Tuesday, February 19, 2013

ready... get set... overtime!

I'm in need of some hard cash, people. Aren't I lucky to have a career in nursing, where they give out overtime like candy at a parade? It's about to get real, and I'm about to pack my figurative bags and start living most of my waking days on my unit. All so that I might watch that bank account number grow.

I'm creating a memorial garden for my daughter this summer, which all in all will end up costing around $2000. And I want to travel, later in the fall, if I'm not pregnant again. But all of that can be found in every detail at my other blogs: Across the Never Sky (travel) and All My Pretty Ones (baby loss, foster care, and TTC).

I've had some pretty status quo patients lately. Does everyone know what I mean by a "feed/water/turn" patient? Basically, a patient who is out of it (as in, can't press the call light) who is being tube fed and needs turns q2 hours. And that's it. They are just sort of hanging out like that until a) they wean off the vent or get a trach, b) their mental status improves, or c) we decide what the hell else to do with them. So yeah, I had one of those, and a couple of cancer patients. We get our fair share of cancer patients either at end of life, or septic following chemo. We got a lot of BMT patients who are septic, or hypoxic, or what have you. It was actually a pleasant week of nursing, as my awake patients were very nice and not too needy, and my out of it patient was... well, out of it. And both families were quite nice as well. Awesomeness.

It might be time to take a sick single again, though. I try to take my share of doubles, and I do take patients back again even if they are doubled (unless I seriously can't stand them). People get pretty edgy if you ONLY take singles, all the time, and there are a few nurses who are notorious for that. It's considered poor form. On the other hand, sometimes it's necessary to be a bit pushy, speak up, and get a train wreck. Afterall, we live for those train wrecks!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Back in the saddle

I'm back in the saddle at work, after my medical leave. It did feel good to be back. To know how to do something, to be able to it well. The ICU is full of rules. Everything has its place. That was a comfort. You can control so much there, there's a protocol, there's an algorithm.

We had a 2 1/2 hour code... the lady's kept getting a spontaneous pulse after a few rounds of ACLS for PEA arrests. It seemed like it could go on all day, until we finally found a family member to tell us we could stop. THAT was craaaazy.

I had a few patients who were made comfort care, and passed away. I connected so well with the families. I've even shared the story of my loss with a few.

All in all, it's good to be back.