Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I AM A GOOD NURSE, POSSIBLY A GREAT NURSE, POSSIBLY AN EXTRAORDINARILY GREAT NURSE. But lately, it's been run, hurry, do this do, more, get me, bring! No please or thank-you's ...just snapped orders from patient's, family members, and bosses. Ok, I get it, everybody is stressed. whatever. Family's are stressed...take it out on the nurse. Doctor's are stressed....take it out on the nurse. Housekeeping is stressed...take it out on the nurse. Pharmacy is stressed...take it out on the nurse...People at other facilities are stressed getting transfers from the shift before you came to work...take it out on the the middle...of a major code blue....(which she went to and did compressions and management of a balloon pump) ....and a fire drill...!!!!!!....and ER trying to give report on patient coming...AS SOON AS THE FIRE DRILL IS OVER!!!!! Even a good nurse, great nurse, or nurse extradinare is gonna reach reaction overload!

On top of everything else going on in this circus I call my LAST shift, I had an ICU transfer...on mega fluids 1/2 NS @120, GETTING a Golyte prep (ummmmh can we say 4 LITERS OF FLUID) for the 2ND DAY in a row (gee ICU nurse who transfered this patient, why did no one think to tell the MD that the patient started the day 7 LITERS OF FLUID positive...then add the next 4 LITERS...and fluid...and and and) and and...

I started watching his breathing very closely...his lung he was abdominal heaving...side to side...Not midnight yet...called on-call to give a head's up in case the patient progressed to a more typical respiratory distress. Got order to D/C fluids down to keep vien open..(great, I'd already done that 3 hrs ago...and was planning to get an order for that as soon as the shit quit hitting the fan around here), no Lasix order (must see labs 1st). Well before lab got deoxgenated to low 80's (got a stat ABG +..that means arterial blood gases with all the electrolytes), put on non-rebreather at 100% oxygen. Called on-call in GET HERE QUICK QUICK OR GIVE ICU ORDER...THIS PT NEEDS INTUBATED NOW! Oh, no, cannot sent to ICU or intubate without the MD showing now we are bagging and I've called for the rapid response team...Everybody shows up for the I go to the phone and call the wife...who didn't really want to come, but I insisted.

She steps into the room, grabs me by the arm (yes there are bruises) shakes me SCREAMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT IN THE HELL DID YOU DO TO MY HUSBAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HE WAS FINE WHEN I LEFT AND NOW YOU'VE TRIED TO KILL HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hummmmmmmmmmmm....she was the one who insisted he have the test again the next day...with the mega prep...................I was the one who saved his life.

He's in ICU , vented, doing fine. Me I want to quit nursing....walk away, go back to being a secretary...where no body cares what you do or when you do it and if you don't get finished...who gives a shit???

Then to top the night off, since my intubated patient took the last ICU bed, I had to take a transfer...that was going to ICU...until my intubated patient took priority...and there was no bed LUCKY ME....I got a patient that required me in the room the rest of my shift to keep her breathing...........

I left work after 9:30 a.m., Respiratory Doc came in and tapped my new patient's lungs and got her breathing again.

Now I can rest up. I'm off for 2 glorious days. My honey and I are thinking about me going back to travel nursing. Maybe I need a change of pace. Maybe I need a break....maybe I need another vacation. I'm feeling burnout.


Debbie Y. said...

Wow, double wow. You are superwoman. Yes, the nurse's get blamed for everything by everybody. Sorry dear Ginger.

Can't believe the wife freaked on you and caused bruises, but heck yeah you saved his life and sounds like you saved the life of the other Pt. that you assisted breathing all night.

By the way my name is Deborah also.

Debbie Y. said...

You have a lot of wonderful information that you are sharing with me. Thanks for all the insurance info and hurricane cleanup knowledge.

Gail said...

Debbie Y. is my cousin. I visited your blog and couldn't believe what I was reading. Both of my girls are R.N.'s and this blog sounded like things they have been through. One of my daughters is the charge nurse for CICU and the other works in the E.R. at a major hospital in B'ham, Al. It is a rough and thankless profession. Kudos to all of you. You do not look your age. I really enjoyed your blog.

shrimplate said...

Nurses don't do it for the thanks.