Thursday, October 23, 2008

blind leading the blind

Yesterday I was given a student again. The instructor told me that the students really like me. She said they identify with me, but also, I'm good. I was flattered. I think having a student is a big help, and it's fun to show them new things.

A few days ago I had a elderly patient whose 60-year-old daughter was at outside in the hall, looking teary-eyed. When I asked if she was alright, she told me that her partner of 31 years, who recently passed away, spent some of her last days on this floor and it was terribly difficult for her to be there. She didn't know I was gay, but I decided to let her know by the end of my day. When she prepared to leave, I pulled her aside and said "I think you are incredibly lucky to have spent 31 years with a woman you love. I hope I find a woman to spend so many years with like that." She gave me the biggest hug and thank you.

I also experienced things from a patient's point-of-view when I went into the ER one morning with a terrible migraine. The gown, the IV, the wristband... it felt like a bad dream. Next thing you know, a nurse is going to come in and say "hey hey, time to get you washed up!" Yikes! They gave me compazine and toradol, my headache got better but I slept for 24 hours but fitfully. I don't think I'll go in for a headache again. My BP bottomed out and I had to be bolused with 2 liters. Man I peed constantly for days!

My grandma was recently in a nearby hospital, smaller of course. The nursing care was horrendous, or should I say, nonexistent. The nurse-to-patient ratio there is 1:8, for starters, and neither my grandma or her roommate, who needed a lot more help, were offered washcloths, walks, or even a drink of water. The food was late or the tray was wrong or nothing came at all. Meds were either skipped or given only at my existence. Before she went in, she had heartburn. After coming in, she had a BP in the 70s, she was over-anticoagulated, had restless legs because they didn't give her her medication, and because no one helped her to the bathroom, she was terribly embarrassed that she'd had an accident. What a crock of shite! In my hospital, where a lot real shit is flying around, that shit would never fly!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

feeling exposed

Things have gotten a little hairy at work. I was made two mistakes- Y-ing two incompatible meds, and not watching someone swallow their narcs. I also got a call yesterday at 7:20 asking where I was. They said I was written in for overtime- I think not. I didn't sign up for no stinkin' overtime! Wednesday at work I got blood in my eye while discontinuing an IV, and had to go through the whole shibang of reporting a body substance exposure. Luckily, the guy is clean.

I hope the coming month is better. I hope to make less mistakes, and I hope I can try harder not to be so hard on myself when I do.