Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Frog Soup

I feel like the guy in the cartoon who brings his car into the shop, complaining that it's running rough, only to have the mechanic point out that he's missing two wheels on one side of the vehicle. *There's* yer trouble, with the understood "dipwad" coming as a modifier.

My antidepressants aren't keeping up with changes in my brain chemistry. Oh, boy. It took me a while to realize this, but now I'm on board.

Funny thing, depression: it's a lot like that old wives' tale about putting the frog into a slowly-heating pot of water. By the time you realize there's a problem, you're nearly Froggy Consomme. There's a long history of Frog Soup on the female side of our family; the previous generations mostly self-medicated with alcohol and charity work, but the women of my generation and Beloved Mom's generation have pharmaceuticals.

However, even modern medical miracles can sometimes lag behind when it comes to the Wonder That Is The Jo-Brain, so I'm snarkier and less energetic than usual. (Comments about how this makes me a super-snarky three-toed sloth will not be approved, people.) And in that nonenergetic, snarky mode, I bring you....

Rules for Stupid People, Some Of Them Residents, Part Three Thousand and Sixty-Five

1. If I page you post-call, it's not because I like playing with the pretty buttons on the phone. It's because you've written the prescription wrong, failed to include your DEA number, and written for over the maximum allowable dispensation of narcotics. So don't snark when you call me back.

2. If you don't call me back, even after I've paged you 911, don't snark when I get your attending to deal with it. I *will* start removing your digits if that happens.

3. Stamp your fucking H & Ps, okay? I can't let an unmarked H & P, lacking any indication of who it's on, just sort of migrate into a chart somewhere. Digit removal, people, digit removal.

4. I don't date residents. Ever. Stop asking already.

5. Pathologists are not allowed to turf. If you attempt to turf over a biopsy that should've been in my lab five days ago, things will get nasty indeed. I don't care who you are or who you work for; I have a guy whose brain is turning to mush, probably because of something infectious, and we needed that biopsy last week. You think I'm snarky with the residents? You should see me with attendings, who *ought* to know better.

6. Don't drive 45 in the left lane. Even if you're in a Prius. Thank you.

7. Don't ever, ever tell me that I need to have more information, or a better grasp of the information available, before I come to you with a question. I might then be forced to point out (in front of either your attending or your fellow, whichever is there) that you haven't left a note in the chart in, oh, three or four days. That will suck. And not for me.

8. I don't care how much of a genius you are: if you start to jack around in somebody's spine without wearing a mask and gown in addition to your sterile gloves, I'll stop you. And if you snark at me, one of us will be sad later. Hint: it will not be the nurse who had to reinforce proper sterile technique.

9. If I've ordered a scan with and without contrast, I really do mean "with and without", regardless of whether you think the contrast will be helpful. Trust us on this one, okay? Thanks.

10. Dictation can be fun! Really! They offer a free lunch every Tuesday and Thursday down in the dictation cave so that you can dictate what you should've dictated ten days ago and eat at the same time! It's great! You should try it!

It struck me about a year ago that the life of a nurse goes like this: Know All, See All, Fix All. It also struck me that we really, as a professional group, ought to agitate for better ways to get other people to do their jobs better. I'm thinking either a mass issuing of Super Soakers or some slingshots and M & M's as ammo.


shrimplate said...

What's this, you talk about Frog Soup and then you don't even give us the recipe?!


"You have to be the eyes and ears of the doctors," I often tell nursing students, also adding "and sometimes you have to be their brains, too."

Anonymous said...

If you're capable of snarking in detail, rather than saving it up for one big world-destroying blowout, I think you aren't at the bottom yet.

Anonymous said...

"...and if you don't want being paged, it is defintely time for a career change buddy"

Anonymous said...

We are here cleaning up the poop, dressing the wounds, talking to the distraught families, and usually missing lunch. Don't you ever tell me your patient is not in pain, could not be in pain, has no reason to be in pain. Give me the @#$#@$%& order for some pain meds, you jerk!