But honestly, when somebody calls me when I've got two phones already ringing off the hook, a patient who's about to code, six people lined up to ask questions about random neuro stuff, a housekeeper with a query about whether or not something obscure needs to be done today or can wait until tomorrow, and four people leaping out of bed in their usual confused way, it is NOT the time to tell me that I have to check the crash cart this month, myself, alone, today.
I *will* snap at you. And, if you're a condescending asshole (sorry, Bossman! But you were!) and point out to me that ICU nurses have a lot to do, too, I will respond by noting that your average ICU nurse has patient care aides, a secretary, a charge nurse, and a manager to do what I am just that moment doing all by my lonesome. I might even respond at a higher-than-normal volume.
It's a good thing that Bossman had me check the cart, as it turns out. Even though it meant that I missed an assessment on one patient (not a big deal; he was stable as a rock) and didn't get lunch until 1430, it was a good thing. Because I found that the crash cart, ostensibly checked by other people on the unit each month for several months, was full of stuff that was expired. As in, expired in 2009.
Now we have a nice, spandy-fresh cart with magnets in their proper places, salem sump tubes that aren't in packaging so old that both it and the tube have become discolored and brittle (holy crap you would not BELIEVE), and the proper number of needles, large and small, and medications, unexpired. It only took me three hours, between answering phones, helping turn patients, resetting monitors, taking delivery of a cartload of supplies, and fixing the computer that decided suddenly to regress to its roots.
I keep reminding myself that I have a mini-vacation coming up next week, and another one a couple of months after that. They don't keep crash carts on planes, do they? . . .*Do* they?