Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What Not To Do, Part Eleventy-Seven.

1. 55 in the left lane. Never a good idea.

2. Disconnecting yourself from your insulin drip.

3. Disconnecting yourself from your D-10 drip after you've come in with a blood sugar of 17. Yes, seventeen.

4. Saying to the patient's family member, after said family member has suggested that a chest X-ray might be a good idea, as patient is choking on his own lung goop, "You're not a doctor! *I'm* the doctor here!" (Which led family member to retort, "Really? Gosh. Learn somethin' new every day, I guess.")

5. Suggesting, because *you* can't add, that *I* have made an error in recording the ingo and outpee of a patient with a continuous bladder irrigation. Or, rather, suggesting that loudly and abusively in the middle of the nurses' station. (See: Never a Good Idea.)

What To Do, Always and Forever:

1. If you are a nursing student, ask questions. I had three sets of students in three weeks, all of whom asked really intelligent questions. One woman asked me a question (this happens at least once a semester) that made me say, "Uh...buh...uh...I dunno..." which leads to many fun hours spent with books and Google and the unit educator. I love that.

2. Let me know if you're taking your family member off-unit in a wheelchair. That way I won't alert security when I can't find or reach any of you. Boy, were our collective faces red.

3. Bring an extra set of scrubs to work. I learned that lesson the hard way--for only about the fourth time--last week.

4. If you're a patient or a family member, ask questions. I don't care if they have nothing to do with the subject at hand; just ask. It is what I am here for.

5. Please check with me before you get out of bed. This holds true especially if you've just had a femoral artery puncture and are supposed to stay flat for six hours. That way, I won't be so surprised when I walk into the bathroom to find you sitting on the john, spurting blood like a fountain from your puncture site. (See #3 above; also see What Not To Do At Shift Change.)


Anonymous said...

How can a person with a blood sugar of 17 even pull out their D10, considering their brain has no fuel? Oh well lilfe is never dull for a nurse.

shrimplate said...

I used to work with a nurse who would always tell her patients "Now here's your call lite, and remember: Don't get out of bed unles you have either your nurse or your lawyer with you."