Audibly rolling my eyes

Every time the hospital rolls out a new endeavor that shoves their nurses into upheaval they don’t share the reason behind the new change. They just shove it down our throats.

I know lots of nurses in three states and let me tell you this is not just a “my” hospital problem.

Their new thingy is a prepping champion. Because all of a sudden there are new prepping guidelines. In all preps, betadine, chlorahexadine, chlorahexedine and alcohol. We’ve been doing it wrong, according to the company.

I’m not sure if this is a thing. Or the company that brings us betadine kits were jealous of the mandatory three minute dry time for the chlorahexadine and alcohol.

This was a 45 minute waste of my time. And the company paid for “experts” to fly in and awkwardly “teach” us how to prep.

It was all that I could do to stop the rolling of my eyes being audible.

If there is new evidence please bring it to us. We’re college educated, we’re smart. Don’t tell me there must be a change. Show me why there needs to be a change.

Or the rolling of my eyes will become audible.

For the want of a complainer

I’ve been the scheduler for the OR for about five years now. And the OR has decided to blow up the fucking call schedule.

Because, as near as I can tell, three people complained they were getting too many calls on certain days or nights. And my night tech went home at 2130 on two of those evenings and sometimes (often) I needed to call in the evening call tech to cover.

Instead of asking me about it, or seeking my opinion, or doing some basic research and data collection, they decided to throw the baby out with the bathwater and chuck the whole thing.

Instead of 2 calls, one evening 1700-2300 and one night 2300-0700, there will only be 1900-0700 and the two pools of call taking people will be combined.

On paper this looks amazing, less call evenings or nights per week for the complainers.

But there are a few holes that no one is interested in hearing about.

  1. I use the evening call a fair amount, at least once or twice a week and now I will have no bridge person in case the schedule requires it because some surgeon is running over late.
  2. If I or the evening tech becomes ill or injured and can’t work there is no bridge person to cover from 1700-1900.
  3. I am taken out of the call rotation because there will be no one to cover from 1900-2300. This directly impacts my bottom line. Their answer is that people will be dying to give me their call. This is not untrue.
  4. If the evening tech is on call from 2300-0700, there is no one on back up from 1900-2300, goes back to point 2.
  5. No one likes this change, we’ve lost 2 nurses because of it.

But, sure if it stops the complaining that the two bosses have to deal with, no problem. It just is the problem of all the non complainers who will have to take unfamiliar call shifts and sometimes work until dawn.

No problem, as long as there is less complaining.

Sometimes I feel like Cassandra from the Greek myths who was cursed to only tell the truth but no one ever believed her.

The post holiday hangover

For weeks my coworkers and I have been consoling each other with “Maybe it’ll get easier when December is over.”

How quickly we forgot.

Once the glitz/fun/parties whirl of the December is over, the schedule craziness still  hangs over us like miasma after bad seafood.

There will be no lightening of the schedule until the flu season starts to lift.

At least, that is how it has been in the past three years.

And although the year is still very young (nine days old), it looks to repeat the pattern of heavy patients, heavy case loads, heavy call shifts.

But without the fun of the holidays.

Joy to the OR,

That was a close one

I am the scheduler for my OR.

Shocking, I know. Extra work, where do I sign up?

The first two weeks of this current schedule started with the week of Christmas and the second week was that of New Year’s.

The current schedule wasn’t due to be completed/published until December 10th. It was decided to complete the first two weeks early so that staff could plan their holidays. I finished the first two weeks before Thanksgiving and published them.

I then worked like an idiot because Christmas/December in the OR is anything  but merry.

I did complete and publish the rest of the schedule by December 10th. This means the last 4 weeks of the schedule was complete with all calls, weekend and otherwise, and days off by December 10th.

It being December I didn’t look at the schedule again until Thursday, January 3.

Whereupon I discovered that the last four weeks of the nurse weekend call days were missing.

Well, fuck.

The schedule had been published, I can’t go back and re-add the call days in for the RNs.

But I have a worksheet that I make myself with the calls planned out.

Some of the nurses copped to the fact that they were scheduled on certain days and they were rescheduled.

Some of them did not. I refrained from shouting liar, liar pants on fire.

I, of course, will bat clean up and take any calls not spoken for. Maybe 4 out of the 12.

But, when I discovered that the program had eaten all the nurse calls from January 5-February 2, I was mad, sure I would have to cover all 12 of the weekend call days by myself.

And my husband would be mad at me.

And my cats would be mad at me.

4-6 out of 12 isn’t so bad.

And you bet I e-mailed the staffing program’s inbox and told them of the hiccup. My OR may not be the only one affected.


Inclement Weather

It has snowed, it is snowing, it will be snowing.

Past, present, future.

Snow, not such a big deal in some places.

But here it’s a huge deal.

Because Southerners have no idea how to drive in it.

Or walk in it.

Or work in it.

But it happens.

Now we have a winter wonderland of ice, and snow, and freeze. I’m going to call no school tomorrow. That is a given.

But there will always be work.

For patients, if there any shred of hope of them having surgery, will make it to the hospital just fine.

Staff, eh, we’ll see.

Some places got 8 inches of snow, then ice, and some places just got a dusting.

We got two inches, plus ice.

Me, I parked my car at the park and ride at the top of our neighborhood. The hill getting out of the neighborhood is going to be practically impossible to get up for the next couple of days.

Just slow and steady when you drive on snow, on ice, on snow covered ice.

And, be safe.