Growing...evolving...assessing our experiences and mistakes in order to evaluate our choices in matters, both small and large, and make changes if necessary [you can tell just by that sentence that I am back in nursing school and have to reach a certain word count on papers.]
But seriously, I'm learning stuff ALL the time now. I never really noticed it before. I mean, obviously I was acquiring new information but I have an EXTENSIVE history of not learning from my mistakes. I don't make a mistake twice, I make it five or six times...just to make sure.
So I thought it might be kinda fun, since I made a promise to update this blog more regularly, to post a weekly [biweekly?? Give me credit. I'm trying] BloggityBlogBlog post about things I have learned from the previous week.
Let's get started, shall we?
Non-nursing Related Sh*t I Learned This Week:
- Always look both ways when turning onto a busy street, even when the coast is clear for like a mile around you. Because if you don't, some ASSHOLE in a big red truck with "trucknuts" [Really, dude? REALLY? TruckNuts??] and a bumper sticker that says "Obama isn't my president" will turn into your lane and try to smash into the side of your little Camry and kill you before you have to go to work.
- My first thought when I thought I was going to die by being hit by a redneck was "Well...if I die, I don't have to go to work." Which is so incredibly sad.
- My neighbors literally have no idea what to say to me when I am on the balcony of my apartment at 5pm wearing pajamas with a cup of coffee in my hand. Apparently, all the people I live around have "normal people jobs" in which they work like 8 to 4:30pm and are just getting home when I am just waking up. [Where are my other nightshifters??] For example, I LOVE sitting on the balcony and watching the rain splash off the leaves of the crape myrtle tree just outside my dining room window and this being south Louisiana, it rains pretty must every afternoon from June to September. My neighbors don't know whether to say "good morning," or "good afternoon," or just try not to make eye contact because I either look like a crazy person or that I'm lazy and just didn't get out of bed until 4pm [which is true...but not the lazy part.]
- People have no comprehension of what working the nightshift is like unless they do it. For realz. I had one nurse tell me today in report, "Maybe I should come to nightshift with you so my patients just sleep all night." [Granted, he said it in a really joking/flirty way...but still. Not cool.] Trust me, that's not what happens on nightshift. And the people who especially don't understand are non-nurses. Like, I tell someone I work Friday night and the response is "Oh awesome, so you can come with us to lunch on Friday!" Um...no. That's when I'll be sleeping.
- I get really cranky and vindictive when I tell you I have to work on Friday night and you call me 10 times around 1pm and wake me up out of a dead sleep in order to remind me to meet you and your shitty friends for lunch. Not slash-your-tires kinda vindictive...more like I call you 10 times at 4:30am on Saturday morning and ask if you want to go to breakfast with me when I get off at 8am. SEE HOW IT FEELS, BITCH????
Nursing Related Sh*t I Learned This Week:
- Nightingale's Law. It's like Murphy's Law but for nurses. Anything that can go wrong with your patient, will.
- Always assess your patient. Full body. Every shift. ALWAYS. Just because a patient doesn't have a pressure ulcer on Friday night when you get to work, doesn't mean they won't have one when you get there on Sunday.
- Always assess your patient on admit. Full body. Take off their socks and look between their toes. Even self-care patients. Yes, it's kind of gross but we're nurses and like 98% of the shit we do is gross so suck it up, buttercup. The rational? Diabetic patients who appear to be healthy with no complications sometimes lie when you ask if they have any numbness or tingling in their hands or feet and then you look at their foot and SUPRISE they have a flat thumbtack lodged in their heel that they didn't feel. That might be the reason for your fever, sweetie.
- Even patients who are up and walking around at home can get pressure ulcers in the hospital. Yes. That means even the 23 year old who came in for nausea and vomiting and lays in the bed for 12 hours straight on her skinny ass and gets a stage 2 on her coccyx.
- Twerking occurs in the nurses' station at 3am on Sunday nights/Monday mornings. This scares the new night shift nurse but she'll get used to it.
- Some people are obsessed with their bowels and demand enemas at 3am because they "haven't had a bowel movement and 27 hours." For realz.
- The second you hook your patient up to their IV antibiotic, they will have to get up and pee.
- Little old ladies will hit harder than an NFL linebacker and are faster than a cobra. [I already know this but was reminded of it this week.]
- When a nursing home tells you that a 90 year old patient doesn't have any family OR skin issues, they are lying. The only 90year old patients in nursing homes without skin issues are the ones who have family up the administration's ass so that their relative is taken care of. It's a blessing and a curse.
- You will get farted on when you take a rectal temperature. It's gonna happen.
- Watching a telemetry monitor while someone dies is disturbingly fascinating and horrible and amazing all at the same time. It is the closest thing I'll ever get to actually watching a soul leaving a patient's body. Watching the heart rate slow...going from 40 to 38....34...20....then a noisy signal....then asystole. I'm not going to forget that. Ever. [Sidebar: He was DNR, y'all. We didn't just not do anything and watch him die on the monitor.]
- Hearing the spouse of 50 years of the patient scream as you are watching the asystole rhythm on the monitor will haunt you for days after.
- My coworkers think I am the go-to girl for dealing with grieving/emotionally disturbed/hysterical patients and/or family members. Yeah. I'm good at it. But I hate it. [They also think I am the go-to girl for blowjob advice but that's an entirely different story for another time.]
- Nurses have a really dark sense of humor during stressful/emotional times. Example: Nurse asks for help with postmortem care on a patient because "he was big man and now he's deadweight." Cue entire nurse's station trying unsuccessfully to stifle laughter/shock.
- I hate nightmares EVERY.SINGLE.TIME I have ever done postmortem care.
- I need to learn how to leave work at work and develop better coping skills.
Maybe I should have titled this "Things I have observed this week"? Because I sort of already knew all this stuff but I was reminded of it this week. Except for the asystole thing...that was new.
Okay. Until next time, My loves.