Omicron math

2 vaccines.

plus booster

plus the Omicron variant

equals mild infection

I have heard from many of my family members.

And my coworkers.

That being fully vaccinated and boostered made Omicron covid infection that much easier to bear.

But please stop comparing it to a flu.

This gives other people false hope that their unvaccinated asses will be fine.

2 vaccines

no booster

plus the Omicron variant

equals more serious infection

I have some friends in this group as well.

Their symptoms are more severe.

The length of illness is longer.

There may be more sequelae.

That means they may be short of breath or tire more easily.

Even after they are feeling better.

no vaccnines

no booster

plus the Omicron variant

or plus the Delta variant, which is still hanging about causing deaths

equals serious infection

These are the people who are flooding the hospitals.

And the ICUs.

And the morgues.

The best way outcome using this covid math is

2 vaccines

plus booster

minus any variant

equals no illness

But those of us who are in the very last section are still masking and handwashing and social distancing.

Don’t get caught up in the math problem.

Cookie Thursday 1/20/22- Luck of the Morning Bailey’s Irish Cream cookies

Booze month continues.

This week I wanted to do a Bailey’s Irish Cream cookie because I’ve always heard of Bailey’s and Coffee.

I don’t drink coffee.

And I don’t drink alcohol.

I decided to try both in a cookie.

Unsurprisingly there is instant coffee in the recipe.

I happen to have instant coffee in my pantry.

And Bailey’s Irish Cream in the bar.

I wanted to maximize the number of cookies in this batch.

Because I wanted to stretch the cookies out to be enough for 2 departments.

A single batch of dough netted me 5 cookie sheets of 16-20 cookies each.

You want to know the secret?

The smallest cookie scoop I have.

The lion’s share of the cookies will go the OR.

And the remaining 12 will go to administration.

Why administration as the second department recipient of Cookie Thursday is a Thing?

Because it never hurts to butter up the bosses.

And I believe that they’ve had their challenges during the pandemic.

I can imagine keeping a hospital afloat during the worst health crisis in our lives is hard.

Kind of like steering a ship through turbulent waters during a hurricane.

I know that many people have beef with any hospital leadership.

Even ours.

Are they perfect?

No.

Do they deserve a treat?

Yes.

Don’t forget they have administrative staff that works just as hard as they do.

The first all-nighter of the call shift

Last night was the first all-nighter of my new shift.

My scrub tech and I got called to come in at 2300 and in we came.

There was a case to finish and another one to follow.

Of course I gave the first surgeon a hell of a time as it took him nearly an hour to close.

The follow case had been waiting for 3 hours on surgeon availability at which time the surgeon lost her place in the add-on queue and that case got bumped to the end.

This happens when the surgeon is more than an hour late.

And there are cases to go.

Policy states that that surgeon can lose their turn in the line up of add ons.

A bit harsh that the patient had to wait for 8 hours.

She was offered to go home and come back for surgery the next day.

She said no.

She would wait.

And then my favorite surgeon called and wanted to add on an urgent case for 0530.

Remember I am the second PACU nurse as well per the rules of the new call shift.

Unless there is another case.

Then the real PACU nurse gets called in.

By the time we got the second patient through surgery and recovery and placed in a patient room it was 0245.

Not enough time to brave the icy roads home sit for an hour and go back to the hospital at 0430.

No thank you.

I did what any other self-respecting nurse at loose ends would do.

I set up the operating rooms for the coming day.

And had a snack out of the doctor’s lounge.

Cheese and crackers and a mini can of coke, if you are wondering.

I checked my work email.

Just kidding, I do that during the day.

And, of course, we finished the case just at 0700.

The new quitting time.

By this time, all the day shift workers were clocked in and getting ready to start their first cases of the day.

I had to run the gamut of my former day shift coworkers.

It was bittersweet.

Snow is a 4 letter word

Here in the America Southeast there has been a huge disruption in the last 2 days.

This frozen white stuff fell from the sky.

A lot of it.

Must be three, three and a half, four inches.

Enough that the kids next door built a 4 foot tall snowman.

And of course there was sleet involved.

Snow, sleet, snow.

Makes for hazardous driving conditions.

And it is not just a meme that people in the South can’t drive on snow.

They can’t.

Luckily I learned to drive on snow and ice in Nebraska while at Creighton.

Mother Nature doesn’t mess around there.

But the hill out of our neighbor never gets any sun and it takes forever for the ice to melt.

I park in the Park n Ride at the top of the hill and hike down to our house.

But patients.

Patients never let a little white stuff on the roads stop them.

Patients always make it in.

This is a known fact in the hospital system.

We do what we can to ensure there is enough staffing to cover the surgeries.

or I did.

Before my new shift.

Another change I have to account for.

Post-it 1-16-22-Don’t, just don’t

The post-it reads, in dark highlighted letters, all caps, ‘DON’T EXPLAIN TO ME SHIT I CAME UP WITH.’

Pretty much what it says on the post-it.

The thing about evening shift/call shift that people don’t get is that there are 3 people to move patients.

The CRNA.

The circulator.

The scrub tech.

If you are lucky, the anesthesiologist is not putting in an epidural and can help when called.

If you are really lucky, the surgeon has not yet vamoosed.

Sometimes you just aren’t that lucky.

A safe transfer for a patient is 4 people.

One to pull.

One to push.

One to control head.

One to move legs.

What to do when you don’t have four people?

On the evening shift I developed a technique that I call poor man third person.

Basically, a dummy 4th person.

In the beginning it would be a pillow under the calves.

Allowing the puller to pull on legs and body sheet simultaneously.

The evenings had done with for YEARS.

I also began teaching it to other staff.

And then I evolved poor man third person.

I realized that one of the sides of the armboard pad is smooth.

And would move with less force than a pillow.

The pillow creates too much drag.

And so poor man third person evolved.

And then someone tried to teach the technique to me.

To me!

The instigator who taught everyone else about it.

And the person who taught the would be teacher about it.

Years ago.

People.

Humph.

850,000 American dead

Sometime today.

Somewhere in America.

Someone takes their last breath.

This last breath may take many forms.

It may be an artificial breath.

Forced on them by a machine.

It may be after the machines have been turned off.

It may be alone.

It may be in critical care.

It may be outside of the hospital.

But someone doesn’t know that it will be their last breath.

But someone else will know.

Someone else knows that this person.

This person that may be precious to them.

Is dead.

And all of their shared tomorrows are gone.

And when the Supreme Court of the United States voted against the vaccine mandate for companies with more that 100 employees I shouted at the radio.

Cowards I called them.

Damning all those who voted against a vaccine mandate for companies with more than 100 employees.

Because the economy.

People might quit.

Studies have shown that this is not what happens after a vaccine mandate that is company wide.

Now every single company has to mandate it on their own.

I 100% do not see this happening.

We are never getting out of this.

And somebody will have to tell all those whose loved ones have taken their last breath that they don’t matter.

That the government can’t protect them.

Because people are not willing to roll up their sleeves.

And endure a little bit of pain.

To save a lot of people.

And that is the saddest conversation I can think of.

Your loved one.

Your Sally.

Your Johnny.

Your son.

Your daughter.

Your mother.

Your father.

Died because the people of the United States didn’t care enough.

But healthcare workers like myself, and my mother, and my coworkers, will be there to witness that the last breath has come.

That the heart has stopped.

And they are just another number in the overall count of the dead.

When they had been somebody precious.

To someone.

Cookie Thursday 1/13/2022-shaken not stirred vodka cookies

Booze month continues.

I wanted to do a martini inspired cookie.

As if you couldn’t tell that from the name of the cookie.

I was looking to do a vodka and olive cookie.

And then I watched the Casino Royale scene again.

Where James Bond comes up with the now famous martini recipe on the fly.

With lemon peel as the garnish.

He asks for gin and vodka but I was determined to make this a vodka cookie.

As always Cookie Thursday is a Thing recipes have to be adaptable to what I have in stock in the house.

And this month, in the bar.

The olive cookies will have to wait for the charcuterie month I’m thinking about.

But this cookie is very delicate.

Kind of like the state of healthcare right now.

But it has a glaze.

I hate doing glaze but I did it.

What I did differently is put the glaze on the hot cookies as they came out of the oven.

Maybe this will work better.

That’s the thing in healthcare.

It is ever changing.

And ever evolving.

yay, nursing?

This morning the ANA released that for the 20th year in a row, nursing was the most trusted profession in the US.

Really, now.

I mean, yay nurses.

From where I work I see many, many people who trust nurses.

Who follow our guidance.

Who follow our counseling.

Who follow our advice.

(yes, I know that all three of these points are the same, similar but not the same)

And there is a small sub-sect of the public who do not.

Who have decided that they know best.

after 30 minutes on the internet and an echo chamber.

And that sub-section is LOUD

And takes up all attention and oxygen in the room.

Who cry foul when they, in fact, find out that actions have consequences.

Who think that we, the healthcare community, must rush in and fix it all.

Fix everything they’ve been down-playing, and denying, and arguing against.

And make them live.

And when they are better do they learn?

No.

They go back to their science denying ways.

And refuse to do something that would protect everyone.

Because they don’t want to.

Do they not hear themselves acting like spoiled brats?

But let us celebrate nurses and nursing for this achievement.

Wouldn’t it be nice if others took it to heart?

Find a nurse and hug them, they need it.

Find a healthcare worker, not just a nurse, and thank them.

Riddle me this- take a workaholic and give her lots of time-what happens?

Update on my working only call hours journey.

Last time I talked about how I felt I was getting away with something.

I still do.

When I talked to the career coach in September she wanted me to flesh out my LinkedIn account.

I gave myself until the first of January to update it.

And I have.

Do I still know what I am doing on it?

No.

Should I follow the CNO for the hospital?

And it says on my front page that I am willing to do writing work?

Will that lead to uncomfortable questions?

Probably.

shrugs

But apparently someone can offer up their services for hire.

Which I have.

I think.

I am willing to write for someone else.

Technical writing.

Copy editing.

Articles.

Whatever.

Do I know what I am doing?

Also no.

But I am willing to learn.

This was the plan to fill the now 40 hours I have free to me.

I hope I am doing this right.

I hope that it is a good trade off.

Monday Musings 1/10/22- I wonder if they are using the same wind we are using

This is a quote from the Princess Bride.

Of course.

It is said by Inigo Montoya.

The sword for hire who just wants to avenge his father.

Against the 6 finger man.

But you should already know that.

When we moved to North Carolina the amount of people who had never seen the Princess Bride was staggering.

Especially since it takes up so much of my brain.

Even now, I can’t not stop on the movie if it is being shown on television.

And, as I don’t watch television, that is quite the feat.

But yes, everyone else is using the same wind you are using.

Everyone else is breathing the same air that you are.

Everyone else is being exposed to you when you or they don’t wear a mask.

I showed my husband today’s data point for our state in the state dashboard.

It’s going straight up.

That refers to the number of daily cases.

Straight up.

He would like to point out that the data lags by three days.

potayto-potahto

Up is up.

Rodents of Unusual Size?

I don’t think they really exist.

Is what Westley said right before being mauled by an ROUS.

I don’t think it really exists.

Says every non-vaccinated person in the world.

Just STFU already.

I’m sick of watching the death count mount.

A lot.

Daily.

We are nearly at 850,000 American dead.

And the Dread Pirate Robert’s says “masks are terribly comfortable, and I think that everyone will be wearing them in the future.”