I’ve been a nurse for eighteen years and change. That’s a long time.
And these last seven days?
WORST WEEK EVER!
It started last Saturday with an urgent call from the nurse on call.
She needed help at 1000 and I was at the grocery store.
I paid for my groceries and went in for a couple of hours.
And went back at 1500 for more. I left the hospital after 0300 the next morning.
Sunday, I got called in at 1900 until 2300 for a drawn out ORIF.
Monday, from the time I arrived at 1430 to 1445 there were 5 add-ons. Okay, this is usual. And we worked hard all evening until after 2300.
Tuesday, from the time I arrived at 1430 to 1445 there were 5 add-ons. This night, there was no way to finish all but one by 1900 so we got a CRNA to stay until 2000 to catch us up a bit. He finished his case at 1727 and did not go to get the next patient, that we had to have finished by 1900 until 1815. Which meant we couldn’t go back with the late case until after 2000. And the late late case got pushed back to Wednesday evening.
Wednesday, from the time I arrived at 1430 to 1445 there were 5 add-ons. The board still had 12 cases left to start. This night there was no friendly CRNA to stay late and help. I was so outraged that I was in tears (I do this when I am mad) and I was going to have to tell the surgeon who was doing the case that was delayed from Tuesday that his case would be going at 2300, or later. He was unhappy, I KNEW the patient would be unhappy, but I could not get any CRNA to stay. Finally one ponied up to the bar and agreed to stay for that surgeon. I offered to make him any cookie he wanted. A second surgeon agreed to delay his case until the next day due to time constraints. Finally, we finished at 2300 with all cases.
Thursday, from the time I arrived at 1430 to 1445 there were 5 add-ons (do you see the trend?). All the cases are running over. One of the day shift people told me that they didn’t receive their evening break. I looked her in the eye and told her that I hadn’t had a lunch or a break in at least a week and I would get her a break when I could. People. Finally finished the delayed case from Wednesday and the last case finished at 2200. And then an add-on. (apply head to desk here)
Friday, from the time I arrived at 1430 to 1445 there were 5 add-ons. And one was an emergency that was going to be bumping one of his partner’s cases. Oh, well. She was taken upstairs to the ICU immediately upon end of surgery. I ran from 1430-2200. We finished our last case at 2200 and made the conscious decision to not do anything with the core, that I would go in on Saturday to clean up after our disastrous week.
And so I did.