Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ok, here's my list for today:

You know you are a nurse in a small-town hospital if:

You have a fuzzy, out-of-date camera of the ER, and you can name half the patients just by the way they walk in the door.

You work in ER, OB, med/surg, pediatrics, swing beds, transitional beds, CCU, telemetry, observation, labor and delivery, and newborn categories in your job. All in the same night. You delivered a baby, took care of a person in cardiac arrest, changed briefs, took people to the bathroom, hooked someone up to telemetry, admitted two patients, gave medications, started 2 IVs, restarted another IV that a patient ripped out, did a blood alcohol level on the guy the state trooper pulled over, gave showers, changed dressings, hooked someone up to the cardiac monitor, started the CT machine, and everything else, all in an 8 hour shift.

You think 15 patients is a high workload.

You are running out of beds with 15 patients, and are thinking about putting people back in OB if they come in.

Your night shift (for the entire hospital, not just your "department") includes you, the charge nurse, and the CNA.

Your latest admit says her full name, and, even though you've never seen her before, you know that she is Kassandra's aunt, Betty's cousin, and perhaps also related to Bob as well.

You go to a class on Trauma Nursing. The instructor asks you how you activate your stroke response team at the hospital, when the ambulance tells you there is a stroke victim coming in. You tell him "I turn to the nurse next to me and say 'there is a stroke coming in' and then we both go down to ER to get ready."

You know that a person just walked into the ER with nausea and vomiting and dehydration. You turn to the nurse next to you and say "Dr. So-and-So is on call. I'll go get the Protonix, D5 1/2 Normal Saline, and the Levaquin drawn up." Dr. So-and-So then walks up and says "this patient is going to need a bolus of D5 1/2 Normal Saline, 40 mg of protonix, and 500 mg of Levaquin, right away."

You have to call lab and xray each and every time you want them to come in on nights and weekends, since there is no one in house.

You know where everything is located in the pharmacy, because it is your job to go get when no one else is there.

Your security system isn't working right, and you call maintenance to ask them to come in, and they tell you to block the door with a metal bar and they will be in in the morning.

You know the name of everyone that works in the entire hospital, and they know you. Including, but not limited to, nursing, doctors, housekeeping, maintenance, laundry, dietary, business office, billing, human resources, pharmacy, lab, xray, OR, and administration.

You think having 5 nurses on duty in one day is a lot.

You know where housekeeping keeps all their supplies, because you have to use them.

You need to call laundry when you are busy to come in on Sundays, because otherwise you will run out of towels.

1 comment:

bugs parents said...

Wow - sounds like a lot of fun (and stress) being so involved in all aspects of patient care. I guess you never have any two shifts that are the same!

(Momma2East&West from Sonlight)