Saturday, March 14, 2009

Welcome to the Department of Redundancy Department

I’m still considered to be a new nurse who doesn’t have a lot of experience under her scrubs but everyday (no matter how angry or tired I come back from work), I know I’ve learned something new that will help me in another future shift. But one thing that really irks me is when I’m giving report and I get inundated with the same question over and over again because the oncoming nurse refuses to listen to what I’m saying. During the last set of shifts, I was giving report to one such nurse about a patient who recently travelled to India and came back with symptoms highly suggestive of malaria. That and she was jaundiced with RUQ discomfort. I sent off blood work and asked for LFTs to be included along with a malaria smear. I included all of this information in the report I gave to this particular nurse. The resultant conversation went something like this;

Me: “So I asked the lab to include a malaria smear – I know it’s not our medical directive but she’s coming from an endemic area, she’s having biphasic fevers, she’s jaundiced and she’s having some RUQ discomfort. All this is in the triage notes, but just let the doc know that I did it”.

Clueless nurse: “But asking for malaria smears is not part of our medical directive. I’m not telling him that I did it without an order and anyways why would you do that?”

Me: “I’m not asking you to tell him that YOU did it. I’m asking you to tell him that *I* did it”.

Clueless nurse: “But sending for smears isn’t part of our directive. You need an order to that”.

Me: “I’ve seen a lot of malaria, I’ve had malaria, so I have a pretty good sense of what malaria looks like. That’s why I asked for the smears to be included. Worst case scenario, they’ll be negative and we would have spent a miniscule amount of money on them”.

Clueless nurse: “I’m not getting into trouble for you. You did something against the rules. I’m not telling him anything. Anyways I don’t even know what smears are”.

Me: “uhhhh….”

Clueless nurse: “yeah, it’s your fault!”

Me: “What the…? What are we talking about?”

Clueless nurse: “You’re not supposed to do anything without orders if it’s not part of our medical directive. You’re the one who broke the rules and you’re the one who’s getting into trouble for it”.

Me: “Umm… okay. Uhh have a good shift?”

Clueless nurse: “I’m not getting into trouble for you. I just don’t get why you’d do that anyways”.

When I came back for my next shift, lo and behold, the lady was diagnosed with malaria and I got major cut eye from Ms. Clueless.


Anonymous said...

Hahahahahhahahaha!!! Serves her right!!!!!

~ J

RehabNurse said...

Naw...why on earth would someone ask the doc for a malaria slide order?

One of my nursing instructors always said, "If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck and talks like a duck, it probably is one."

That's why they call it nursing judgment...if you've seen it before, chances are it could be the same thing.

Great post!

melaine said...

I have one question what is a "major cut eye?"

Don't you ever wonder how some people make it through nursing school? I used to work as medical secretary in a prison. One of the nurses came to work with $300. in her bra and then couldn't find it. She asked us if we found it. My thought was: You work in a medium to maximum security prison and you brought $300. to work in your bra, and lost it. Do you really think that you are going to find it.

I'm a new reader and I'm enjoying reading your blog. I have it bookmarked.

Maha said...

Hi Melanie! Thanks for taking the time to visit my little corner of cyberspace :)

Major cut eye was a phrase that my uni friends developed (and as you can tell, it has stuck with me) to describe someone who's openly glaring at you and wishing you ill for whatever reason.