Here I sit, the words running around my head of the last week, my body unable to sleep because of pain and muscle spasms. Where to even start. Ya that is a great place, some what near the beginning. Our story will start with our young ( lord is that stretching it ) hero and his trusted side kick ( don’t tell Ron I called him that or he might want to do some kicking of his own ) drafted against their wills to serve the evil hospital company’s need to have things be just right.
Remember I mentioned the unit assignment board. No, I guess I shall have to type louder. Well we have a very large dry erase board, divided into rows for the rooms, columns for Pt’s name. Doctor, and Nurse. There is space at the top and bottom of the board for information. We also have a much smaller board with the name of the ICU intenesivist, respiratory, and Pa assigned to our unit that day.
Well about five months ago I asked for and got them to buy us a new large board, and the supplies to make it up nice. One of our techs took it home to do up because she told me she was creative. I was glad to have some one help me to do it. Now before I continue, let me say it is hard to keep the very thin tape lines straight, and the spaces even. Well this person had the board for 4.5 months. I was getting very angry calls from management wanting to know where it was. What was I do, I kept asking for it and she would tell me it was almost done, and then that it was done but she forgot it.
When she finally brought it in, it was a very plain board, stuck on numbers and the lines and spaces were not straight nor consistent. However I was just glad to have the new board so people would stop asking me. But Management was not so kind. Last week I got called to the business office and told the board was unacceptable. A new board was ordered and fresh tape to divide it. I asked who was going to do the new board and was told I was along with Ron. “You and Ron will take the board home and create the new board and bring it back, asap!”
So last weekend we worked and Ron and I brought the new board home with us. We had Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday off. We figured it would take no time to make this thing. Fat chance. most of the first day was spent buying a new laminating machine, supplies, and other stuff. That was over $100. Oh don’t worry, we have spent more than that now. Then marking the board off and getting an idea of what we wanted on it. Then it was texted / emailed to the bosses. We received word late that night our design had been approved.
Now to build it. I started typing things in different fonts, styles and sizes. Ron measured repeatedly to get all his marks and spaces. Then he cut himself some guides. Using a level and the guides we worked together to make the lines with very thin graphic tape. That took the best part of the second day. That is how I know it is not an easy thing to do. so I don’t fault my co-worker for hers. So that evening we finished designing the styles and fonts.
Wednesday I started laminating all the pages, and Ron started measuring the sizes and cutting them out. I had the much easier job. So by that night we were not even half finished.
We had to work both Thursday and Friday and what a couple days from heck they were. No crap, some really rough days. Lets start with Thursday in my unit. Remember we have an 11 room, ( one bed per room ) ICU. I had maybe 6 or 7 Pt’s when I arrived. The night tech warned me there were problems with one of the PT’s that had been taken care of. That was not to last. I started to get rooms for our PT’s with instructions to move them out as we had a lot of incoming. We basically moved all but two out, and then filled every room. I was out of the unit getting something ( still morning before rounds ) when I heard the call. “Man power stat 5906, man power stat, 5906” I was off on a run, something hard for my old 48 year old slightly over weight body. That was my unit and my room 6. I got there just as David ( a nurse I seriously admire for his brains even though he is a brat. He is Ron’s age and married, but the smartest nurse I have ever seen ) did. So I was like the third person. There was C.J. an older female nurse in the grips of a out of control PT. We got her free. David got punched and then kicked in the nuts. We got the PT on the bed, but the PA was now there and called me back. That left the PT on the side of the bed, not knowing where he was and angry, out of control, and a danger. Security came. So did a bunch of other folks. We were glad. Side note *** the older nurses and the Pa / doctors are taught to talk an out of control PT down, To reason with them and get them to cooperate. Great if it can be done. But when they are delusional, coming off drug or alcohol addictions, it is not possible and ties up staff dealing with them and maybe getting hurt. Some nurses and Pa / doctors are like me. Grab them as gently but firmly as possible and place them on the bed, and restrain them. Use medications and restraints to make them less a danger. *** Then to calm the PT C.J went to shut one of the IV pumps off that was upsetting him. He went for her, and attacked. Lucky a huge security guard had gotten between them, David and I moved in and the four of us wrestled the guy on to the bed and held him down. The PA gave the order for fentanyl and hadol. The PT went to sleep. But the effects were only for about three minutes, just enough time to get him into a posy restraint vest and soft wrist and ankle restraints. I was now twisted up, but there was a lot of work still to be done. This was first thing in the morning. We still had rounds ( where we gather all disciplines with the Pa / doctors to talk about each PT and write orders for them. Takes about 45 minutes and gives me at least one full page of new orders , labs, tests, and medications , for each PT. ) so as I was dealing with rounds orders came the orders to move out and in all the other PTs. And we got a second fighter. More restraints and meds and everyone’s tempers were getting short. Thank God I had a great crew. Ron and I went home so beat we almost went straight to bed.
On Friday, Ron had the same day I had had the day before, but without my great crew, and I had an almost as rough a day as the day before. I just did not have as great a crew. I was at my desk when I heard the “man Power stat, 3906. Man Power stat 3906”. I nearly shit. That was our Medical ICU and where Ron was. I looked up at a young male nurse walking by and asked, “you going”? He replied “no, why would I?” I was stunned. I said “I am gone” and ran. In the stair well I slipped in behind one transport guy, the other behind me, and Kevin from the 4th floor ICU behind him. We ran in and there was Ron, in the same position I was in the day earlier. But his people were not the same as mine were, and dismissed all of us but security. I could see that was not sitting well with Ron. He told me later he spend almost two hours with the guy while they argued with him and tried to talk him back into bed. That is two hours of everyone’s jobs not being done.
We have the weekend off. Saturday we got up very late. Started working on the board again. Last night we went out and got some more supplies for the board. We needed punches for shapes and colors for the different meanings of the shapes. We went to bed about 9 PM. I slept for a while but by 2 PM my body was hurting so bad I got up. I took some medications and here we are. Lets hope today is a nice fruitful day.
I am sorry I have not responded to emails. I do plan to get to them. They are building up. Once some of these things get cleared up , I will have more time.
Hugs and loves.