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.