Thursday, September 30, 2010

Great Moments in WTF-ery

An assumed to be good humoured middle aged woman with cellulitis comes into fast track and has the bad luck to get Dr. Kick ‘Em Out as her doctor just as I was leaving for a much deserved pee break. She was his patient less than 24 hours ago and was joking about how quickly he goes through patients – almost as if he kicks them out. She came back because she lost her prescription for antibiotics. She waits patiently for her turn and expresses her apologies for wasting the staff’s time. She didn’t waste anyone’s time. Stuff happens. Dr. Kick ‘Em Out writes an incomplete prescription and sends her on her merry way. By this time, I had returned from what could be considered one of the best pees of my life to find that the patient is nowhere to be found inside the fast track area but her chart loomed ominously on my desk. The doc tells me he has discharged the patient but will finish the chart later (snort – yeah right). Just then I receive a call from the in hospital pharmacy stating that the prescription was incomplete and the patient was on her way back to the emergency department. Instead of getting her re-registered, I thought I would get the doctor to finish writing her prescription and she could (once again) be on her merry way. Sure enough, I see the patient talking to the triage nurse and I bring her right back while I jokingly said, “I guess the doc kicked you out huh?” What followed was like an unsuspecting slap and left me wondering, ‘W. T. Effin. F’? She went on a 10 minute rant which included the following gems; “You have no right talking to me the way you just did! Is that ‘dark humour’*? Do you think your ‘dark humour’ is funny? Do you think that’s funny? You nurses are so cavalier about your attitudes to life and death, it’s disgusting! You’re a mean woman who deserves nothing less than to have your nursing license taken away and be publically shamed into learning how to speak to CUSTOMERS of the Canadian health care system! How dare YOU assume that the doctor would have kicked ME out? I’m a patient and I have rights which cannot be violated especially by the likes of an uncaring nurse like you! I’m going to be sending a letter of complaint to patient relations about your unseemly behaviour!” I wonder if he also gave her a script for Zyprexa.

*Each time she said dark humour, she used very dramatic finger quoties. I should have won an Oscar for being able to keep a straight face for those 10 minutes.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Flying with Ativan Man

There are times in the year when I am a shit magnet. Shit seems to fly at me from the most random and unexpected encounters. I’ve made peace with this aspect of my karma but there are still days when I have no choice but to shake my head and laugh at my weird luck. I was reminiscing on my shit magnet status with a few folks when I remembered Ativan Man. Ativan Man is someone I was seated beside when I was flying out for my vaykay. He was so normal as to be almost invisible. This is, until the airplane’s ‘fasten your seatbelt’ sign dinged on and the engines started to rev up. That’s when Ativan Man suddenly got extremely anxious and started digging madly through his bag while hyperventilating. I tried to ignore this for as long as I could but it was clear that I would have to intervene. I very reluctantly turned to Ativan Man and asked, “ummm what’s up?” “Need my pills! I NEED MY PILLS WE’RE FLYING!!!!!!!!!!” was his response. Only with my luck could I have been seated next to a man afraid of flying who didn’t pre-medicate. Before I could get another word in he started to wildly gesticulate towards his hands complaining that they were becoming numb and tingly which elicited the unwanted attention of the next row. People thought that I was travelling with him while I tried to avert their gaze and wished that I could sink to the bottom of my seat and stay there forever – or at least until the plane landed. But I put on my nurse face (again reluctantly) and told him to start deep breathing while I found the conspicuous orange container in his bag. I opened the bottle for him and he took half a tablet. I encouraged him to take the other half. He did. Twenty minutes after take-off, he was snoring with his mouth open and turned towards me. I landed six hours later with my hair smelling like old coffee breath.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Independent Practice (From TorontoEmerg)

I was going to write something about nursing practice but (as usual) I got distracted, started reading other blogs when I came across TorontoEmerg's post about independent nursing practice. She has written about the topic far more eloquently than I can manage so I'm just going to provide a link to her extremely thought provoking post. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Back to Work but In Better Spirits

When I wrote my last blog post, I was feeling rather indifferent about my work and nursing in general. The last thing I wanted to think about was work or anything related. Even blogging seemed depressing because I didn’t want to revisit work related stories. All in all, it was high time for a break! Since then, I’ve done a little travelling, got a new cat and have been busy trying to house train her and enrolled myself in some continuing ed courses. I had a serious talk with my boss about moving into other sections of the department to which she reluctantly agreed. Now (as clich├ęd as it sounds) I’m once again looking forward to work (or at least not dreading it as much) and I have some blog posts brewing which should be posted up within the next couple of days. It's good to be back!