Saturday, April 24, 2010

This has been a glorious week!

Of the four days I was originally scheduled to work this week, I've only done one and a half.

I was unexpectedly called on Wednesday to see if I wanted the day off. Hell yeah!

On Thursday, I was given the opportunity to go home after 4 hours. Hell yeah!

And today, I called to see if there was any chance they were overstaffed and didn't need me. Ask and ye shall receive!

Thursday was a fuckwad of a hard day. We only had 4 RNs on the floor because our census was low. According to Papa, that means that we technically only need one RN to be both Charge and Break Relief. I dunno if he's ever tried to do both at the same time, but it is *not* safe.

As Charge, you're the one who does the assignments and works with the house supervisor to figure out beds and nurses for incoming and outgoing patients. As Break Relief, you are to take over a nurse's patients during her scheduled breaks, and care for them as if they were your own.

This is nearly impossible when you've go the House Sup calling you every 10 minutes asking if you have a new bed available. Especially when you technically don't have any nurses to take patients yet, but you will after 1900 when the Night crew comes in, so you have to try to plan for the future. Meanwhile one of the patients is desatting to the mid 70s and the alcohol withdrawal pt with a history of seizure is complaining of a headache and needs pain medication. And the calls keep coming in. 84 year old with syncope from ED. Transfer of small bowel obstruction from stepdown. Pt coming from post-op who had an anaesthesia complication.

I dunno what dumbass came up with the rules, but he obviously hasn't ever tried to do 6 things at once, safely, before.

By the time 1900 rolled around, I was ready to throw my phone out the window and rip off the head of the next person who asked *anything* of me. Technically everyone got their breaks, and the assignment did get done (3 times.... every time I thought I was done, I got the call for another pt coming in). But it was more stress than the extra 5% an hour is worth.

When I got today off, I decided not to be a lazy bastard and went on a 9 mile bike ride with my boyfriend. It was awesome. I think my goal is to go on a ride at least 2x/week. One of the girls at work is 3 months pregnant and still skinnier than me... this must be dealt with.

Wish me luck!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Our Easter Miracle....

Today was an aberration to be sure. I woke up at 0700 to go to Easter breakfast at a friend's house. Then I got in trouble at home for missing Easter brunch with the family. There is nothing worse than disappointing my Mom. I was feeling pretty down and guilty when I got to work.

Imagine my surprise when I saw the board: the gods saw fit to reduce our census considerably. We were at 14 (I was kinda pissed off at the beginning, as I'd called to see if I could have the day off and didn't get a call back...) beds filled until near the end of shift when we went alll the way up to 16.

The miracle is that were actually appropriately staffed. More than expected, really. Not only did we have a Charge, I was Resource, and we had *two* CNAs. With only 14 patients lol.

And the RNs on the floor seemed to have everything under control, and most of them refused their 15 min breaks saying they didn't need them. I practically had to beg to take phones away at least so they could do things uninterrupted.

I ended up busying myself cleaning the med rooms and restocking the IV start kits, which were in a horrible state of disarray. Dear Unit: MRSA swabs are not part of the IV start kit. Tele stickers are not part of the IV start kit. Suture removal kits are not part of the IV start kit. Also, urine specimen tubes do not go with the blood draw kit. Just saying... Please try to keep them nice for at least a little while!

I got to take someone down to CT, didn't get lost, had a nice chat with the Radiology Tech downstairs. I figured it would make the most sense just to stick around during the scan rather than go up and have to come back down again later.

There's not much point to this post, I suppose. I hope I get patients tomorrow so I can be in my own little world...

That is, if I can't get the day off... :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Dear Grateful Patients and Family Members...

We, your nurses, love knowing if you appreciated our care. There is nothing that gives me the warm fuzzies like a little old lady saying, "You're so sweet and caring. Such a wonderful nurse." Makes me forget that I hate my job sometimes.

But I have a favour to ask of you. I know I probably don't speak for the majority, but for myself, I have this tiny request.

Stop it with the baked goods already!!! Why does "I enjoyed your nursing care" automatically have to translate into piles of cakes and cookies in our break room? I'm trying to lose weight for god's sake!!

I can turn down a box of chocolates, or distribute them among coworkers. But I am powerless against homemade lemon squares, or chewy chocolate chip cookies. And nothing goes down quite so nicely after a hard shift like a cup of tea and an almond biscotti that just happens to be sitting on the break room table.

It's instant dopamine gratification, and it needs to stop. You will make me diabetic, I am sure of it.

If you want to show your appreciation, I'd love it if you filled out one of the comment cards we have at the nursing station. My boss sees those, and I need all the good words with her that I can get.