Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Gracious. Has it been nearly a month?

There's been a lot going on.


Not only do I have a new boss, I have a *fantastic* new boss. The honeymoon period is long over; I've worked with this person in a boss-capacity for going on two years now.

This boss, unlike the last boss, does not say things like "All vasoactive drugs are the same" and "I don't see why you're worried about your skills; you're a critical-care-trained nurse, right?" and "*I* had to work a whole twelve hours twice this week, so why can't *you* come in for a couple of extra shifts?"

All of which are verbatim from Old Boss's mouth.

New Boss says things like, "I'm expected at neuro rounds in ten minutes" (OB never managed to make a single round) and "No matter what happens, your unit will be taken care of" and "I don't know much about the brain, so I'm taking three classes in the next month to get up to speed."

NB also says things like, "It sounds to me like you guys aren't getting what you need in terms of support. What are your top three priorities, and how can I make those things happen?"

Also taken verbatim from New Boss's mouth.

I can't go in to too much detail right now, because every time I think about how my charts are being audited by somebody who actually cares, or my unit is being staffed by somebody who has actually worked as a nurse in a critical-care unit for more than nine months and who, moreoever, still does work in a critical-care unit to keep their skills fresh, I get all giddy and I can't type.

Everybody is happy about this: from speech pathology to physical therapy to the housekeeping staff, everybody's happy.


His name is Mongo, after the "Blazing Saddles" character.

Mongo likes snuggles, and kitties (and the cats love him), and playing catch, and carrying his stuffed toys around, and climbing up on top of me when there's a thunderstorm, and going for car rides, and generally being a capital-D Dog.

He's a golden retriever with separation anxiety. If he can't see me, but he knows I'm around, he flips out. I've asked the neighbors, and he hasn't been an asshole when I leave for work, so, good. We had a thunderstorm the other day when I wasn't here, and Mongo went calmly into his doghouse (evidence: he wasn't wet when I got home) and hung out.

His old human had to move and couldn't keep him. He's a year old. I never thought I'd have anything other than a shepherd or LSG or northern breed, but that was before I met Mongo-Man. He's the sweetest, lovingest dog I've ever met, even if he does bark when I mow the lawn. It took the cats about twenty-four hours to warm up to him; after that, I found them all three playing on the rug in the living room. Mongo was on his back with Flashes on his chest, biting his neck, and Notamus was playing with Mongo's tail.

Mongo is behind my chair right now, snoring.

And yes, he came with the name. It is appropriate.

No pictures yet because I can't get him to slow down long enough to take a snapshot.

ANNOUNCEMENT NUMBER THREE: Consolidated Research & Healthcare Corp, holding company of Sunnydale General, has done the dumbest thing EVER.

For years now, we've had color-coded scrubs according to discipline. The head of CRHC decided to drag us boldly into the 1970's, and has mandated that we all--from nursing to PT to housekeeping--will wear dark blue scrubs, the sort of blue you see in the cheaper catalog pages. Not only that, but they'll be embroidered (and thus un-returnable, in case they don't fit) and available only from one company.

I got mine today. They're cheap as fuck. As dark as they are, you wouldn't expect that a nude bra would show through them, but boy-hidey if it doesn't. They're available in two fabrics: Horrible Polyester and Slightly Less-Horrible But More Transparent Cotton-Poly. Other people, who got theirs earlier, have reported such things as the back seams on the pants ripping as they were put on or the shoulder seams ripping under the slightest stress. I can see why.

My only question is who's making money off this. Somebody somewhere has to be getting a cut of Sunnydale's employees' business.

Never mind that our patients, let alone our staff, had come to rely on color-coding to tell who was who. It's a nice thing, to be able to look up in the middle of a code and see maroon scrubs and know that RT has arrived. Those days are gone; now we'll have six-by-three inch plastic hangtags behind our IDs that state our discipline.

Of course, a fair number of my patients can no longer read, and depended on scrub color to tell what was going on.

I'd happily eat the cost of these scrubs if The Powers That Be came back and said, "Wait, never mind, bad idea," but I don't think that's gonna happen.

So I'll just go off and rub some MongoBelly. He loves that.


Bardiac said...

Congrats on your new boss and new dog! Mongo sounds lovely :)

Jessicia said...

I came from a hospital that did not have color coded scrubs but you could buy your own as long as they are within a 5-6 set colors. My current hospital has color coded scrubs and I LOVE it! only does it let you know who is who when you are in a crisis or are floating, but when you are striving for something it is a reward to "upgrade" my color.
I just started my first RN position and it was so exciting for me to change colors and it was exciting when my colleagues saw me in a new color and were excited for me! Not a good move CRHC :(

bobbie said...

Yay for the NB, and HUGE YAY for the Mongo dog ~ he sounds priceless!

Boo on the crappo scrubs... talk about a wardrobe malfunction!!

Lisa G said...

Nice to hear from you, and especially with good news like a new boss, and especially a new dog. I've got one with separation anxiety and thunder fear myself--we use a Thundershirt on her, and still, to my amazement, it actually works on the fear and the anxiety, which just blows me away. Might be something you want to try? :)

danielle said...

We have had many breeds of dogs - pure bred and muts - and hands down, goldens are the best. Doesnt matter if they are male or female,t hey are the most maternal dogs I know...they do seem to take a long time to get out of their teen aged years tho!!
One company our hospital got our blue - royal blue not navy - scrubs from - they were so cheap that no matter how many times they were washed, they would turn anything white, blue....white shoes, white socks, white bras....

Unknown said...

The last place I worked had color coded scrubs, & I agree- it was so easy to know what discipline everyone was just by looking. I thought I'd hate it because I had just bought all new scrubs, but it turns out it's awesome!

jimbo26 said...

1) nice one
2) oh yeah ( give him a belly rub for me ;-))
3) go back to wearing original scrubs ; they can't fire everyone .

Swifty K said...

Yeah on topics 1 and 2. Blech on 3. Didn't The Powers watch Nurse Jackie? As a family member of a frequent flyer, I have to say the color coded scrubs are wonderful for knowing who the heck is doing what.

Anonymous said...

I think I might be in love with your boss.

FrankC said...

New boss +
New dog +
New scrubs -

Dr. Alice said...

Mongo = perhaps the best dog name ever. Boo on the scrubs. It's tough to find decent ones these days.

Penny Mitchell said...

The screams you hear from the north are from me, and of joy. May the old boss get the karma that's coming, and that right soon.

As for Mongo, you confirm that the animals we're supposed to have show up when they're supposed to. Love on him for me.

As for the scrubs, cover the popped seams with jillions of Bandaids. Additional bonus points for Hello Kitty Bandaids.

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Super about the new boss-I love bosses like the one you have now--do whatever necessary to keep ahold of this one.

Mongo is the best name for a dog ever. Goldens really are sweet and lovable aren't they?

I vote for going back to the old colors scheme-hospital wide; they truly cannot fire EveryOne at the same time. I love the color-codes-and I'm at the patient stage of my life now...

clairesmum said...

the news about new boss is wonderful!!! you and your unit work hard and take care of very vulnerable folks, so having more support and resources is long overdue.
the news about Mongo is wonderful, too. as penny says, the right critters find us at the right time, when it is a good fit for everyone. enjoy mongo - he sounds like a big old teddy bear of a dog!
bummer about the "new and improved" uniforms - as usual, new is NOT improved at all. i avoid inpatient settings as much as i can, but color coded scrubs make HUGE sense! staff can't keep track of names and faces all the time, much less families, or patients...
is this a strategy to blur everyone together, to make the PressGaney type ratings more there some indication that if patients/families can't identify specific providers or disciplines they just give everyone the same grade - and people generally don't want to punish the good ones even if the overall group was mediocre? speculation on my part....i have been known to attribute to malice what was better described as stupidity! take care, Jo.

Anonymous said...

As soon as they rip, walk to the idiot's office and ask them to sew them up!!

Shannon said...

Congrats on the new (now new-ish) Dog! We have a 1-year-old Golden and they are the BEST DOGS EVER. You are going to love him. :)

I've been a closet reader for awhile now and never commented before...leave it to adorable puppy-age to pull me out of silence! Any luck with the photo taking yet?