This is another post that was written a few years ago. I’m just saving it here so I can find it again some time when I’m feeling incompetent.
Pretty good day yesterday. I took one patient and helped do stuff on others. I felt like I made a difference in my patient’s life. He started the shift in the fetal position, barely sentient and begging to go back to sleep. And over the period that I was his nurse, he progressed to walking around in the halls and smilingly pronouncing his lunch ‘Yummy.’ He was happily anticipating discharge later in the day, when he told me I was a wonderful nurse. He had just refused pain medication, telling me he was going to ‘get off it.’
I triumphed over the Medicell computer charting system. Maneuvering from screen to screen, with deft mouse clicks to ‘SAVE’, I wrapped up my charting just as the second hand snapped to shift change.
It took close to 45 minutes to locate the nurses on next shift and give our reports. I had to force my patient on the next RN, who somehow seemed in denial that she was actually assigned him. She argued with no one in particular, “I agree to stay and den dey make me take all dese patients who are to go home. Dis is not my agreement. I don’t have to do dis.” She disappeared and a few minutes later, reappeared with an armful of masks, spilling out of her arms. She sputtered, “Dese tings make de biggest mess when I open the pack. I am NOT putting dese in order. Ju can take my license if Ju want.” She walked away while I was in the middle of reporting.
My preceptor called to postpone an appointment she had made for 4 pm. She sat down in front of my yellow folder.
Then, the cluster of Student Doctors appeared. I saw them, in their light blue scrubs, moving in a herd down to MY PATIENT’s room and then…turning right into it.
Just as my preceptor was about to open my yellow folder, a pimply faced intern rushed up to the station. “We need a Q-tip,” he announced.
I got up and went to the supply room. My preceptor jumped up and followed, calling, “You’ll never find it, I’ll have to show you where they are,” which was probably an accurate statement. The young man snatched the cotton swab and raced back to my patient’s room.
Settling back into our chairs, I watched as my preceptor perused my evaluation sheet. Her pen hovered over the 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10…near the 8…and just as she was about to circle a number, a girl of about 19, wearing a light blue scrub outfit, appeared in the doorway. “Do you have any Iodoform gauze?” she questioned.
My preceptor lost her focus, rose, and headed to the supply room. Wishing my preceptor believed in my ability to locate the needed gauze, but grateful for the support, I trotted along behind her, with the docky wocky bringing up the rear.
Two sizes of gauze were offered. The girl doctor selected one, rushed down the hall and disappeared into my patient’s room. I wished the group of them had been there earlier in the day, for example, NOT at shift change.
Moments later, my preceptor was finishing up her comments and almost ready to sign her name. I had already dated the form and all she needed was to put her signature on the line. Suddenly, another blue-scrub clad person’s shadow darkened the room. “We need you to help us give this patient some pain medication,” he stated authoritatively. I looked longingly down the hall, where the RN taking my patient for the next shift was shuffling her papers. Before I could volunteer, my preceptor was already at the Omnicell drug dispensing system, entering information and taking her WorkstationOnWheels down the hall. I knew with the 8 doctors, the patient, family, and WorkstationOnWheels, I would never fit in there. Staying at the station, I shuffled masks into orderly stacks. In a moment, my preceptor was out and back at the desk.
Finally…she signed it. Finally…we left.
Sigh. I can’t wait for the next shift. Hahahahaha