86toronado 13,454 Views
Joined: May 6, '07;
Posts: 525 (41% Liked)
; Likes: 659
5 year(s) of experience
neurology, cardiology, ED
Sign here, sign here. Lobby is a left and then straight through the double doors.
I regret that you find it insulting that I get at least 3 more staff to help me turn and pull your 400+# body in bed, but I have no intention of breaking my back .... I will be working until I die with this back.
And NO, a accuchek of 320 is NOT too low for you and it does not mean that I need to give 3 candy bars to ward off hypoglycemia.
Just a vent, everyone.
Dear patient, I cannot fix your problem of 3+ years in the ER on Sunday evening. I am sorry (but not surprised) that your doctor fired you. I am sorry you have sat in this room for so long but I was tending to my OD who arrested shortly after arrival. I am sorry you are going through this.
HOWEVER, stop telling me you are going to sue me and the doctor. Stop telling me this hospital ****** you up (why do you keep coming back then). And stop cursing, it's getting old. And after all that, you are leaving AMA when we recommend admission????? Really???? After "we didn't do anything???" Going to administration? I think they will be satisfied with my documentation.
I know this scene played out in hundreds of ERs across the country over the weekend. I was polite and professional and feel I expressed empathy. I also urged the patient to stay. But I just had to vent here
I like it when they yell and cuss while all of us point towards the exit, which is the opposite direction of what they are walking.
Better to save the bed for someone who actually wants better health instead of blaming the system.
I make between $800-1200/wk after taxes workly only 36 hours- not including my housing stipend. I suppose if I was only in this for the money, I would insist on 48hr/wk contract and work tons of overtime. However, I love to travel and love that I get to explore a different part of the country every few months!
Life is all about making choices that support your values. What are your values? Does travel nursing support those values? If it doesn't, it sounds like you need to make some changes.
I am now working 36 hours taking home just a little more($200 biweekly) than what I did working 40 at my staff job. The taxes are the main thing that save money for me. My main goal isn't dollar based, it is to get away from the BS of being a staff nurse for the hospital. I have primarily been in management/admin positions for the past 8 years and have finally been worn out on it. It is nice to show up, work, leave...... No BS....
In the fire and EMS department we become a family. We work 24 hour shifts several times per week with the same people. We work hard and play hard. We share holidays, meals and sleep in the same room. We know their families, attend their kids ball games and birthday parties. We support them during the rough times and share their enjoyment of the good times. On calls we work as a tight-knit team. We anticipate each other’s moves and can talk without speaking. We enter scenes that are less than safe and drive fast with citizens who don’t appreciate the driving laws. Our safety is in each other’s hands.
I am trained to care for others both as an ICU RN and Paramedic. I have the alphabet soup after my name. I have held people as they die and pulled many back from the brink of death. I have seen things that nobody should ever have to see, but I’m trained to talk it out and move on. During my 13 years in EMS and 6 years as a nurse, this has worked for me.
Not this time.
It was like any other shift. My partner and I had finished our daily chores, had run a few calls, and were goofing off like usual. Suddenly he sat down, put his head in his hands, and stared at the floor. I jokingly said “come on, what’s wrong you old smoker?” and quickly realized that my goofball partner was not goofing around. He picked his head up and looked at me with terror in his eyes, grabbed at his chest, and said his chest was on fire. I ordered this stubborn man to get out to the ambulance and my heart sank when I received no contest.
He collapsed onto the stretcher and pulled off his shirt. I turned on the cardiac monitor and pulled out the leads. They wouldn’t stick. His breathing was becoming heavier, his color more grey. I didn’t need an EKG to tell me that my partner was quickly slipping from my grasp. I called on the radio for additional help. Gauze pad after gauze pad, sticker after sticker, I finally was able to confirm my worst fear. STEMI. My face couldn’t lie. My shaking hands gave it away. I looked at him and said “it’s real.” He closed his eyes.
It felt like hours, but help arrived. I ordered them to drive priority 1 (most critical) to the hospital that was two miles away. I gave aspirin, applied oxygen, and further sank when I realized that his vital signs were too low for me to administer nitro. I sent the EKG to the ER and called them on the radio to give a heads up. “It’s one of ours.” The four words that EMS never wants to say, and the ER never wants to hear.
A second BP pops up on the monitor and it’s significantly lower. His color is greyer, muscle tone weak, and he’s staring off into space. The voice in my head says a cuss word I can’t repeat as I shake him to make sure he is still alive. He turns his head slowly and makes eye contact—they are begging, pleading “help me, I’m going to die.” I crouched down beside him and started an IV. At that very moment, I felt the telltale bump in the road that signified that we had arrived at the hospital. How in the world could a 4 minute drive take hours?
We rushed inside with him barely awake, vitals even lower. I was shaking, breathless, and scared out of my mind. There wasn’t time for report. We lifted him to the ER stretcher and I lost sight of him as a sea of doctors and nurses surrounded him. The familiar monitor alarms were going off, yelling for drugs. I was pushed out into the hallway unsure if I would ever see him alive again.
I collapsed on the floor and the tears started flowing. My partner, my friend, my family member. What little staff wasn’t in the room was with me, providing hugs, tissues, and water. Several minutes later he was rushed past me to the cath lab. I followed. I sat alone in the cath lab waiting room and started making phone calls. His father was on his way. My boss put our ambulance out of service and was on his way. The minutes took hours to pass. His family arrived and we anxiously waited for news.
Finally. The nurse appeared with a smile on her face! A 99% blockage was stented, his vitals had returned to normal, and he was pain free!
He spent a few days in the hospital and is back to his normal self.
His pleading and terrified eyes, grey color, and tombstones on the EKG keep flashing through my mind. My hands shake. My chest hurts. I have palpitations. Nausea. Dammit, I did what I was trained to do, and it worked! But why do I still hurt? I should be happy that I made a difference! Instead, my stomach twists into knots when people tell me I “saved his life.” Each day gets slightly better. A concerned boss, supportive co-workers and ER nurses have lessened the pain.
I am not a hero. I am a nurse and paramedic. Most importantly, I am a family member.
This too shall pass and just be another story in my book.
For quite awhile, I've been feeling more and more dissatisfied with the content, tone, and bent of many, many threads on this board.
I think I've just hit my limit.
I'm formally withdrawing from participation here.
To some of you, farewell...
To others, good riddance...
I often find that people (young and old!) get confused by the "what medical conditions do you have?" Question. I've also learned to start out asking if they take any medication and then go from there. Sometimes if they are unsure, I'll ask something general like do you take any medication for your heart? And people will remember like oh yeah i take metoprolol or whatever.
I think it's even more frustrating when people don't know the name of their drug allergies! I see that a lot:
"Do you have any allergies to medication?" " oh yes I had a horrible rash and couldnt breathe after taking an antibiotic for an infection." "Ok what was the name of the drug?" "Ohhh...i dont know..." ..??!!!😵😵
My dad is one who doesn't know what meds he's on, but at least he KNOWS he doesn't know what he takes. Mom and I make sure he keeps an updated, typed (handwriting sucks!) list in his wallet at all times... he even uses it to set up his daily medicine compartments every week.
I always recommend to everyone (friends, family, neighbors, strangers! LOL) who has any prescriptions to keep a list in their wallet (or at least on their phone) so they don't have to try to remember which meds and which doses every time.
You also have to use the local vernacular sometimes....
Do you have diabetes? "no" Why do you take metformin? "I gots the sugah."
Do you have hypertension? "no" Why do you take Lasix? "That's for my blood pressure."
"So what brings you in to see us tonight?"
"Well, in 1997..."
"OK, let's keep it within this millennium, shall we?"
"Do you have any medical problems?"
"So you don't take any medicines?"
"Yeah, I take metformin, hydrochlorothiazide, and atorvastatin."
Yup, no different in our ER. It does, however, make it more difficult to sort out the truly ill folks sometimes. I can recall a few times already, in my short career, where I thought a pt was being overly dramatic....only to have them end up being really sick. I think the misuse of the ER makes our job harder.
Try "have you been in a hospital due to a medical condition before?" Or where you admitted to a hospital due to unresolved medical condition? Coz the point here is they will remember their hospitalization and then when they do you can start dig deeper info. It works for me
I ask "do you see a doctor or take medications for anything like asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, your heart, anything?
And they still leave things out.
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