Is the universe trying to tell me something?

Apparently, the antibiotic Cipro makes me mean.

I have had an absolutely shitty three weeks.

Let’s count down the reasons.

  1. Fall on my own stairs on Saturday fourteen days ago. Tripped avoiding the cat. Bruised the right side of my sacrum, tore/strained the top of my left calf. Still hurts with all the pain.
  2. Asked two different surgeons about my calf. Of course I believed the one who told me to walk, stretch, and it would be 6 weeks. The other one told me I needed to be in a boot and I would need physical therapy when I was done in six months.
  3. Bladder infection, first ever, thirteen days ago. All the symptoms, only resolved slightly on Bactrim. Went back to the doctor, urine culture done. She asked if  I wanted to start antibiotics on Wednesday. I said no, to her surprise, that wasn’t good antibiotics stewardship. Only to have a positive culture that was resistant to Bactrim. Cue the Cipro course begun last Saturday, for seven days.
  4. I’m supposed to be doing clinicals right now for school. Last summer I sent in a paper where I had to sign to attest the school was responsible for finding me a preceptor instructor for the particular class. I reached out in week 2 to find out who my instructor would be. No instructor, I have to find my own and do my 75 hours of clinical instruction in five weeks. My first person turned me down, I will be going down my list looking for a preceptor. All the hours (unpaid) will be worked in the next four weeks.
  5. I got called out by my day shift counterpart for being too mean to our staff. I’m sorry, are you not there to work? Remember, I won’t ask you to do anything I’m unwilling to do myself and the list is short.
  6.  Too many hours again this past pay period. Why do I do this to myself?

Stand off, dick, I’ve got this

Anesthesiologist, looking VERY (why?) concerned-what about these two appys? This one room is dropping and there’s an hour.
Me (evening charge nurse)- um, they go at the end of the line. The evening procession will be knee scope in room 4, Moh’s in room 3, toe amp back in 4, cysto fulguration in room 2. It’s 1800 now and I have to be down to 1 room at 1900, from the 3 we currently have running.
A- But an appy is an emergency.
Me- only if the doctor declares it as such.
A- but an appy is an emergency.
Me- room 3 is dropping and there is an hour. I spoke with the surgeon and offered to let him do one now and one at 2100. He declined.
A- but an appy is an emergency
Me- And so is the gas gangrene on the toe and the cysto fulguration. For BLEEDING.
A- have you spoken to the surgeon, when?
Me- at 1750, I told him his two options and he chose to do them together at 2100.
A- but an appy is an emergency.
Me- they started losing that argument when they started waiting until morning to do them.
A- frowning mightily at me. And goes off to ask the same thing of the day shift charge, who is a MAN, who is working the Moh’s.
Day shift charge- what she said. She is the evening charge nurse.
Me-what I wish I’d said- look, dick, I do this EVERY night, Monday through Friday. I know what I am doing. You’re just the call guy.

I posted this on a Facebook site that I belong to. And there were many people who were aghast that I wasn’t listening to the anesthesiologist. And because appendicitis hurts, yo. And arguing that the other cases weren’t as much of an emergency as the appendixes so should be bumped.

  1. I do not bump.
  2. The surgeon is the one who asks to bump, by that I mean he asks the other surgeon and lays out his rationale for bumping.
  3. I do not bump.
  4. I know how to read a board and make decisions all on my own about the OR’s evening line up.
  5. What an ass.

And the anesthesiologist was shitty to me the rest of the night.



All the records broken

The last 8 days have hurt. A lot.

With the exception of last Monday I’ve worked 12-16 hours each day. Last Monday was a short day at only 8 hours. Right now I’m at 74 hours worked. Ouch. There’s still forty to work this week. Plus meetings Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, adding an additional 6+ hours.

This will definitely be an all time high for this hospital for me.

Hell, it may be a personal  best.

This doesn’t include the call hours. 24 +48 +8 +8 +8 +8+ 24=128 hours of call.

I’m so tired.

I can say that, right?

I think I’ll snag a nap before work.

The Universe hates a vacuum

I took last week off. The reasons are varied: need to take PTO before I cap out and stop accruing more, we were supposed to go to DC but my husband’s now new job says he can’t get the time off, it’s the last week of the Spring semester and therefore the work is light. But, yeah, I took the week off.

I kept call Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights but otherwise no work.

I planned to take call on the Sunday that bookended my week off.

And I just got home from 12 straight hours, three laparoscopic cases, 1 jaw versus tree, and one there is a fracture we need to fix it.

12 hours.

I forget how much the Universe hates it when I take time off.

And bitch slaps me when I go back to work.


Nurses are humans too

I have been reflecting on nursing and informatics  (the blend of technology that is nursing these days). It’s for class.

I think that nurses struggle to be human sometimes. The patient is so poised on a precipice always, where one wrong move, or phrase, or miscalculation, or incorrect data entry can lead to disaster that nurses are aware of this always.  Keeping patients safe is what we do, however that means to us.

But, nurses struggle with that sometimes.

Nurses also struggle with how much patients and their families don’t know or don’t understand.

I remind myself often that my knowledge bank is not the patient’s knowledge base. Of course they don’t know/comprehend/understand. Illness is far beyond their purview.

I use a big word, where a small easily understandable word is better. See also purview, previous paragraph.

I use five words when one would do.

But I am human, not a machine.

And that’s okay.

Too stupid to live, let alone work the evening shift

There is a woman at work who I categorically DO NOT LIKE.

And this is hard for me. It is really hard for me not to like anyone, I’m just not wired like that. But I dislike her soooo much. I can hardly stand to be in the same room with her.

Not that she’s not a perfectly nice person, I think.

It is that she is so awful at her job.

I mean terrible. She is needy, she doesn’t think ahead, she thinks stocking a room involves copious amounts of leggings and under buttocks drapes. Oh, and the latex free gloves that do not belong in the room. Every evening I have to take out the latex free gloves that she has put in the rooms. Every night.

She has called me down to the basement where she was putting away supplies, out of a room where I was circulating (that means working) to tell me that she couldn’t find where to put three things and could I put them away for her? Not, could I show her where they went, but to put them away for her.

Last week when she was about to open her damned fool mouth and ask for something, for the fifth time in ten minutes when I was her circulator. No, I mean something, 2 minutes later something else, etc etc. I told her it was easier for the circulators if she could group her requests. And maybe, just maybe, think ahead to what she needs before the case starts, instead of drawing on the back table.

I feel we really bonded today.

But today, today takes the cake.

I was in a room, working, when she came into the room to tell me that for some reason she was working three Sundays straight and she asked me why. As if I had an answer I could pull out of my ass. As if we weren’t getting a patient off the table at that exact moment.

And then I heard it, the charge phone was ringing. My hand dropped to my pocket, not there. Dammit, I left it at the desk.

She followed me out to the desk and told me that “Oh, yeah, something was ringing, but she really needed an answer to her question.”

Um, the phone was ringing. Did it not occur to her to pick up the damned phone and answer it?

Dear God.

Dumb as a box of hair.

I told her that I would have to look into it and went back to the room.

Definitely too stupid to work evening shift.

We have standards.