Sunday, May 1, 2016

Parking

I was shuffling down the eternity number of stair flights in the parking garage today, and mentally girding my loins (and also thinking about how weird that phrase is) to go in to work on a gorgeous Saturday. I get to the bottom of the garage, and there's two women standing in the middle of the exit out of the stairwell. "Excuse me," I say as I try to edge around them. They look at me blankly. I look back at them, and repeat myself because while I don't want to go to work, I also don't want to be late because of two dummies blocking my way.

They stare at me a few more seconds, and then go "ma'am? Which floor did we park on?" I must have given them this look:



because they get all butthurt and ask me again, loudly, which floor they parked on. I responded with "uhhhhhhh" because these seem like real adults who can function in society, but I guess I was wrong. These two women get even more frustrated and loudly ask "there wasn't a number on the floor! We don't know where we parked and don't want to forget it when we come back! Why can't you help us?!"

I continued with the quizzical look and eventually replied that the parking garage has 10 floors, I wasn't there when they parked or walked down and thus have no fucking* idea where they parked. They continued to be mad at me so I finally just elbowed past them and kept walking.

Is it really this hard to adult? I mean, I've lost my car in a parking garage before, but because I'm a grownup I just kept mashing on the panic button until I heard something. I guess there really is no hope for society anymore. I feel like this shouldn't be that hard, and I also feel like I shouldn't be so irritated, but it is and I am.

*I didn't really say that, but I thought it, loudly.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Unity

It's a rough time in politics to be a moderate liberal, as I am. The dominate rhetoric by "the other side" is that gays are ruining family values, Christians are being persecuted in our own country, build a wall so Mexico can't get here, fuck yeah guns, and that Islam is a dirty religion full of terrorists who should be forcibly rounded up and kicked out of this country because MERICA.

Obviously you can see which side I lean towards on the political fence. But I generally feel that there isn't room in the country for all the hate, especially with everything else that is going on. I wish more people could see the good in others. I wish, so stereotypically, that everyone could just get along.

I had a patient yesterday who is dying. A young, vibrant, should be in the prime of his life nice guy. He'll be dead in a few weeks. I read his admission notes and noticed this one from the chaplain:

"Chaplain extended spiritual care at which time discovered patient/family are Muslim. Chaplain inquired if the family would like the Imam called. Family declined as they have already called their own, but expressed gratitude for the offer. Chaplain and family celebrated the unity in one God and requested the clinical teams' prayers for the patient. Family in vigil at bedside and remaining reflective and humbled by this moment. Prayers coveted for the patient as plan of care is determined. Imam to provide ritual at bedside."

I wish more people were like this chaplain. If everyone could see the good in others, this world would be so much better. I know there will always be the radials, in every religion and area, who want nothing but chaos and death - but we don't need that in our everyday life here in America.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Thanks for the advice?

I've been busy recently. Who knew wedding planning was this all-consuming?! Anyway, I wear a cheap ring to work in place of my engagement ring, so that it doesn't get junked up with sanitizer residue and god-only-knows what else. A patient of mine asked when the wedding was and why I wasn't wearing a real ring. She then explains that the way to make sure my man stays interested in me is to occasionally cheat on him so that in turn he doesn't feel like he's too good for me. Apparently it's a fool-proof way to keep him from leaving.

The reason for her visit? Chlamydia.

If I'm lying, I'm dying.

*side note, it took me five tries to spell that particular VD correctly. If only she had been there for herpes instead.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Overheard

"I don't mind doing the butt stuff with patients..."

They were talking about guiac tests.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Texas

Well guys, it's official. I've changed my residency to Texas. I cried for a good long time about it last week, starting with the moment the lady at the DMV threw my old license in the shredder bin without even a moment of silence for it. I've re-titled and registered my car, updated address listing for various important things, and started the process of changing my nursing license to this state. It's really sad. I'm very happy to be in Texas, because I have wonderful friends here, a fantastic fiance, and a good life. None of those things make it easier to be away from my friends and family back home on the East Coast though, and it's definitely been a struggle to find a balance between living a comfortable life here and craving the adventure that travel nursing inherently is.

For the time being, I'm going to travel locally. I'm not quite ready to take a permanent job yet, but we'll see how that goes. I don't plan on being in Texas forever, as this country has too much to offer to be in a state as limited as this one is regarding outdoorsy things. Growing up on the water near the mountains has forever skewed my opinion towards geography, and Texas just doesn't cut it - although to be fair, their patio-weather is pretty excellent.

So yeah. That's my big news. I'll get back to blogging about relevant nursing things soon.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Prayer

There's a lot of saints out there if you're up to date on your catholic knowledge (I'm not), and many of them are excellent for ER nursing. The most important, especially for getting those obnoxious patients out of the department? The Patron Saint of Goodbyes, Felicia.

*I can't take credit for this. It came from, amusingly enough, one of my patients.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Transports

I am not exaggerating this story in any way.

Last night at work I'm on the phone to call a transport company to get a patient back to their residence. It's typically a beating to have all the information for these calls, from figuring out what insurance the patient has, if I need to call company A or company B because it's Sunday, exactly how much the patient weighs, if the patient can cover the copay or not, and whether I'm willing to wait four hours for them to come pick up vs calling down the list of family members at 0100.

Long story short, these calls usually take forever. Much of the time is spent on hold while the company farts around with an ETA, and I slowly die inside because there's so many other useful things I could be doing.

Until last night. The most encouraging moment ever: As I'm languishing on the phone, I realize the jaunty instrumental music blaring in my ear is Don't Stop Believing.

So fitting. I sure did keep on believing for ten minutes, right up until the transport company declined the transfer due to it being Sunday at 0110, and thus not really Sunday but Monday morning and I should call company B even though they don't start running until 0500. Assholes.


Monday, December 14, 2015

Fortunes

Good to know the universe thinks so little of nursing. 

Although to be fair, this profession is rather entertaining sometimes. 




Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The joy of life

While looking for a sono IV the other day on my no-veins dialysis patient, his adorable six year old kid piped up and excitedly asked me "is it going to be a boy or a girl?!"

All I could do was laugh. And get the hell out of the room before those parents had to explain just how babies get into people and why they most definitely won't be in dads arm.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Nursing is weird.

I think one of the weirdest things about being a nurse is the ridiculous conversations I have which would be horribly inappropriate or hilarious to laypeople but are just everyday talk to me. Today I was sitting in lab orientation, and the educator was going over using the nitrazine strips and range of values and all that. He's probably in his mid-thirties based off the comments about his young school aged kids, and was overall a funny guy who was on point with his social skillz. He seemed like the type of person who would go out with everyone post-shift and tell the best stories after he buys everyone a round. We're talking over the details of these test strips, and have a full conversation about vaginal vaults and bodily fluids and alien looking newborns and the importance of precip trays in the ER and how it's imperative to do checks on the test strips to make sure they're not expired because JCHAO.

It's just so weird to me that I can have a full conversation with a total stranger about vaginal juices and still keep a straight face while thinking about what I want for lunch, but someone farts and I'm immediately a fifteen year old boy who can't stop giggling.

Nursing is weird.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Empathy

I'm a pretty crusty bastard. After seven years in nursing, I've seen a lot and unfortunately been jaded by a lot. Many things which made me cry years ago are now brushed off with a sigh and the resignation of knowing that whatever it was will most definitely happen again sometime. I make terrible jokes, I go out for happy hour (or beer breakfast, depending on the shift) and immediately have a beer with friends, and I don't answer truthfully when people ask me what the worst thing I've ever seen was. Moral of the story, I'm hardened and I know it.

But deep down, I still feel all the feels. Like, all of them. To the point that they bubble over uncontrollably when the right moment arises.

Case in point: my recent new hospital played a corporate values video during one of the orientation days, and it was fairly sad but not heartwrenching or waterworks-inducing. That said, classy and wistful piano music against a backdrop of one-line summaries of the internal thoughts and struggles of both patients and staff is apparently the only cue I need to become a blubbering mess. Seriously. Multiple tissues and trying to hide it from the rest of the orientation people.

And then I watched Inside Out last night and good lord the waterworks. Ugly crying from start to finish. It was brutal.

I guess it's a good thing though...I DO still have a heart!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Words

"I've got so many taxis in my mouth. They all hurt. Can I get a cab ticket home since y'all giving me lortab?"

If you have access to that many taxis then surely you don't need a cab voucher.

*spoiler alert: he got a cab voucher because why the hell not.

I've always been perplexed as to why people let dental conditions get so far out of hand. While I completely understand that dental care is ridiculously expensive, basic preventative care is not. Barring poor genetics, a toothbrush and some colgate goes a long way. I went for almost six years without seeing a dentist, and because I brush twice (sometimes three times) a day I had no cavities. I also had no taxis. Plus I've known plenty of people who go decades without seeing a dentist but still take care of themselves and have no issues.

And before you get on me, internet, it's the people who freely admit that they haven't brushed their teeth in years who confuse me. I'm not talking about those who brush and just can't afford dental care or inherited shitty DNA from their folks. That's another post entirely, in which I could devote a lot of words to shaming health insurance for not including dental visits.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Difference of opinion

It's interesting how varied the attitude towards nurses is. I had two interactions today with complete strangers who couldn't have had more differing thoughts on my job. After finding out that I was an ER nurse, the first guy today thanked me for going into such a difficult profession and putting everything I had into it. He had so much appreciation for us because he's been in the hospital before, and sees what we do. We ended our conversation with a heartfelt thank you on both sides.

The second lady found out I was a nurse and only commented "wow. You probably went into that job because you only work three days a week. It's the laziest of jobs."

Wow, indeed.


Friday, October 16, 2015

Re-employment!

Today is the end of my 4 week long lifting restriction, and to celebrate the occasion, I got a new job! I just took a new travel assignment in a gigantic ER in central Texas which should be a real good time. I'm looking forward to working in a busy ER again so I will have plenty of ridiculous stories to share, starting in November.

In the meantime, enjoy this story from ye olde days at Home Hospital:

I swear I was on candid camera this last shift. Except it wasn't funny, it was infuriating. And no one yelled "you're on candid camera!" at the end. Also the guy smelled weird. Like bacon. Which usually smells great, but not when it's coming from a person.

Anyway, I could do nothing right. He's a cardiac work up, so I tried to put the leads on and he wouldn't let me. But he let the nurse next to me put them on.

He felt mildly short of breath. I tried to put the O2 cannula on and he refused. But he let the doctor put one on his face.

I asked the dude if the nitro had resolved his chest pain. He told me yes. But five minutes later the doc asks if the nitro resolved his pain, and he goes, "uh no, and I don't know why the nurse didn't tell you that I still hurt."

The doc then offers morphine which the patient accepts. I remember that the patient had listed morphine as an allergy, so I tell the doc to hold the order while I ask the patient again. But the guy says, "well yeah I told you that but I'm not really allergic to it."

To top it all off, I'm in the room getting everything together for admission to the cardiac floor and overhearing the patients' conversation with a family member. Included was the phrase, "this nurse has been the worst. She hasn't listened to anything I've said the whole time here! I'm never coming back to this hospital."

Le sigh. I can't win.



Friday, October 9, 2015

Unemployment!

Sorry I haven't been posting recently. I've been on a ten day road trip, because oh yeah - I got fired from my job.

No, that's an exaggeration. I didn't really get fired. I did have my contract terminated early as I conveniently had a four week long lifting restriction imposed and four weeks left in my job...so yeah. HR decided that I wasn't able to "properly fulfill the duties of an RN" with the restriction, so had to terminate. I get it, I really do. If a patient DFOs and I'm the only one around, I need to be able to do something that doesn't involve just standing there being useless. But still. I've never been fired from anything. Ever.

It's an awful feeling. While I know it wasn't anything personal and was done very tactfully, I still cried after the call from the nice HR lady telling me that unfortunately I wasn't allowed to come back to work and they're very sorry to let me go as they've heard good things about me. I think the worst part about the whole thing was that I couldn't even cry comfortably as it hurt too much.

Silver lining though. My fiance flew up to Oregon and helped (read: did all the work) pack my apartment and then we road tripped to a ton of beautiful places, camped in national parks, and leisurely made our way back home. It was awesome, and the best possible way this could have ended.

Here's some pictures to prove that it was beautiful. Because seriously. Nature ermahgerd.