The first 15 minutes of a shift will make or break you. It will decide what kind of night you're going to have; whether it will be a pleasantly steady and mind-stimulating set of patients, or a bat out of hell don't sit down for 9 hours insanely busy crammed influx of the entire population, or a just face the music you'll-probably-have-actual-shit-on-you at some point kind of night.
Tonight, my friends, was a have actual shit-on-me kind of night. And I knew it would be bad from the start.
I walked onto the floor and the previous nurse had just dispo'ed all of my rooms. Empty group + 4 hour wait time = bend over and take it now. I'm trying to help clean out the trauma room of the stuff enviro won't touch, like saline bags and extra blood tubes and suture kits. There was a large tray, obviously from central, of all sorts of clamps and scissors and such. We send those back down to be sterilized, but always they have to be looked over to make sure nothing of the sharp and pointy variety is forgotten. It's a no needle left behind policy.
So I'm pulling a few spare pieces of gauze off the tray, and eyeing it up to make sure there are no sharps, when I spot...a...what the feck? Is that? Is THAT wha---?
Holy shit on a stick, batman.
It was a severed finger. Just hanging out. Next to the kelly clamp. A severed finger. In all its number one glory.
I don't know what the hell happened in that room before I got there, but I'm glad I wasn't present for it. Ugh. Can you imagine if I sent that down to central processing?! I can only dream of the conniption fit that would be thrown.
So my friends, in case you are wondering, this is not a good way to start the shift. Finding spare body parts will guarantee an actual shit-on-you kind of night.
And it was...