"When you get those rare moments of clarity, those flashes when the universe makes sense, you try desperately to hold on to them. They are the life boats for the darker times, when the vastness of it all, the incomprehensible nature of life is completely illusive. So the question becomes, or should have been all a long... What would you do if you knew you only had one day, or one week, or one month to live. What life boat would you grab on to? What secret would you tell? What band would you see? What person would you declare your love to? What wish would you fulfill? What exotic locale would you fly to for coffee? What book would you write?"
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Never Work a Full Moon
Now I'm pretty sure everyone knows that full moons make patients go crazy in hospitals. But it's not just that. Normal patients start acting crazy, and the crazy ones just get even crazier. It's like they all gang up and conspire with each other on how they can plan the most eventful full moon shift ever. And that's not even it. Equipment acts up. You'll hear the strangest noises come out of your machines and equipment, or all of the sudden it stops working, or all the sudden your hospital phone won't work anymore. And things come alive and get lost and walk away. You'll be looking for your bladder scanner and turns out its 4 floors down and they have no idea how it got there. And then there's other just weird stuff, like your patient comes in with one thing and you're dealing with a completely different, extremely time consuming issue. Great fun.
So, within the past couple shifts I worked over the full moon, these are the top 15 reasons that I hate working full moons.
1) I asked my patient if she could tell me her full name. She tells me, "I'm Italian! Do you think I know not my name!?"
2) A patient on the floor tried to convince me he was legit abducted from aliens, I wasn't good enough to have been abducted, and he was looking to speak with a scientist. But I was definitely not the scientist.
3) Same guy as said above proceeded to injure staff and scream down the hall, wrestle people in the hallways, despite 5 doses of Ativan, 2 geodon, and 1 haldol.
4) My patient tells me when I get on shift, "I just had diarrhea." Me, "Ok.....thank you....for....letting me know..." patient,-"yeah...its still in the toilet. I need you to look at it." Me,-"why?" patient, "I think I swallowed something. Can you tell me what those colored things are?"
5) one of my IV poles presented with "ERROR" on the screen. Despite me being tech-savvy and familiar with the IVs, I have not only never seen this error message, (or the horrifying beeping eradicating from the machine), but I couldn't get it to turn off, either. The best part is it wasn't even on in the first place.
6) Call light goes on, about 330am. Me, "Hi, how can I help you?" Patient-"The music! I turned on the music box and it kept ringing, and ringing, and I couldn't get it to stop, but then it stopped. Do you hear the music now?"
7) my (previously normal) patient tried to pull out her NG tube and foley. At the same time.
8) same patient, turns out her NG tube was draining poop. Because, why not? For my fellow nurses out there, you know how rare this is, but it definitely happens. lots of fun.
9) The giving nurse tells you, "the patient came from home taking ThisWeirdDrugIveNeverHeardOF but were not giving it to him here because you can only get it from canada. WTF.
10) I take a chest pain admission and the patient speaks ONLY (literally) Italian. So does the wife. And the son is trying to order pizza to the hospital room, and only speaks Italian and is trying to ask me (In Italian) how to order pizza. I only know this because he's shouting PIZZA and the 8 year old grandson is translating into English for me. Turns out the patient has no chest pain, he's severely constipated. So you know, pizza should be good for that.
11) Same patient as above was angry that we could not get his Italian drugs imported from Italy for him to take during his stay with us. Because that is extremely unreasonable.
12) I had to explain to said patient that I had to give him a laxative suppository. Since I don't speak Italian, I tried to do this through gestures. That Involved a lot of gestures I hope to never have to use again.
13) One of my dementia patients told me he wanted his Easter bread. If he didn't get his Easter bread, God would strike me with zebras and the patient was going to leave and go to the hotel next door ( room # 745 specifically) so he could get his Easter bread.
14) Patient asks me for Morphine. I told patient she doesn't have an IV, how am I supposed to give her morphine? She told me I can inject it into her brain.
15) Patient asks me for food at 3:30 AM. I offer crackers. He asks for an egg sandwich. I tell him kitchen is closed. He says OK how about Cornbread? Ummmm, no. I don't have cornbread. He then asks for fresh fruit. I tell him again kitchen is closed but I can give him crackers. He said he's not hungry enough for crackers but what about a Milkshake?
16) The nurse before you tells you she charted she gave medicine but really didn't and can I please call the doctor to see if he really needs it? Um no. No I cannot do that.
17) My 93 year old patient asks me what a Hookah is.
18) My 36 year old female patient tells me she hasn't urinated in the past 14 hours because she doesn't like to use public bathrooms and asks me what I can do for her.
I can't make this stuff up you guys. Seriously.