Friday, June 12, 2009

Some days...

...I love this job.

I was hugged by a patient's wife today after I brought him home and got him in bed, after Bald Partner and I made damned sure not to knock over any of her knick-knacks or put dents in her walls and woodwork with the stretcher.

Some days I love this job.

Even when I nearly punched a nurse today.

I really don't care how tired you are. I really don't give 2 shits about the fact that you are technically off-shift. I will even let the rudeness you showed me by not giving me report (when we showed up 5 minutes before the end of your shift but you were busy) and then repeatedly telling me that you were off-shift and trying to pass me off to your replacement (who had yet to get report from you). I'm trying to be understanding about you being tired at the end of a long day, and that you are probably way over-worked. You may even have to go pick up your grandkids or something, and the traffic is going to be horrible, etc...

But when you are brisk and rude to a patient, and tear her onion skin when taking out IV #1, and then wipe the open sore with an alcohol swap, I lose a lot of my understanding. When you roughly handle a patient and repeatedly dig at her skin, trying to pull off the tegaderm covering IV #2, and you bring tears to her eyes and make her cry, I start to get angry.

Constantly talking about how you're not supposed to be here and you're so late and you shouldn't have to do this IN FRONT OF THE PATIENT, while you're TEARING AT HER SKIN AND MAKING HER CRY makes me want to throttle you. Finding out later that the large bandage on her OTHER arm covers a wound ALSO caused by you makes me want to get you fired.

The fact that the patient involved is not only a veteran, but a fellow nurse, makes it even worse.

You clearly can't do much of your job anyway, since you had another patient who needed to go to radiology earlier in the afternoon, and you got him ready to go at 1700.

I said something to the charge nurse on the way out. Be thankful that the patient thought you were 'a good nurse,' because I sure as hell didn't think so. She requested that I not file a formal complaint, though I'm still seriously considering it. It's already written up. My partner is all on board with it.

Still, I made that very same patient smile several times, and even laugh as well. I made sure she was comfortable, especially since moving her to the stretcher caused her to cry from chronic pain. When I said goodbye to her, she said thank you, and meant it. I could see it in her eyes.

Some days I love this job.

Even when the social worker at the emergency psych clinic tells me I can't look at the notes of the patient I'm transporting because of 'patient confidentiality' (as if my partner and I are not fellow health professionals), and that WE were not the company she called, and this is how Other Company does it and that should be good enough for us. And she won't tell me the patient's medical history, medications, allergies, etc. She won't even tell me if this is a voluntary or involuntary commitment (it was involuntary, btw).

Even when the patient starts to get aggravated because we didn't take him to his house. He didn't start swinging, and he quieted down nicely when we told him we were stopping here for a bit.

The nurse at the in-patient facility thought the behavior of the social worker at the emergency center was extremely unprofessional and disrespectful, and was very nice to us, explaining many of the procedures she had to do while we waited with the patient.

And on top of it all, we scored 2 hours of OT.

It was a good day.


Epijunky said...

This is where I'm at right now.

Mind if I put a post up linking to you?

At the very least know your worth. Know what you mean to most of your patients. Know that it's not always like this.

roaming_gnome said...

Yeah, it's not always like this...most days suck... :p

Feel free to link!