Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One of those days.

Once in a while, something happens at work that is so traumatic, so difficult to talk about, that I don't even want to post it on the blog. One of those things happened this week.

The minute I turned away from the cauldron on the cafeteria line that held "Fresh Seafood Gumbo," though, everything got better.


But seriously, folks: this was One Of Those Weeks. I got a lecture from the director of nursing about being on my Best Behavior (Best Beloveds) when it came to taking care of the family member of a VIP. "We're going to give him, of course, the same standard of care that everybody gets," said the DON, "but we might need you to expedite some of the testing, like the MRI, for him."

"Soooo," I said, unaware of what my mouth was actually doing, "We're *not* actually giving him the same standard of care as anybody else." 'Cause if you're on Medicare, that MRI's gonna take thirty-six hours.

It's a wonder I haven't been fired thirty times over. I called the bed board to report the arrival of Le Petit Prince with the words, "The Eagle has landed. Repeat, the Eagle has landed. With his diamond chariot and his staff."

Let's face it: If you work in practically any non-profit healthcare facility these days, especially one in the state where Guvnuh Goodhair has yanked funding for various things you used to do, you are dependent on donors to do things like fix the a/c and make sure you have enough money to buy IV fluids. I live in Texas; therefore, I am used to whoring for money to make sure my less-fortunate patients get the private funding they need to get treated. Ever since I watched a guy die of a treatable brain tumor because of lack of indigent-care funding, I have whored more cheerfully and fluffed-and-puffed in a more dedicated fashion than you would ever believe.

LPP hopped the line in the emergency department with a problem that had been going on since sometime in September and which had recently, despite not changing, gotten insupportable. Therefore, our Prince presented hisself at the ER with vague complaints of. . .something.

I admitted him and his Something ahead of two actually emergent patients with actually emergent problems--though, thankfully, they'd gotten good care at their local EDs in the meantime. They just kind of had to wait around for a bit, one on the helipad, the other in a buggy (ambulance, for you civilians), until we'd gotten His Highness settled in.

(Just now Max put his head in my lap, bad breath and shedding ear-puffs and all, reminding me that no matter how stupid we humans are, there are still dogs who love us.)

HRHLPP will be fine. There's nothing wrong with him that six weeks drying out and a few B vitamins won't cure. My other two patients will be fine: one got TPA in a timely fashion, administered correctly by an on-point ED MD (shout out to all the ED docs!) who'd never actually done it, but who read up on it on the Internet from his tiny, six-bed ER; the other got a nifty new experimental drug we're testing and seems to be getting over her aphasia even as we (ahem) speak.

It's not his fault his daddy's rich. He was a nice guy: said "Please" and "Thank you" and was admirably brief and succinct in the description of his symptoms. Daddy is currently funding a study on the benefits of various anticoagulants in the acute phase of stroke (the beneficiary of which was in the next room over), so I had little trouble being nice to him. We even had a few things in common: birdwatching, politics, and music.

Even if your client is nice, it doesn't make it any easier to whore, though.


messymimi said...

My Sweetie is in "Development." When people ask, i say he is a professional beggar. Your description of it as whoring sounds more accurate, but i won't be using it in casual "What does your husband do" conversation.

woolywoman said...

makes me happy to work for a non profit. really happy.

'Drea said...

True dat...

Anonymous said...

Don't stop blogging. Your experiences and insights are great!

TheSchaft said...

Don't beat yourself up too much.

Anybody who works for somebody else winds up whoring at some point. If you're lucky, it isn't too often or too painful.

Chris said...

Isn't it amazing how some bad dog breath and shedding hair can make you feel better? I sit next to my mastiff (or my basset hound, or the pug, but the mastiff really works best), lean over on her, and let her absorb the stress of the day. I think it's her giant fatness that makes her work the best.

Penny Mitchell said...

Duffy Duffman says, "I love you."

Also, if I ever find a time machine, I'm going back and turning myself into one of these: "...administered correctly by an on-point ED MD (shout out to all the ED docs!) who'd never actually done it, but who read up on it on the Internet from his tiny, six-bed ER..."

Lauren said...

This sounds like something I have to deal with even in the two 32 bed and 37 bed ERs I work in!! It's absolutely ridiculous! It's like the whole world stops, everyone including the CEO of the hospital will come and say hello to you AND the patient because they want to make sure they are getting great service! It's like, NOW YOU WANT TO SAY HI TO ME? YOU'VE NEVER EVEN MET ME BEFORE!! Anyway, I know that feeling and it blows! We almost have to keep the red carpet on standby because I feel like we get them so often. (we have alot of donors in our hospitals) boooooo

GuitarGirlRN said...

We had the exact same scenario yesterday in our ED. An administrator from upstairs came in to the ED for a complaint (blah blah for three weeks, and no, haven't been to my doctor...) and since I was in the area with the "VIP" room, I was told to move out the non-VIP patient who was in there and move Her Royal Highness in.

Unfortunately for HRH, our VIP room is also an isolation room, and I had an HIV+, rashy (possibly shingles or some flaky zoster magic disease), febrile gentleman in there. I told the charge nurse thar HRH could go to a regular bed, or wait until we found somewhere else to put Mr. Zoster and then terminally cleaned (which would take two hours).

joyous said...

You know LPP may not have even known he was holding up two more emergent patients while you soothed his fevered brow with rosewater. Likely Admin were the ones wanting "the usual standard of care" (of course with the hospitals best foot forward to impress LPP). Sigh!

Dr. Alice said...

Our CEO does this and it drives me nuts. Not the whoring part (I'm used to that) but the way he will steadfastly insist that *everyone* gets the same standard of care. If they would just put their cards on the table and say "Look, this guy is on the board at the hospital and I need you to see him TODAY. He gives us a lot of money," I could deal with it. But somehow, they can never bring themselves to be that honest. Grrr.