How to tell you've worked too many shifts in a row - page 3

You reprogram the telemetry monitors and now have Mario scrambling over the QRS complexes and hopping over the P waves for extra credit Your patient bradys down from a steady sinus tach to the 30's,... Read More

  1. by   elthia
    You sit down on the couch for just a second...and wake up 6 hours later...still in your scrubs, and your glasses are still on.

    The phrase "would anyone like to go "on call"" is enough to start an all out brawl in the break room.

    You and your coworkers start drawing straws to figure out who is stuck with the PITA pt who has been there for 180 days.

    When there is a major traffic accident that shuts down the highway, and most of the entire dayshift is late, meaning you have to work over until the highway is reopened and they hide in a corner, crying "but my shift is's over...I just wanna go home..." while rocking back and forth
  2. by   gentle
    When I find myself screaming at students in a teaching hospital.

    When I wake up out of a dead sleep, to a quiet house and panic, and can't quite use the phone correctly to figure out where my family went.

    When I can't remember if I had a family or was I dreaming.

    When I am conscious enough during a dream to try and figure out if I am dreaming then decide I am really at work. You talk about being completely disoriented.
  3. by   Fuzwuz
    When you fall asleep during sex and your boyfriend thinks you're teasing him!

    When you go out to breakfast right after a looong shift and thinking your driving out of the parking lot only to find out your driving between 2 buildings and pretty soon you're driving over the curb.
  4. by   icutrish
    I know when I have worked too much when I wake up the closet covered in hangers thinking I am at work and "checking on my patient>".

    When you place the coffee pot in the refrigerator and the milk on the warmer.
  5. by   Fuzwuz
    guess I worked too long and forgot my grammar
  6. by   wondern
    You surprise helpful smiling strangers in the elevator when you forget to blend in the yellow tinged concealer you applied to your dark under eye circles in the car at the red light on your way back in.
  7. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from nerdtonurse?
    1. you reprogram the telemetry monitors and now have mario scrambling over the qrs complexes and hopping over the p waves for extra credit
    2. your patient bradys down from a steady sinus tach to the 30's, and you run up the hallway yelling, "oh, hell no you are not making me fill out all that paperwork this late in the shift!"
    3. your coworker trips and falls running to the same code, and all you can think is, "great, i'll end up with 2 of her pts when she goes to the er."
    4. you are hauling your now dead pt to the morgue, your coworker's went to the er, leaving 2 nurses on the floor with 28 patients, and you hear another code go off for your floor, and you jump out of the elevator and run...leaving the corpse in the elevator as a present for the next person who pushes the button....
    5. you have a conversation with the admin rep that sounds like this...."i lost my, i mean really lost, they were dead, they can't find their way back to the unit...."
    6. when you hear a scream, you know someone found your deceased patient.
    these are so funny i fell off my chair laughing. patient's so was not amused . . . .

    a friend of mine on the transport team told me about the patient they dropped off in x-ray for a chest x-ray about 0800. the little old man was about 80, and somewhat lethargic but still able to chat with the transporter on the way down to x-ray. the tech promised to do the x-ray right away and call as soon as he was finished so that the transport team could pick him up and return him to the floor.

    transporter got busy and forgot about the little old man in x-ray. besides, surely his x-ray had been finished long ago and he'd been returned to the floor. but dispatch got a frantic call from the floor saying they'd tried to serve lunch to the man, but he wasn't in his room. no one recalls seeing him all morning. (rn was not a rocket scientist -- her primary concern was catching up with the latest gossip.) and what time did the transport team return him to his room?

    now we have a missing patient. transporter went back to radiology and the tech had gone home suddenly. no one there remembered seeing the old man, and there was no film in the system for him. the wheelchair was missing, too. so the transport team began to quietly search . . .

    about that time, a visitor complained that she'd gotten on the elevator when she arrived to visit her husband that morning, and there was a patient sitting on the elevator with a pillowcase over his head. she didn't think to mention it to anyone until she decided to leave for lunch -- and the same patient was on the same elevator, still with a pillowcase over his head.

    the radiology tech had forgotten about the old man's chest x-ray for a couple of hours, and when she remembered, he was dead in the chair. she didn't want to admit to forgetting about him, and didn't know what to do for the guy (like cpr isn't an option?) or how to cover up her mistake . . . so she put a pillow case over his head and wheeled him onto the elevator, pressing the button for his floor. of course he couldn't get off by himself, so he rode the elevator for hours, with lord knows how many people encountering him before someone said something to a staff member!
  8. by   Ruby Vee
    you know you've worked too many shifts in a row when your father calls and you don't recognize his voice. when you ask him who's calling and he responds by saying "i used to change your diapers," you hang up on him because you think he's an obscene caller.

    when you're driving home on the interstate and you hallucinate a battleship on the median. or the angel of death . . .

    when you fall asleep at a red light, your foot slips off the brake and you hit the tow truck in front of you. and you don't realize you've hit anything until you get home and notice the dent on your bumper . . . .

    when you wake up after about 45 minutes of sleep, can't figure out if it's day or night and don't know if you're supposed to be at work so you call in to ask them. and they laugh at you.

    when you drive home on autopilot and when you get there, realize you've driven to your old house and your key no longer fits in the door.

  9. by   elthia
    You wake up hearing a baby cry, and your first thought is "someone got lost on the way to the Peds unit again", then "wait, I'm in bed, I don't have a baby, why is a baby crying in my house?"...
    then "I didn't have a baby and forget about having a baby did I?"
    Then " Oh, my sister must have showed up without calling, and its her baby."
    And then promptly fall back asleep without going out to say hi, until DH comes in to wake you up again.

    This of course leaves the entire family thankful that you don't have a small child, because all believe said hypothetical child would die from neglect in its first months of life while I slept blissfilly beside it.
  10. by   Straydandelion
    Quote from wondern
    You surprise helpful smiling strangers in the elevator when you forget to blend in the yellow tinged concealer you applied to your dark under eye circles in the car at the red light on your way back in.
    Oh yes, then you finally look in the mirror and wonder who that is!

    I also know the "sleeping with glasses" yet mine tended to make a big dent in the side of my nose after I wound up turning on my side.

    You know you have worked too many hours when you have a dream of being still at work and telling yourself you HAVE to stop at some point to go to the bathroom, finally waking and making a mad dash.

    When your feet are so numb you have to take off your shoes to drive home or will do wheelies in the parking lot (the disadvantage of power steering and brakes).

    When you can't decide if you need to eat or sleep first and wind up waking up with your head laying beside a half eaten plate of food.
  11. by   RetiredTooSoon
    Quote from Angie O'Plasty, RN
    • When you finally get home and answer your cell phone with, "Good evening, This is Nurse Angie on Unit 5E" --and not only is it your private number, it's 11 am.
    In the OR I worked at, we answered the phone, "Operating Room, 'Name'".

    I was visiting my parents one time after a stretch of long shifts and three weeks on call. The phone rang and I went to answer it. I picked up the phone and sure enough, out of my mouth came, "Operating Room, Retired Too Soon".

    My poor uncle was completely confused; he knew it was my voice, knew my name but had no clue how he had managed to call my place of work.
  12. by   kmarie724
    Quote from Straydandelion
    When you can't decide if you need to eat or sleep first and wind up waking up with your head laying beside a half eaten plate of food.
    That reminds me of when I was pregnant and working noc shifts. I would get home and just sit in the kitchen and cry because I didn't know if I should eat or sleep first. I remember one day in my sleep deprived, horomonal, pregnant state deciding I was going to ask my doctor if I could get a feeding tube so I could eat and sleep at the same time
  13. by   nerdtonurse?
    When you stop at Hardee's to eat before you go home after your 4th nightshift (because you're too hypoglycemic to drive 30 miles) and something starts beeping in their kitchen, and you turn around and bellow, "turn off the *#@( pulse ox alarm!"

    I think I scared the civies....but it sounded just like the "disconnected patient" pulse ox alarm....