Tuesday, June 1, 2010
My assignment was typical this weekend as the low man on the totem pole. Nursing is like any other hierarchy, except with grosser bottom dwellar tasks. I am always given the maximum amount of patients when I come on the shift. They say this is so I don't get any "Admits" as the 12 hour shift progresses. This of course is never the actual case, because I always seem to get "just one more admit" on top of my 5 patients to start.
(Let me give you the set up: I work Orthopedics and Neuro, 12 hour shifts at night. Orthopedics are people who have their knees chopped in half then put together. They can't walk without help. There are 2 types of people who have their bones fixed. Really healthy people who are Type A personalities who have bad knees or joints because they exercised the shit out of their selves to be perfect....or totally unhealthy over weight people who's joints just quit under stress. Either way ...they can't move on their own.)
My Patients for Saturday night were a bit on the odd side, meaning: no other nurse in their right mind would want them. Being the newbie I have no choice, I take what is left over. I had 4 patients who were incontinent of bowel and urine ( laymen's: crap an pee into diaper, if lucky), AMS (laymen's: altered mental status ie: crazy as a sack of nuts), and unable to ambulate (laymen's: can't roll outta bed or move on own).
The night began with report that the one young patient, 49 year old real estate agent, was verbally abusive and not willing to take any guidance, 3 other patients: whack jobs and screamers...with bed sores, and the last a nice man who hasn't pooped in 5 days (which will make any one crazy).
I'm gonna skip telling you about the non pooper because he was kind. I'm gonna head right into the oddity i call my new job : NURSING. It all started with screaming from my room closer to the nurses station. I headed in...there was a little old lady with a ski tabagon on, in the 75degree room, covered up to her neck in blankets yelling "i'm OLLLLLDDDDDDDD i can't take it any more!!!!" Can't take what? you are just laying here in bed! I nicely changed her Depends, reorganized her, crammed pillows along each side to lift her off her coccyx, gave a sip of her "fancy orange juice" , and told her I am starting to feel old too...go to sleep its 10 pm.
I could hear my other patient's bed alarm going off (which is what we use to keep people from trying to get out of bed...and to alert us if they do). Obviously I ran straight in there to see my other whacky lady, who came in with hallucinations, barking, "get me DOOOOWN!!!!" Down from where? Huh?
So I push the buttons on her bed and it goes down ever so slightly. (i'm so smart, I think). "Get me the Hell DOOOWN!!!!"
Ok Jackie...look at me...let me look at your eyes. She gazes some very vacant looking little pinpoint eyes at me. I take my flashlight and shine them in...Pow... she refocuses. Jackie? Where are you? Can you tell me? "I'm floating above my bed...I can see you and me down there...I want DOWN!!!!" No shit, I bet you do....come on down ,Jackie... Come back to bed....(I'm secretly thinking in my head...go towards the light.... you are sick and very old...) come back down here, Jackie.... ( turn towards the door and yell for the charge nurse to see what her pulse is on the monitor) "it's 58 and her oxygen is 95" So her heart rate is a bit slow, but she did have some Ativan earlier... her vital signs are stable... I go back into the room... "Get ME DOOOOOOWWWWWNNNNN!"
At this point the big hippy aide come in with his Grizzly Adams beard (it is Boulder after all )and says, "Jackie, you are down." He lowers the head of her bed thinking he is some kind of genius...yeah yeah smart one...I all ready tried that.
"Get me off this GODDAMN Roof!"
Oooh, that is new...the roof... Grizzly Aide looks at me...???
Jackie, what roof?
"OOOH I'm so high up!!! Get me down"
All the yelling is getting to me. I still have 3 other patients to see. but I'm really curious as to what I should do about "the roof".
Jackie, who's roof? What does it look like?"
"I'm ON THE ROOF GET ME DOWN, I"M SCARED!!!!!!!"
I look at Grizzly Aide and I look back at Jackie...
Jackie, are you on God's Roof? Is it Pretty?"
Grizzly Aide looks at me and says, " oh no you just didn't say that, did you?"
Well,...I did, I want to know what it looks like...
We both look at Jackie and she fades away........to sleep...( I checked!)
and then we look back at each other and start laughing.
I guess we will never know.
I still have 3 peepee patients to see and the other nurse, Zach, just leaned in this room and tells me the patient next door wants to know why she is at the bakery at this hour...
I laugh...and say "Ask her if it is God's Bakery!"
he looks confused...
and it's only 1030 pm...I have 10 more hours.
Low man on the totem pole...My charge nurse was sitting at the desk painting her finger nails.
Grizzly Aide laughs..."It's time to make the donuts...I'll meet you in the next room"
i'll be in in just a minute.
ps...later that evening, the young, type A, patient spent 45 minutes, after he had " an accident " in his boxers, explaining to me that his penis is small because he is sick. Really, dude? I'm soooooo looking at your flaccid little penis right now. Oh my goodness, I just want to go to God's Bar. I'm tired.
write ya later