Saturday, July 2, 2016


So you all know I've been burnt out a bit recently. I love the ER, I really do, but my fuse at work has become so short. Rude patients and inane orders and the general bullshittery of hospital admin used to roll off my back way smoother than it does now. Some days are better than others but more often than not I have bad days with good moments as opposed to good days with bad moments.

That said, tonight was a bad day with a bad moment in the midst of general admin BS. I had discharged a patient and admitted two others within about 15 minutes of each other, so obviously on a busy Friday night those three rooms immediately got slammed with new patients. One patient was super sick, one patient was meh but required a large workup, and one had acute on chronic back pain. Guess who rang the callbell within the first five minutes to ask for pain medicine?

I went into back pain guys' room with an entire armful of stuff and told him that I had just gotten slammed, needed to give some meds next door, and would be back as soon as I could to get him settled. He mumbled something that sounded suspiciously like "bitch," which I ignored. Ten minutes later I'm knee deep in saline bag wrappers and tubing bits and second IV starts and blood cultures on the sick patient, and my phone rings with a message from the secretary that chronic pain guy has called multiple times wanting his medication.

I finally make it back into the room and start to apologize for the delay, but the guy says "just get me my fucking pain medication, you told me you'd be back like twenty minutes ago." I started to explain that the ER is busy, I have multiple patients, whatever, and he cut me off to berate me for not being in three places at once and also to call me a cunt. I just turned around mid-sentence and walked out, where I ran into the charge nurse - let me tell you, fucking no one gets to call me a cunt and get away with it.

Charge was great, and after hearing me rage volunteered to go start the IV and medicate since I refused to deal with the guy. I got the call a few minutes later that it was okay to go back in, and upon doing so I noticed that the patient had the most beautiful IV ever. It was a gorgeous orange 14G jelco right in the forearm. I nearly cried. It's good to know that my charge nurse will defend my honor with a giant needle.

The charge nurse also told the doc what was going on, who unbeknownst to me went in and read the riot act to this guy. I have no idea what he said, but when I came back in later the patient was apologetic and super polite.

Honestly, it was unbelievably refreshing to have a charge nurse and doctor stick up for me, and it felt even better that the message got through to the patient. Or maybe it was just the garden hose in his arm. Who knows.

*it's late and I'm tired, so this post needs some serious editing but idgaf. deal with it!


knittynurse said...

I freaking love your charge!!! A 14 G IV for back pain is the best support a person could ask for!! And yes, I do work ER.

Aesop said...


I miss (from the description of co-workers I broke into this gig with, who practiced nursing when scrubs were called white dresses and came with nursey caps) those days from before universal precautions when nurses had to sharpen the re-usable IV needles between patients.

Or, in certain patients' case, not to do so.

If some company made blunt and square large-bore IV needles, I'd totally order a case, just to keep a couple on me for little contingencies.

Hang in there, and ROWYBS.

Shash said...

Fantastic that your team had your back on this. Some patients need to have a dirty stock stuck in their mouth for 30 min. before further treatment.

lalson gregory said...

14G cannula that is the best medicine for those jerks and i think that only have worked out..<a href=">Nurses New Jobs</a>

Badambo said...

Love it. I once caught my charge checking vitals on one of my gems. The red temp probe under the tongue was priceless!