This weekend we celebrate our independance. This is a day when we should remember our freedoms and how we got and keep those. Men and women have died so that we here at home can keep doing what we do. We need to all take time out of our day and remember the real reason for the big party we throw every year. We should give thanks to our God for providing this land and placing us here to enjoy the freedoms it provides us.
So this weekend sing the anthem, say the Pledge of Allegiance, and REMEMBER how we are able to do these things. Then fall to your knees and give thanks to God for the ability to celebrate this wonderful holiday.
A couple of weeks ago we had a very long night. There were 18 or so patients on the unit and 3 RN's plus me. It was very busy all around. My assignment was doing meds on nine patients. If I had stayed after eleven I would have assessed all nine as well. But for those first 4 hours I just had to pass their meds, that was the goal. It was soo busy. I couldn't get ahead for falling behind. Every person was a 15 to 20 minute pass it seemed like. We were all chasing our tails. And the admissions were coming in to. It made me think back to when I first started at the ranch and we had 28 pts, 2 RN's, me and one CNA. I would routinely take nine patients and do everything for them. Primary care, vitals, assessments, meds, and anything else that came up. I have no idea now how I did it all. There is no way I could manage all that now. No possible way. Our staffing is certainly better now. We have 22 beds and most nights have at least 3 if not 4 RN's. And always 2 if not 3 CNA's. Still, it feels like it barely all gets done some nights. Sometimes at the end of the night, the only thing we take comfort in is that all the patients made it through the night. Some things may not have gotten done, but everyone is breathing and safely tucked into bed in no acute distress when we walk outta there.
Sorry for the kind of rambling post but it was on my mind and needed to get it out. Hope everyone has a great week.
The other night at family dinner I over heard a discussion among my niece and nephew. First let me explain that we were having some guests that night so the seating changed from normal. With not enough room at the kitchen table, it was decreed that the kids would eat at the table and the adults would sit wherever in the living room. As the children were filling plates I heard the 8 yr old boy and 10 yr old girl discussing where I would sit. This because of a running joke that I am my mothers kid, so when we are all together I get lumped in that group often. But these kids were serious. After I assured them that I was an adult and would be sitting with the same, they were kinda upset that it would just be the two of them in the kitchen. Till we explained that the 15 yr old would be with them. (I should admit here that even though he more than 10 yrs younger he is several inches taller.)
Of course, being the cool aunt that I am I split my time between the adults and the kids. (which prolly had just as much to do with having a hard time with my overstuffed taco in the living room than embracing my "kid" label)
On a different note, that big change I spoke of last post is still in the works. I won't know anything till at least Mon though at the very earliest.
Ok I know it has been a while since I have posted. I have been reading all of my favs and have enjoyed them all so much. If any of you all are reading this Thanks!
I have recently made some big changes. I finally got new eyeglasses and love them. It had been a little while since I had an exam so I was really needing this. Right after that I cut my hair pretty short. Now I just shower put some gel in it and go. I love it. the biggest change is still up in the air right now so I will just leave that under wraps for now.
But whatever happens with the last one, the most important change is that I am really enjoying being me right now. Life still has its ups and downs but all in all I am having a good time being me!!
When watching a scary movie DO NOT leave the fan on in the bedroom and the door ajar. The air from the fan can push the door a little causing the hinges to squeak. Effectively scaring the Crap out of you almost as much as the movie itself.
Speaking of movies, I watched A Haughting in Connecticut last night. By myself. Not my preferred way to view a scary film but I did it anyway. It was allright. And I admit there were a few places where I viewed the scene through the fingers covering my eyes.
But I ask you, was the creepy music really required? I know when to be scared. I know without you banging on a piano that seeing some dead person in the mirror only is a cue for the adrenaline to start. I know without the otherwordly screams (the ones not from the actor himself) that when the hero presses his face against a glass window and suddenly sees a demon that I should jump from the unexpectedness of it.
I made it through though and watched The Blind Side after to help me forget the creepy feeling. I certainly recommend this one.
at Bob Evans after work always makes the night seem funnier, the patients more dramatic, the near homicidal thoughts more normal. I hope those at neighboring tables weren't paying attention or at the least couldn't see our name tags. No HIPPA rules were violated but it seems to make people nervous to know that nurses are only human and get frustrated with their patients, coworkers, and the system in general.
But whatever the ripple effect occurs, those breakfast "debriefings" are more important than some might imagine.
but sometimes we get to stop for a few minutes and do the little things that matter.
We have a few of those frequent flyers. You know the ones. You see the name on the census board and immedietly know all about them. You hardly need to take report. Everyone knows his name. Everyone knows her nickname. During report you tell the off going his medical history instead of the other way around. You know without being told that she like her ice cream with her nitetime meds (and it must be microwaved for 10 seconds so as not to be rock solid). You recognize the face of his son and ask what room his father is in. You hear the voice of her daughter and groan. There are good and bad repeaters. The ones that drive you crazy and the ones you fall in love with. No matter which category, these patients are always special. They get a little special treatment. A few more seconds of your time. A little more leniency on meeting their demands.
We had one of the specials in a little while ago. She has been going downhill. She did not look good this time. Her main problem is COPD. This to me is one of the worst ways to go. To live day to day not being able to breathe is a scary thing. I would rather deal with severe chronic pain than not being able to breathe. During her most recent stay she had a very bad night and by morning was just miserable. I was having a halfway decent night on the floor and although the call lights had been ringing all night I managed to get caught up pretty easy. She asked me to sit and rub her back a little. Just the gentle rubbing I did was all it took to help calm her. (the anxiolytic and morphine didn't hurt but the back rub just helped to relax her enough for the drugs to start working.) I was able to spend about 30 minutes just sitting with her and rubbing her back. Not a full massage but just running my hand up and down her back while she struggled for breath. I am so thankful that I was able to bring a small amout of peace to her. For a little while she wasn't struggling alone anymore.
This is one of the reasons I became a nurse. To be there for people at their worst. I was glad of the reminder, it was just what I needed. Sometimes we get so caught up in the politics and the routine and the just plain gripin' and seem to forget the real reason we are there.
Like daughter. My mother lives by the adage "if you are 15 min early you are in time. And if you are in time, you are late.
My Dr appt is at 900. Here I am in the parking lot at 830. I don't really like being early. I don't like being late either, but I think five or ten min ahead is sufficient. This thirty min thing is really too much.
of a Ford sandwich when you drive a KIA Rio is NOT fun. I saw the Probe in front of me hit their brakes. I hit mine. Just as I thought "whew that was close" I felt someone hit me and I tapped the Probe. Again I was interrupted thinking "oh crap" by another tap from behind and I once again tapped the Probe. The Probe was not damaged at all. The trunk of my poor car is a little crunched and the truck will get a new front bumper. No one was injured and today (the day after) I am not even as sore as I thought I would be.
Everyone was civil and had a great attitude about it. Even the kids Mom was great (the truck was driven by an 18 year old high school kid). The worst part (besides the damage and tickets) was the crazy guy who happened to see it all. He was on the sidewalk waving his passport (yes his passport) around screaming at the kid about being on ectasy in a school zone. (It was a school zone but this kid did not look like the type to be on drugs, dude was just nuts.) The cop quickly dismissed him as he apparently has a history with the police dept and I don't think would have made a very credible witness anyway.
What continues to amaze me were the ones who just had to look. I understand this is human nature but we were ready to form a line and start doing the can-can just so there would be something to see. The thing that really gets me though is the people in convertibles that not only looked but also twisted around backwards in their seats to continue looking as they drove past. I was almost wishing that they would get in a wreck so I could laugh at them.
So two hours and two tickets later I was on my way. One ticket was for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident which irritated me since I had avoided the accident till the kid hit me pushing me into her. The other I got because I failed to have my ins card with me. It was at home. I called and had my policy number and all but I didn't have the actual card. So I can produce proof of ins for the court and it should get dropped.
I am just glad that everyone is ok. All vehicles are driveable and it is just gonna be a hassle but not a major drama event. Heavenly Father was certainly there watching over us all.
Why, you may ask. Because today is March 31st. Today is National Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness Day. Just what is that? Well just click here.
One of the nurses where I work is dealing with this very thing right now. The little guy (and the entire family) have come a long way, but they have a long road still ahead. So when you see turquoise today think about these babies and their families. Say a prayer for them. And if you have healthy babies at home, thank your Heavenly Father for that.
SUCK!!! It's a good thing that I don't work day shift. I would never be on time. Last week I had a staff meeting which meant I had to be at work at 0745. I woke up at 0710. I threw clothes on, sprayed some smell-good, jumped in the car, and didn't sit too close to anyone. Today I had a meeting at 0800. Was supposed to meet a friend for breakfast a little after seven. Instead I awoke at seven. I jumped into the shower, threw on clothes, grabbed a granola bar, and raced into town. Thank goodness that all the rest of the week I am working at night! You day shift people can have it!
Well, I have been thinking lately on a simple truth I learned when I first started in this business more than seven years ago. A good CNA can make a bad night a little smoother. Some nurses seem to have this crazy idea that a CNA knows nothing. How untrue. I have worked with many an aid who has seen more than I have. They may or may not be able to explain the physiology of the problem but when they say something ain't right well something ain't right.
And I will NEVER forget Iris. Iris was the toughest aid we had when I first started. She had been there close to thirty years by this point and easily knew more than this girl. As green as I was even I knew that.
We had a patient on the floor one night who had diarrhea. And I mean the running off the bed to puddle on the floor kind. I don't remember now if I had asked her to help or if she had told me to come along but I remember seeing that mess and thanking the heavens above that we were in it together. I thought to myself that if I had been alone on that one I would have been clueless as to how to start this monumental clean up task. But Iris was here. She would take the lead and I would watch and learn.
Imagine the sheer PANIC that overtook me when this woman (who had been doing this since before my mother had graduated high school) put her hands on her hips, heaved a big sigh, looked at me and said "Well kid, where do we start?" Under her direction though we finished the bath and I have never seen a worse mess since. A few have come close but nothing has topped that night. Of course a few years of my own experience may have helped that too.
And all the nurses on the floor knew that if Iris said to go look at the patient, well you had better go have a look.
Some people today think that help like that just isn't around anymore. I disagree. A while back I was working on the floor with two very good CNAs. I enjoyed working with both of them. My assignment that night was to split the floor with the two of them so that we could match with one RN and do team nursing. Just before I started to tally I&Os on my group one of the RNs became ill and had to leave the floor in a hurry. There was no time for a full report so I had to take her notes and go with it. This was on a team that was entirely different from my own. But rarely does anything in nursing go as planned. I asked one of the other aids (whom I affectionately call 6-7 in reference to his height of six feet seven inches- a full foot and six inches taller than myself) to do my I&Os which he readily agreed to do. I of course promised him a beverage on me as soon as I could access vending. I finished up her meds and turned them over to the next RN at eleven. However one of our docs had come in at eleven to discharge a pt. I was working on this discharge and had even told my RN that midnight vitals would be late. She understood. I underestimated the discharge paper work however and was getting a little frustrated with it. 6'7 saw this and graciously offered to do my vitals for me. Earning him a bag of peanut M&Ms and my undying love and devotion.
So just a reminder for you. Don't piss off the most valuable members of your team. Treat them well and you will forever be grateful.
Allright now that I have found a new blogging app that I like I am gonna try to do a post for ya.
So one of my favorite patients lately was a confused little old lady that was a challenge to some. She has a habit of becoming very confused at night. By.morning she would usually revert to being a civilized lady who was slightly fuzzy around the edges. all through the night however she was incapable of finding satisfaction with what we did for her. My favorite phrase that she used often was "You son-of-a-bit**ing ba****rds." This was her favorite as well as she used it often. You see for some reason getting cussed by the confused patients doesn't bother me. It is the alert and oriented thirty year olds that I find bothersome when they are rude and nasty. It is these patients that I want to remind just who it is that holds the keys to the narc cabinet.
Just a random thought for you all today.
Also, please excuse any typos for a while. I am posting from my phone so may not catch all the mistakes.
As I think I said in my last post, I don't have the internet at home yet. And so my posts may be few and far between for awhile.
I do have one observation to make. Sometimes, I wonder what the hell gets into people. Without going into details (maybe later but just not up to it now), let me just say that some people baffle me. What you do in your own home can be bad enough, but to do it in a public place where being caught is inevitable just blows my mind. Especially when you have had plenty of time to do this at home. Where you may get away with it.
Kinda cryptic I know but a universal truth I think.
I know. I haven't posted anything in a pretty long while. Sorry. But time for a little catch up.
I moved recently. Out of Mom's and into my own place. Nothing glamorous, a little 2 bedroom trailor that has seen better days but is certainly funtional for my needs. It has been an adventure discovering all the things I don't have. (Have only been there for less than a week and am between paydays so some non-essentials will have to wait a couple more days.) For instance, I was preparing dinner the other night and thought to myself looking around my tiny kitchen "Now where did I put that cutting board?" Only to realize that I don't have one yet. Just one example of the fun I have had.
I do enjoy the freedom I now have to come and go as I please and cook what I want, how I want, when I want. Living with someone else can put a damper on a lot of things.
I hope to have more stories from the night soon. A few of them might actually prove to be a little humerous! ;)
just a small town girl in nowhere illinois I work the night shift at a small town hospital. And yes I do like it. With any luck I will never have to work days either! Family and friends are important to me as they have had a large part in making me who I am!
Ok here lies the usual notice that no, I am not writing about you. Yes, I change details of the episode in question. In fact most posts are probably a composite of more than 6 years in the business and/or more than 25 years of life. So no HIPPA rules are violated. Not even close.