your dad is an ass

I was gnarly last week, I admit it. Working too much with too few days off. No time for recovery of sanity.

So its my last day before a few days off. The black cloud that was hovering over me is slowly lifting. Then HE comes in. Doofus Daddy.

Red flags:

1) Medics wanted to give me report outside the room

2) From the time he arrived and was transfered to the cart, he made this WOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! sound while sitting there with his eyes closed.

3) Daughter arrives and does not want to go into room with Dad.

4) He normally gets care at another hospital.

So we manage to get throught the first few minutes. I am entering stuff in the computer and He is rambling on about all of his medical history back to the Mayflower. And I let him ramble. Half listening. Not really caring what he is saying.

I didn't give him the call light. I'm no fool. At some point he requested to have the call light and I had to hand it over. Mistake.

Periodically throughout the visit I hear WOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

At some point daughter leaves in disgust.

First he will go home. Then he will stay. Then he will go home. Finally a bed is ordered. I consider making a run for it out the door.

I actually maintain my patience remarkably well. One thing about the ER, eventually even the worst patients leave. Besides, I'm off for a few days starting the next day, so its all good

are nurses being worked to death?

Here's an interesting development.  A man has filed a lawsuit against the hospital that his wife worked at, claiming that she "was worked to death".   He stated in an interview (CNN): the hospital was"regularly understaffed, causing some nurses, including Jasper, to work through breaks and pick up additional shifts"   "Additionally, she was routinely called into work while off duty because she was one of the few nurse qualifiied to work the unit's dialysis machines, according to the lawsuit." She fell asleep, veered off the road and hit a tree and was killed.

Will he win the lawsuit?  Probably not.  No doubt they will say she could have chose not to work extra, could have got another job. At least the lawsuit has put a spotlight on working conditions for nurses.

Hospitals staff hospitals at the bare minimum these days.  At my hospital they staff only for the patients that are there at the time.  They do not staff for admits.  So lets say its Monday and there are surgeries and ER admits...they count on discharges to happen for the floors to take those patients.  Often times that means ER and PACU are sitting on patients. ER waiting room fills up due to back up.   Direct admits are told to stay home until a bed is available.

Hospitals count on nurses to work extra to fill holes in the schedule.  And they do.  Lots of nurses work extra shifts.  Imagine if all the nurses in the country decided to not work extra shifts for a week.  Hospitals couldn't function.

Finally, how many times have you gone without a break or delayed it a few hours?   You willl do that hundreds of times over the course of your career just as a norm.

So here is a picture of the nursing staff of this nation: Exhausted from 12 hour shifts and nights, working extra hours beyond their work agreement, working nights, often not getting a break. Stressed out. These are the people who are caring for todays complex patients.

I encourage you to share this blog post around the internet.

get ready to rumble…its a cage match!

Ladies and gentleman...welcome to anywhere USA local emergency room on a friday night..  Tonight we have a four man cage match. Tonights goal: WHO WILL FINALLY DRIVE THE ER STAFF NUTS?  Lets get started...

In this corner is a woman who has been dying for the last 50 minutes prior to arrival but the medics won't let her die because middle aged people aren't supposed to die so young.   Within five minutes of arrival we let her die.  Then we hear the wailing begin.

In the opposite corner is a drunk who just called his nurse a "lard ass" and a "monkey" and oh by the way doesn't, shall we say "like" the race of the security officer watching him.  Delightful.  Oh and there are no detox beds.

In the next corner is a junkie who I am pretty sure just shot up in the bathroom because now they look a lot more relaxed then they did earlier.

And in the last corner is a 400 pound woman who is "too weak to get up", demands a bedpan and is having diarrhea. God help me...

Me, I gotta put my money on the 400 pounder...

excuse me….uh…fuck good samaritans

I hate good samaritans.  Why?  They feel the need to call 911 when they see a drunk sitting or laying on the sidewalk.

Dear good samaritans:

I hate to break this to you but drunks live on the sidewalk.  When they are too drunk to stand they sit down or lay down, often going to sleep.  They aren't hurting anybody.  I know they are unsightly.  Not something you want to see in your pristine city, but they are a fact of life.  So leave them alone to sleep it off.

Sincerely

Madness the nurse
on behalf of all ER nurses everywhere

You see Mr/Ms good samaritan, when you call 911 the medics are obligated to take them to the emergency room. They don't have a choice.  They can't leave them sitting there.  They bring them directly to us, your neighborhood ER.  When you are sitting there with elderly mom and hear that person shouting: "FUCK YOU! GET AWAY FROM ME!!" that is the drunk you called 911 about in all their glory.  Here's the thing that yelling is not going to end anytime soon.  It will continue sometimes for hours.  So sit back and enjoy the fruits of your good samaritan efforts.  Its only right you share in the experience.

No doubt that drunk has peed all over themselves. Yup thats them throwing food into the hall as you pass by. Just missed you huh? Uh oh...they took off their clothes...darn it...you didn't need to see that.  Here's the thing, detox is full.  They will have a starring role in the ER all night til they stumble out in the early morning light down to the street to beg for a few quarters for thier next bottle of listerine.