Thursday, January 29, 2009
You won't believe what happened to me yesterday morning! There I was ... minding my own business while walking to my office @ 0830 when I encountered a tech from the ER pushing a VERY pregnant lady in a wheelchair. She hopped up out of the w/c and squatted next to it. I knew that wasn't good, so I went to check on her. They were on their way to L&D, but she refused to get back in the w/c and insisted on walking. She said she was having contractions every minute, and this was her 3rd child. Then she squeezed my arm & said she felt the head. What I saw certainly startled me - a huge, growing bulge in the crotch of her sweat pants! OH. MY. GOD!!! Mind you, I am a nurse for critically ill grown-ups, and have been for some twenty years now. I was screaming on the inside, but couldn't let her know that! A Case Manager rounded the corner, thank God.
Well .... we gently laid her down and delivered the baby right there in the hallway. I grabbed it, put it on her chest, and covered it with my jacket. It cried immediately, thank God! When more people showed up, as I stood up, I slipped and fell, hitting the back of my head on the floor. At that moment, I became a patient, too, with a huge scalp hematoma and a laceration that thankfully just bled alot but didn't need suturing.
I never even knew what flavor the baby was till the director of L&D came to visit me in the ER. I found out it was a girl, named Hannah - my favorite girl name, by the way. Had I ever had one, that would have been her name. Kind of ironic, huh? Hannah weighed in at 6 lb 6 oz.
All's well. Hannah went to the "regular" nursery, and she & Mom are doing just fine at last report. I'd like to think that any other nurse I work with would have helped if they were in the same situation, but with what I see out there, I just can't say for sure.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Saturday, August 25, 2007
* "Drop your pants here for best results." -sign at a dry cleaning store in Tokyo
Saturday, August 18, 2007
The next type is The Spoiled Slave Driver. These are usually women with maids. Now, don't be mistaken. They can also be of the male persuasion. Anyway, these patients are similar to the slave driver in that they are satisfied while you are in their room doing something for them. They become dissatisfied when you leave, though. As a consequence, they will call you back repeatedly so that you can do everything for them all over again.
Then there's The Push Button Player. These are often children or curious adults. They can't get over the amazing fact that if they press the call button, you (or your designee) will magically show up. They seem to think this is magic. They also drive stewardesses crazy, and they will even pull emergency cords on trains and buses to see if they'll stop.
Let's move on to The Guilt Specialist. This very special type of patient is bold as can be. They will try to do your job for you ... then try to make you feel incompetent. They say things like, "Oh, I took my own temperature and gave myself a bath. I didn't want to bother you."
Next, there's The Yenta. This kind of patient wants to know you personally, dear. They ask about your health, age, social life, sex life, etc. This concern seems to be touching. Then you realize that they are either buttering you up for special treatment, or they are gathering information for future blackmail attempts. Man!
How could we forget The Wanderer? They like to roam around. They can't stay in one place too long - especially bed! They "float" from unit to unit, and it's your job to find them and bring them back. Hooray for bed exit alarms!
Let's examine The Eccentric now. They like to sing at odd hours, or let out the occasional primal scream. Sometimes they like to "watch" the test pattern on TV (at full volume), or tell jokes - mainly dirty ones - and at particularly inopportune times. Sometimes they even perform pranks like putting apple juice in their specimen cups, then drinking it in front of you.
Oh, my gosh! How about The Playboy? He's more often than not a middle-aged, balding married man who has seen The Sensuous Nurse. He has all the lines you don't really want to hear. You see, he is looking for "special", very personal care. He often mistakes medical care for stimulation. But then, he mistakes eating, sleeping, and everything else for stimulation, doesn't he? He usually seems more than eager for a bedbath, even though he is fully capable of going into the shower alone.
Last, but not least, we have The Doctor's Helper. This patient assumes that the doctor knows everything, and nurses know nothing. They constantly question your authority and actions. Like ... "Why are you emptying my bedpan? Didn't the doctor tell you to do that, or aren't you supposed to measure it?". They'd probably like to bombard the doctor with all of these questions, but since the nurse is the one there, you guessed it! S/he is the target!
All joking aside, patients can also be wonderful and very appreciative. They are not all pains in the ass - not by a long shot! You'll all have your fair share of both types, believe me! Try your hardest to find the best in them and to realize that their bad behavior is often the result of some type of pathological process. If (and sometimes that's a huge "if"!!) you can do that, it'll likely make your shift - and their stay - a bit easier.
Hang in there!