"Scary part was watching the water rise and knowing you don't have a way out"... Dennis Hall, Que creek miner. When I saw that being said on TV I thought to myself, "you can apply that to my experieces the last few years I worked at bedside." I am not saying that I felt fear for my life the way that miner felt for his, it was my patients whose lives were in danger. Shift after shift I found myself trying to swim though a work load that rose around me like flood waters. I really think I have a kind of PTSB.
Jul 30, '02
I felt like that last night, as my patient load went from 8 to 9--by the ninth one I began to really feel that it was unsafe. On top of the load: I was the charge nurse, and our tube system was down. In fact, every night I work one peice of equipment or another is failing. Also we do not get to have unit clerks, transporters, and of course we do all our own blood work. They just kept admitting...I tried to argue to protect my nurses but to no avail. I did all I could to help a nurse who was new and floundering and look out for my own patients too. I found myself yelling at my nursing supervisor over the phone. Hey, but I don't cry anymore .
Jul 30, '02
I feel the same way today. I am an RN that can be in charge of 8-14 vent pts. a day. We used to only have no code ALS patients. Now we have high cervical (C2s) 3 wk. post traumas that are still not real stable, full codes. I'm running from room to room trying to monitor the LPN's and techs. and thought they're excellent staff it scares me to death. I came into one room once and an LPN said, "Oh, I turned that IV pump off until you were able to get here because it was alarming and I was tired of hearing it." Well, it was a dying person's MS pump and it was going into her PICC. Needless to say, the PICC was clotted off by then and I had to call the doctor to get orders to give MS other routes while I worked on the PICC. It sucked. Then another time I walked into a unit and I asked the staff (an LPN and tech.) how long the apnea monitor had been intermittently alarming (it was chirping when I walked in). Oh, it's been going off - we figured it was the patches or the wires. I then asked if they had checked/changed the patches or wires then. No, they hadn't had time. Well, it turned out to be the apnea monitor itself problem, but noone and evaluated the situation or informed me about it while I was on my other 8 bed ward I was covering.
It is getting scarier and scarier!
Jul 31, '02
Yes, what the last two posters said describes what I mean exactly. Bedside nurses these days are up to their ears in flood waters and the flood waters are full of alligators. I would be having a day like they describe and the unit managers would yell at me because the printer was clogged. I keep writing my state and federal representatives about legislation on the table. I don't know what else to do now that I am no longer at the bedside.
Jul 31, '02
the scary part for me is that after being away from acute care for a number of years, I am venturing back for the 12 hour shifts and the benefits. Any advice? -union vs. non-union? which specialty? which brand of anxiolytic?
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