Monday, August 3, 2009

I'm Tired


For the past two weeks I’ve been consistently getting my ass kicked every minute of every hour of every shift I’ve worked. Usually I’m fairly organized and timely but last week was just a god-awful mess. After the first two shifts, I couldn’t even bring my C game to work, let alone my A game! Lately the department has been getting inundated one major after another. Everything from stabbings, substance misuse, old people falling and breaking various bones, people with fairly complex medical histories circling the drain and of course drunks. It’s never a normal night without a couple of drunks. I’m lucky to work in a department that’s extremely well staffed for the most part but for I’ve worked almost 11 hours without a break for several shifts and stayed overtime for two of them.

A particularly memorable shift included a patient who kept desatting down to 75% on a non-rebreather mask – sure he had lung CA but 75% is still not a number I like to see. The woman next door to him went into a v-fib arrest only to be replaced by a tachycardic/hypotensive MVA who needed surgery ASAP. Of course all the surgeons were already swamped so she got transferred to the hospital next door. The cherry on the crap sundae that was my shift was an ashen looking LOM with a Hb of 47 who experienced a horrible transfusion reaction. I came back after only getting 4 hours of sleep to get a psychotic patient who needed elephantine doses of haldol. He just had to develop extra-pyramidal symptoms right when I see the monitor showing full blown tombstones on another one of my patients. I almost missed the drunk-tank. Almost.

By the time I finally made it home, all I wanted to do was to crawl into a little blanket covered hole and die. But no – I couldn’t sleep the entire day and my neck hurt! If the next set of shifts is as crazy as the last set, I may have to start self-medicating – or seriously consider switching over to retail :P

6 comments:

DreamingTree said...

Don't these people know that it's AUGUST?! They all need to simmer down for the summer. ;-) That was the story of May/June for me. One crazy shift after another. I got so paranoid -- was convinced that I was either jinxed or a terrible nurse because every single shift was FILLED with problems. Fortunately, my shifts have settled down. I'll send good vibes your way...

Old MD Girl said...

Sounds kind of exciting in an insane sort of way....

danielle said...

yeah - just think- working retail you will deal with a different set of nuts without your artillery available! (been there, done that)

Reality Rounds said...

We have been swamped here to in OB. Not to much run of the mill deliveries either. Lot's of emergency C-sections, hemorrhages, coding preemies, etc. Don't self-medicated, unless it is with a good Chardonnay at the end of a shift!

Maha said...

DT - Thanks for the good wishes :)

OMDG - It's exciting now that its over.

Danielle - I've also worked retail and you're right about having to deal with different kinds of nuts sans artillery.

RR - My version of self medication involves rum with coconut ice-cream. Last thing I need to be doing is going to some ER and demanding perkies!

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Nature of ER work, unfortunately. Sounds like you are doing your best, and no one can ask for more.

Extra pyramidal reactions are never urgent, at least not compared to serious EKG changes.