I'm working on keeping my shit together.

Everyone asks me when I'm transferring out of the unit. Trust me guys, I'm just waiting for an opening. Anywhere but here.


  1. Yay for union reps.
    Boo for bosses who insult your intentions.

  2. J and T are piece of shxx as you know.
    I hate both of them with passion.
    They are the ones who don't give a shxx about pts and so busy trying to cover their own stinky asses. I am so tired of this. I wish I was the God who can get u out of there ASAP man...

  3. I am sorry for what have you gone throught. I also had some problems.. I think everyone has and the worst things is that we do not get support from our managers. J full of shit and yes is true J and T only care about their pay check and looking good. Hang in there something will come up....

  4. Hello Nurse,
    I think , if I were you, I would have a different Union Rep next time(Sounds like she did not control the meeting to your benefit). And I would most certainly have a recording device, unless of course you are willing to just stand up and smack both of those smart-mouths in their mouths. Just my humble opinion. I hate ppl who are rude to supposed "underlings".

    You can always judge a persons character by how they treat people below them or people who can do nothing for them.
    Keep giving care,