Saturday, April 23, 2005


IV pumps beep when there's a problem. Sometimes that problem is a kink in the line, or air in the line, or you've run out of fluid. Be that as it may, they beep.

Some IV pumps set up an outraged, high-decibel, high-pitched screaming fest when they run out of batteries. One of them did yesterday as I was settling in a patient, a fresh post-rotator cuff repair. I jabbed futilely at buttons for a few seconds, then dragged the thing outside the room. It continued to wail. It was *off* at that point, but that didn't seem to make a difference. The Evil One had gotten into that IV pump and wasn't letting go. It was the Amityville IMED.

Result? I couldn't hear very well for the next couple of hours, being's as I had my head down near the damn thing when it went off.

That, as it turned out, was a good introduction to the day.

I started with five patients, had a total of seven all day, and only kept one patient for the full twelve hours. You can do the math on discharges and admits on that one.

We ran out of IV needles, urinals, toilet paper, and patient belonging bags at about 1500. Since I'd already had to tap into my stash of dressing change supplies and soap, this did not make me happy.

My charge nurse seems to have lost his mind and decided I'm the go-to girl for unexpected admits and discharges. That post-op patient I had? I got less than thirty seconds' warning that she was coming. While this might be normal, it does not make for a relaxed Jo. "Oh, by the way, that's your patient" is not what you want to hear from your charge as a bed rolls down the hall.

One of my patients didn't like her Jell-O and threw it at me. Another didn't like the world and decided to delay asking for a shower until 1645. A third had two negative ultrasounds for DVT and a positive VQ scan for pulmonary emboli.

And they were out of chocolate cake in the cafeteria. Daaaaaamn, what a day.


Anonymous said...

I bet no 2 patients were in adjacent rooms either.

Got your cake right here, though

Anonymous said...

I hear ya, sister! That's why I'm now orienting in ER.

Jo said...

Judy, that's a gorgeous cake. Is it all chocolate? And yes, I got the "your butt's gotten too big" assignment, with patients spread out randomly over the floor. Good thing it's a small facility.

Anonymous said...

Been there with the IVAC from hell... Luckily, I was a tech, and could go running to sterile processing to hand it to them.... They just taped a towel over the whole in the back where the sound comes out, and hid it in the back room...