I passed, I passed, I passed

If you didn’t get the message I passed my research class.

The same one I got a C on last year.

The same one that knocked me out for four months while I got my act together.

It was a little easier this time because instead of weekly discussion posts there were 4. And five major papers.

But I passed.

This is the same project that I presented to research council last month and the nurse scientist asked if I could get a poster together to present on May 1 at the poster gallery the main hospital is having.

I did not get my poster to the printer in time.

So I will be using printouts and a trifold posterboard.

But it will be done and presented on Wednesday.

I think I’ll go to bed early.

Hopefully different result

I just turned in the 32 page paper, now with rewrites!

Somehow, even though this class is nominally the same class that I got a C in last year I am doing better?

The teacher says so anyway.

I had no late assignments. I had a bit of a fear mongering when all of a sudden the final proposal was due and I had not turned in the draft. Silly me, there was no draft.

All the remains is the discussion response by Friday.

I hope I pass.

I say this because my mind may have been plotting where to apply if I do not pass. Do I go back to Chamberlain or do I go somewhere else.

I hope this works.

Patients I carry

Another person that I carry, as I wend my way through my nursing career, was in reality one of my first patients when I started back in nursing school after I hurt my shoulder and lost my scholarship, and had to leave the college. In my second nursing school, our anatomy lab, which I had to retake because there were no labs offered with my first class, we had a cadaver.

Not really a patient, but a person who had a lot of impact on me as a nurse.

We were only there to learn about the structures of the hand and forearm.

The cadaver, this wonderful person who had given their body to science, to research, so students like myself could learn had am immense and immediate impact on me and my classmates. The cadaver was nude, laid out on a slab in the recesses of the college. The room was dark except for the working lights. The room smelled like formalin. And there were two cadavers, laid out, ready for us.

The face was covered.

We donned gloves and bent our heads to our work.

The flesh was hard and cold and ungiving under our fingers.

We identified the structures as they were laid out for us.

But, I couldn’t help but scan the body, looking for signs of age or infirmity. Of what led to the cadaver death.

This cadaver was a female, of older years, as evidenced by the lack of subcutaneous tissue, of the crepey skin of the torso, of the white pubic hair.

There was evidence of a recent surgical intervention to the left hip. Staples were still intact over the unhealed incision. I imagined I saw surgical pen marks near the incision.

We were not told how or why the cadavers came to be cadavers.

But they contributed to our knowledge base as nursing students.

Now, years later, I can surmise that there was a fractured hip and a repair of the fractured hip and a death. Now, I know that the percentage of people who survive the first year after hip fracture is low. But she helped us learn, when she decided to leave her body to science.

And I am grateful to her.

The hardest choice of my night

I had to ask a scrub tech to be at the hospital 30 minutes before the start of their call shift.

There’s many reasons why.

The surgeon who called wanted to go at 2230.

My normal evening tech is on vacation.

My pinch hitter evening tech had a robot in the morning and she had to be at the hospital at 0550 to be ready for it. So I let her go home at 2030.

The night tech didn’t tell me no, call in the evening tech, the evening call tech, anyone but him.

No, he gave me a little pushback but ultimately agreed to come.

Oh, he came and did the case I’m not sure he was capable of.

AFTER texting the assistant nurse manager to complain.

Of being asked to come in thirty minutes early.

It was until I was suffering through an extremely uncomfortable with the night call tech, who didn’t know how to run anything. That I realized, that I should’ve called the evening call nurse. She would’ve been happy to come and scrub. She loves to scrub and she knows how to work the equipment.

Dammit.

Sigh.

Because now it’s going to be a THING.

Because 1 time a tech was asked to come in thirty minutes early.

To help me out so I didn’t have to call the evening call tech.

Because the case would’ve gone past 2300. Did I mention that?

Especially when he didn’t show up until 2235.

We finished the case at 2345.

His answer was that I should’ve called the evening tech back, to make sure that he didn’t have to be at the hospital until 2300.

What an ass.

And this is going to beĀ  a THING.

Ugh.

 

When the cat’s away, the mice will play

I was gone last weekend for the AORN convention. This was planned in advance. I had to find coverage for my shifts. I had to tell people that no, sorry I couldn’t take their call for the weekend.

I come back on Thursday and run headlong into my shift. It was a busy shift and it took me until Friday to realize what the problem in the core was.

The latex gloves and the latex free gloves are kept separate. On purpose. Because are you really sure you opened latex free gloves for your latex anaphylactic patient? And micro dust, especially latex is a thing and can also lead to latex allergy.

Latex gloves and latex free gloves are meant to be kept apart.

While I was gone, they were intermingled. Sigh.

I was only gone for five days, people

The hell?

I took the sign that someone had oh so helpfully hung up explaining where the rest of the contents of that particular cart now were housed. And I wrote NO!!! on it in black sharpie, with the explanation that latex free gloves and latex gloves could not be next to each other.

But first I separated the gloves again.

Oh, I know who did it. They and I will be having words on Monday. I don’t want to shake them and tell that if they liked it so much at their old hospital they are welcome to return but to stop trying to remake this hospital into their old hospital. If they liked it so much, why did they leave?

Now I have to find supporting articles for my claim that the two kinds of gloves cannot coexist peacefully.

Gah!

Convention time is here again

I’ve been a busy little bee these last two weeks.

I’ve just been to the AORN convention in Nashville, TN and I had a wonderful time. I drove. It’s only a 6 hour drive. Some people thought I was crazy for driving and not flying. Well, it cost me two and a quarter tanks of gas, roughly $60. And I got to have my car and I could pack as much as I want.

And if you are me, you think you have more time than you do to work on work or school projects.

LOL, no.

Of the four planned projects I had, I did one. It was the one that will make me a good chunk of change this month. But one.

Otherwise I was at the education sessions.

Or eating out with the chapter folks.

Or sleeping.

Or eating.

It was fun.

Oh, and I also participated in market research, both for a drug company and for an AORN journal session. Yes, I was compensated, which was awesome. I must find more of these to do.

Patients we all carry

While I was in nursing school I worked as a tele-tech and a CNA in a small rural hospital. I was responsible for reading the tele monitor on all the patients who were on tele during the shift, as well as taking off orders.

If there were no patients on tele and no orders to take off, or the evening shift was in need of workers, I worked the floor as a CNA. I also worked extra when I could, especially during breaks from school. I made better than minimum wage but not much more. Therefore I picked up extra when I could.

One week in late December I was working as a CNA on the evening shift and we were unusually busy and all the rooms were full. In room 249 was a patient who no one wanted to take care of. He was mean and didn’t participate in the ADLs. When we were turning him in the bed he would reach out to pinch our rear ends. Twenty plus years later I realize that he had no control over anything, including his own bowels and that made him frustrated and mean and prone to strike outs.

Compounding his general demeanor he had had a radical neck dissection and a permanent trach, essentially making him nonverbal. He had a “pipe” that he used to communicate with. He would put the pipe up to his mouth and speak into it. It translated the air into sounds. The sounds weren’t very loud and he was difficult to understand.

He was terminally ill, though, and became sicker as he was under our care. This was due to the cancer disease process. He knew he was dying and he hated it. He hated it, hated us, hated the food, hated the nurses. He made sure we all knew it.

And then his pipe broke and he was without even that meager communication tool. And he was madder than ever. He was dropping weight rapidly and becoming diminished. Which also made him mad. Not much made him happy.

Remembering my classes I made him a communication board. So that he could communicate through pictures.

He went home to hospice not long after than. The last image I have of him is him gesticulating widely at the EMTs as they were transferring him to the gurney and shaking his communication board.

Why I remember him is that communication is key. Not only among the caregivers, but also from our patients to us. Patients may be in our hospital, but we have entered their lives at a time of no control. We have to use any means necessary to communicate with each other, even with unconventional means.