Thursday, May 03, 2007

CoS/Gracious, I'm tired.

Change of shift is up here. I'm an asshole and missed it last week. Sorry, Kim.

Goodness. I'm tired.

Something about hundred-mile-an-hour wind gusts and bits of the hospital flying off and having to drive through four-inch-an-hour rain will really take it out of a girl. (We're all fine, by the way.)

Something about medical service patients who are, in a word, all batshit crazy will take it out of a girl.

And there's something about learning entirely new protocols and care plans and how to take care of totally unfamilliar patients that will take it out of a girl, too. This week it's been urology patients; the specialty has moved to our unit to partner with neurology. And if you think that causes problems when we page people, because of the sound-alike qualities of "urology" and "neurology", you'd be right. We've started referring to them as "brains" and "bladders" to make things easier.

Guys who've had their prostates out will talk about *anything*. One gentleman compared his prostate exam to labor and childbirth. I did not laugh. Another regaled me with tales of where one finds blood after a prostate biopsy. I did not run out of the room screaming.

(And that crazy patient? The one I said no to? Was fired by her surgeon shortly thereafter. Sweet, sweet justification of my actions. Sweet.)

Don't get me wrong: I'm not complaining. I'm liking having to learn new things on the fly, and there's a lot of interesting stuff coming in with the medicine and surgery folks. Like Whipple procedures--I'd not heard of that since nursing school. I'm doing a lot of research between patient rounds and boning up on drugs I'm not familliar with. But it's exhausting.

How exhausting? It's 15:45 and I just got out of bed. Cancelled my workout with the trainer today, skipped eating, and slept. This is how tired I am: a box from Sephora arrived and I didn't open it right away. I laid back down on the couch and dozed off instead.

General surgery patients are heavy, primarily because they're not routine for me. Neurosurgery and neurology I could do in my sleep because, well, that's all I've done for nearly five years now. But surgery and medicine have all these new orders and care tracks and protocols and I'm just blown. Plus, they tend to get better faster, so instead of six high-acuity admissions in a day, we have seventeen low-acuity admissions and just as many discharges in the twelve hours.

Overall, though, it's fun. The surgery guys have great senses of humor and are good to work with: intelligent, humane, and good at returning pages. The urology guys are just as all-around good, plus they have a stable of nurses who are helping us out as we get comfortable with their patients.

I just wish I could take a nap in the middle of the shift. After a day when I start with five patients (usually one or two high-acuity neurosurgeries in there), discharge three, get three, discharge two of those, get two more, and pick up one last one at 1815, I'm *so* done.

I wonder what's in that box from Sephora.

1 comment:

shrimplate said...

That kind of turnover just screams "documentation" to me. Tons of it.

It would all be much easier if we could just do our jobs without spending over half of our time writing down what we just did, just so lawyers would have paperwork to use later when they want to upgrade their bass boats.