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- by Biffbradford Jan 20, '11Describe your most unusual shift!
Mine was quite uneventful for the most part. I'm trying to remember, but I think it was a holiday and a night shift ending on Sunday. In fact, it was so uneventful, that I punched out on time (0730) and because of that, I drove a different way home than usual. A few blocks from the hospital, I saw a cloud of smoke rising above the houses so I swung by to take a look.I could see black smoke pouring out of some back, upstairs windows and as I pulled my car up to the house, I saw another RN (male) from my unit pulling up too. In just a few short minutes, huge flames were now shooting out the windows and folks were just beginning to run out the front door. My friend called 911 on his phone, and at that time I saw that the roof of the house next door was beginning to smoke from the heat as well, so I went to their front door and banged loudly until I woke them up. It wasn't long until that house was burning too, but fortunately the fire department had arrived by then and took over. The first house was totally demolished, and the second badly damaged, but no one was hurt in either.
What was pretty much a very forgetful shift turned out to be one of the most memorable. Our co-workers had all heard about it by the next night, but we didn't get any awards or anything. It was just another day!
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- Jan 20, '11 by nurse2033Good job! Thanks for stepping up to make a difference.
- Jan 20, '11 by ElvishThe night when there were no patients, not one soul, on the L&D board for the entire 12 hours.
- I have another fire story. Before I became a nurse, I worked in a group home with 12 people, most of whom had spent years in State hospitals previously. One morning the fire alarm went off, and we all filed out into the cold (February in New England). No smoke, we assumed someone had been smoking inside or it was a false alarm. The fire department arrived just as we noticed smoke coming out of the vent from the dryer in the basement. It turns out a new resident lit a fire in the basement, not realizing how things would go. House burnt to the ground as we watched. Now we had 12 homeless clients, with no charts, no meds, no possessions. All my possessions inside got burnt and/or melted. I got all the meds replaced at a convenience store next door - they let me use their phone, so I argued and cajoled for ever, it seemed at the time, while lines of people shuffled past me to buy cigarettes, scratch tickets, etc. I got interviewed (as did everyone) individually by the State Fire Marshal in the front seat of a fire truck. We moved everyone to another group home to regroup, then to a hotel - that night I went to see a play, folks asked me about my burnt plastic smell, and I told them my place of work burnt down that day. We gave meds for a few days from cassettes on a hotel bed, bought clothes for folks on managers' credit cards, scrounged up free food from local restaurants as we went, I even talked a group of us into a free movie one day (Toy Story - not bad). It took us a week or so to get past planning meal to meal. Later we found a group home in another town just emptied for renovations, and we moved there - lots of us staff had no car, so we car pooled in a station wagon the head of the agency loaned us. After a year (I bought a car), we moved back to our original site, rebuilt and much improved. It turned out the resident who started the fire, while otherwise harmless and pleasant, had a history of repeated arson, which the state declined to mention when they discharged her to us from a State bed. After the fire we were told the State folks insisted there was no proof she lit this particular fire and refused to readmit her until the Fire Marshal threatened a very public stink. Unusual day, week, month, and year.
- Another time, same group home, there was a surprise blizzard in early April - I got to work three hours late, and no one else made it in. The night person left, and I stayed, me and 12 mentally ill residents - good people all of them, until relieved - 36 hours later. At night during my vigil I told folks that if they found a guy sleeping on the couch, it was me, and feel free to wake me if they needed anything. No one did. I got a 50 dollar bonus and a nice letter from management.
- Jan 20, '11 by blondy2061hI once responded to a code right at the beginning of my shift on another floor. Usually we're sent right back, however, ICU was extremely short staffed, so I ended up both recording and running the crash cart. They just would not call it. I ended up there over 3 hours. It was way weird starting work 3 hours late, essentially. No one had done anything with my patients while I had been gone, and the night ended up flying by.
- In fact, I've had so many unusual shifts that unusual IS the usual. E.g.:
I have been accused of being, in fact, the dreaded Werewolf Diego
I have been offered affairs with any number of women in their 80s and 90s, cute, pleasant and rather Demented. It usually works to tell them about my wife, but once a lady shot back "I don't care. I won't tell."
I have been promised by patients literally billions of dollars and many jobs running multiple large institutions - alas, none of it has yet materialized....
A patient once proudly told me "You know, I have a million dollar bill." And he did! It was fake, of course, but a rather impressive forgery, I had to admit.
I have had furniture thrown at me, many times.
I one met God and Jesus on the same hall, the same day. Funny thing - they'd never met....
I have dealt with many, many naked/agitated folks (bad combination...)
I have had a patient FAX me requests from his laptop.
I have had a patient tell me she is reasonable, there is no reason for her admission, and "You're Dead! Dead!" (I'm not dead)
I have had a patients' father threaten to kill himself if we didn't discharge his daughter immediately (bad choice of words on a psych unit, as he soon learned)
And on and on and on - there's always something you never saw coming.
- Jan 21, '11 by INLPN93A few years ago I worked in a facility that would rent their massive dining room out for wedding receptions, school dances and other various large gatherings.
One night the desk receptionist calls a code/stat nurses to the main/upstairs dining room.
The grandmother of the bride had collapsed and coded at her granddaughter's wedding reception.