Sunday, July 29, 2007

Baby Daddy Drama

The last night that I worked I had a patient that was around 35 weeks. She was at a party having a good time when her water broke. So she came to the hospital with her mother and boyfriend in tow. Her boyfriend whom I call Bachelor #1 was sitting in the corner with his mirrored aviator glasses on. Her mother, who I thought was her older sister, looked like she thought she was 25 years old when obviously she was at least 40 years old. I imagine the party must have been a luau or something, sounded like a good time. Anyways, I got her settled into her room and on the monitor. During her assessment Bachelor #2 comes into the room. He was short, slightly overweight, cute but not as handsome or charismatic as Bachelor #1. He said hello and I invited him into the room and he quickly excused himself outside. So Bachelor #2 and The Mother were in the hallway talking and then they left the floor. The Mother was like "Hey Bachelor #2, come back!" And I was like, Okay....this is going to be interesting.

So then I finished getting the patient settled in and I run her labs. The patient was sitting there in the bed looking mildly inebriated or delayed. In comparison to the extremely attractive cast of visitors she had, she seemed quite plain. I am asking her questions and she is smiling and barely answering. For a moment I thought she had some mental delays but as I would soon find out she was just fine. Most of the time she was on the phone, which I found to be mildly irritating. So I left to let her finish the conversation. Then The Mother and Bachelor #2 round the corner and enter the patient's room. I asked the patient what she planned to name the baby she said it all depends. I knew very well what that meant so I didn't pry.

So here I am sitting at the nurse's station catching up on some charting when suddenly I hear Bachelor #1 say something like "I hear all that talkin', but you ain't walkin' you don't want none of this." and then Bachelor #2 says something like "I'll beat your ass!" And then The Mother says something like "Come on guys, let try to have some peace in here, let's be calm." By that time I am outside the door and I say "Yes, let's keep in quiet in here because after all this is a hospital." So Bachelor #2 looks to me and says "I don't know why you come in here for smiling and saying shit. You don't even know what's going on, this ain't no smiling matter." And I tell him, "I don't want to know what is going on, it's none of my business. It is my business however to maintain a safe environment for my patient. If you can't do any better than this I will need to ask you to leave." He said something smart and I said, "I am being nice right now, but I will call security." I told the patient, "Handle your visitor issues or I will." Then Bachelor #2 got up and left and The Mother ran out behind him.

When I looked at the patient and assessed the whole situation, I surmised that Bachelor #1 was the one she wanted to be the baby's father. Bachelor #1 was a worldly man. He told me that all his ladies have their babies early. I asked him how many ladies he had and he proudly stated that he had three. The patient was smiling and laughing. It was his first time being there for the birth of any of his children. This was not cute at all. Bachelor #2 had passion, I almost admired him for his determination. Even though he was smaller than Bachelor #1 he was standing up for his right to be there. It was clear that his presence was not important to anyone, except The Mother.

Next to the patient it was The mother that I was most disappointed with because she was encouraging this whole situation. The mother could have managed that by not showing favoritism and being more concerned about her daughter's well being, not the comfort of the men. The patient was obviously enjoying these two men fighting over her. It was very immature of the patient because she was 29 years old. Not 16 or 19, but 29 years. She was having her first baby and bringing it into a whole bunch of crap. Why couldn't she not let ANYONE be there until after the paternity test? What I hate most of all is that the NurseDiva has to be in the middle of all of that garbage. How on earth does one maintain a therapeutic environment when you have to referee? I could have just called security, but I like to give people a chance. Let's act like ladies and gentlemen...

DiVa...Another entertaining night at the county hospital.

Friday, July 27, 2007

How many phones must a DiVa buy...?

Okay so I have bought two cell phones in the past few weeks and I have to buy one more. One night my cousin and I were driving around town and she was drunk...(as usual). Somehow, she managed to drop my cell phone in an uncovered drink that was resting in the drink holder. How the hell she did that, I don't know but she didn't offer an apology and God knows she is broke as a joke. This heifer never has any money to fund anything. I was pissed off a little bit, but I was looking for a way to get out of my contract with my mobile carrier anyway so I went to a local cellular dealer and got a new phone. While I was there, I got a phone for my son too. Then he went to a local festival and a couple of teenagers roughed him up and took that phone from him. Sigh...there's another $150

The day before yesterday I got a pedicure and manicure. Now I need to get more sandals to show off my gorgeous toes. I love shopping. I am a woman, what can I say? I go to work everyday, I deserve the finer things. But first I have to get ready to buy school clothes for the kids. One of my children wear uniforms, the other doesn't but now he wears adult sized shoes. All of a sudden my 13 year old needs name brand shoes. He used to be happy with his "buddies" but now he wants to style and profile. But even the "buddies" cost almost $30-$40 a pair. I blame it on the gas prices. I am so not ready for a teenager...

Did I tell you that I survived a year at my job. Yes, I made it! The Diva has been a L & D nurse for an entire year. No one has gotten choked yet and I got a whole dollar raise. Woo-hoo! One whole dollar. I have yet to see the difference in my check because I work overtime, but soon I will get back down to my normal 36 hours. And in addition to all that I have confidence. That is almost better than the raise. I have had a few bad situations, I know what one looks like and what to do...CALL THE CHARGE NURSE. I know that sounds scary. But just imagine what it must be like on our floor on my shift where almost ALL of the nurses have been nurses for less than 3 years, and besides those three or four people, everyone else has had less than a year to six months of nursing experience. And on my floor 3 years is considered experienced. I am pleased with myself. very pleased.

In the past year I have seen many things, I have helped mothers say goodbye to their babies. I have taught mothers how to take care of their babies and themselves. I have brought families together and opened up lines of communication. I have found my voice and learned how to stand up for what's right even when it was not the popular position. I have learned how to advocate for my patients. I have learned when to speak up and when to stand down. I have laughed and cried. Nursing school did not teach me those things. But nursing did. And even though I bitch and moan about how things suck from time to time I must say that at this point, I have no regrets. Labor and delivery is not always a happy place. Babies and mothers die. But this is the commitment I have accepted and I am proud of myself. I do this nursing thing with a style all my own. I can only get better from here. And watch out for me when I hit Labor and Delivery NurseDiVa status!

DiVa..the SUPERSTAR of labor and delivery!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Another on bites the dust!

Yet another nurse has quit our fine labor and delivery unit. It is no surprise to me, and in a way I am glad. Of the 10 nurses, oops 11 nurses that quit in the past few months a good number were bitches. Eventually the best nurses will remain. I will just bide my time. Things are getting better for me and at this moment I am just going to wait and see what is in store. The good thing is that the nurse that is leaving is above me in seniority, meaning my name moves up the list. The only thing I need to worry about at this time is gathering the nicer nurses and trying to make our unit more fun so that people below me in seniority will stay. There are still quite a few nurses on the dark side and the attraction is strong. Maybe more nurses on the dark side will quit or cross over to being real helpful nurses to the newbies. It will be our job to re-define team nursing.

It's almost time for the kids to return to school. In a way this makes me sad because I haven't really spent the time with them that I would have liked to and in a way i am glad because they were getting bored and eating me out of house and home and making huge messes. The puppy will miss them terribly. We are planning a 'Back to School' party for the kids in the family. I am one of the sponsors. I am trying to think of some fun stuff for the kids. I hope that the weather will cooperate. My son is still playing football. Yesterday, when I picked him up from practice, he was covered in dirt. I asked him what happened and he said he got tackled. Instantly, visions of him with broken limbs came to mind. Lately we have been hanging out. I talked to his father about giving him manhood training. My son hates good hygiene. I can't understand why he doesn't like to bathe. His Dad really wants to help out. It's about time, he is almost 40 years old! My daughter, is spending the rest of the summer with her grandmother. I can't say that I approve but it is good to get sleep during the day. I bet she will be so big the next time I see her.

Dating has been quite a disappointment. I have resorted to just being alone, which is okay. Guys nowadays are uninspired, of the gentlemen that I have talked to lately the only thing they want to do is have sex. Sex is okay, but I want to have more of a spiritual connection. And besides, a day doesn't go by where I haven't seen a patient in our unit with herpes, trichomoniasis, chlyamidia, bacteria vaginosis or HPV (genital warts). We have also had an occasional case of HIV and Hepatitis C. Not that I plan on having unprotected sex with anyone, just the idea that girls are picking this crap up out there is just plain scary. And they come in with their boyfriends, significant others and sometimes husbands like no big deal. Having an STD and knowing where it came from would piss me off...BIG TIME. So instead of dating a few friends of mine have decided to travel locally and just have fun. You know, like a girls night out.

I went to a Casino this past weekend. It was fun. I didn't make any money because I gambled the $60 that I won and put another $60 with it. I have to learn to quit while I am ahead. This Casino only had slots. I have yet to figure out how I am winning, that is when I win. I just get really excited. Then I lose. I started asking the people sitting next to me how the whole thing works. Basically, I play the one, two, five and ten cent slots. Anything more than that makes me nauseated when I lose. I guess you have to do the max bet every time in order to win money. On a one cent slot that could be as much as 25 cents per bet. But on a dollar slot that could be as much as 5 dollars...not happening! The next time I go, I will not go with people who are afraid to lose money. I am comfortable with losing maybe 100-200 dollars and nothing more.

Speaking of returning to school, I am seriously thinking on getting back into the swing of things. At first I thought that I needed to adjust to working and give myself sometime to find my place. I think soon I will register for classes. We will see and I will keep you posted.

DiVa...getting more proficient at DiVaDom one day at a time!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Team nursing...WTF?

Since I have been a nurse on my own, I have always known that the consensus of my peers was that I have no idea what I am doing. So recently, when a few of my alleged colleagues were taking over my patient responsibilities and treating me like a patient liability I got well...a little snippy. I am very protective of letting people come into my room and get into my business. Only because when I do invite someone to participate in my special brand of nursing, it always results in someone going to the office to report me and then me getting into trouble. Most recently, a group of colleagues went into the nursing office to report me and got a huge surprise. Here's what happened.

A few nights ago, I was assigned to take care of a trauma. She was 28 weeks pregnant and her baby's heart rate was in the 100's. Not good given that it should have been in the 110-160 range. So I and the charge nurse go running to the emergency department preparing for a crash c-section in the trauma bay. By the time we arrived, the fetal heart rate was back to normal. The patient had multiple injuries. A broken arm, a broken nose. A few fingers were injured in addition to her back, ribs and a banged up head. She had on a c-collar which she was dying to take off, but she needed a MRI and various scans so that she could be cleared. The trauma doctors decided to clear the patient in our OB unit because I think that secretly, they hate having children or pregnant people in the ED. So I return to our unit.

Now, in our observation unit there were already four nurses. Very nosey nurses that can make you have a really bad night. I did not want to work with them because I knew what kind of night I was going to have. Of course the charge nurse assigns me to the trauma patient who was transferred to the observation unit. When I get over there, there are a few nurses in the room. There was nothing for me to do with regard to getting her settled in, but I refused to go and sit at the desk while they admit her because in my mind, she is my patient and the first thing that will be said is that I am incapable of managing my patient and that is why they took over. I was trying to organize her chart and one of the other nurses asked me for it. It was an hour before I ever even got to talk to my patient. It really pissed me off, but I let it slide.

One of the other patients in observation called out to go to the bathroom. I didn't want to take her out of bed because I didn't know her story. I went to ask one of the other nurses and she talked to me like a kid telling me to take her to the bathroom. So then the same nurse asked me to watch her patient while she transferred another and when she came back she asked me to watch her patient. While she was gone the patient came off of the monitor, so I went in to put her back on and she asked me to leave the room. She was really nasty and so I told her in my "back da F--kup" voice to let me finish what I was doing. When I returned she was giving report to another new nurse and told her that if she had a question to find her and ask. As if I am incapable of answering a question. We started at the same time! How could she possibly be in a better situation experience-wise than me? That sent me over the edge. I made it pretty clear that I was about to quit. No one said anything to me for the rest of the night. Good!

So when I came in to work yesterday, I heard that the nurse manager wanted to speak with me. It was no surprise that these bitches had gone to the office and reported what happened. My boss said that they came in and said that I was unapproachable and defensive and that someone should talk to me about my attitude. My manager said she asked them why and she said that they thought that I misunderstood that they were trying to employ aspects of "team nursing" and that I was overly sensitive. I wonder, does team nursing include sitting in the conference room talking about how stupid I am? No one keeps a secret on my unit. I know just about everything they say about me, and what they don't say, I can pretty much figure out by the way they watch my tracing from across the unit, or run into my room when the baby is having a harmless variable deceleration.

The nurse manager really didn't allow me to say too much. But I was able to slip in the fact that I am justified in my defensiveness and amazingly she agreed. She told me that she asked them if my actions created a patient safety issue. They said no. And she said she told them to leave me the hell alone. (Amazing....) She warned them that if they were to do that crap to a senior nurse they would get their feelings hurt and that they would be told to get the hell out of the room. The the nurse manager told me that both of the reporting nurses agreed that my performance had greatly improved. (WTF...?) I asked her why they have an opinion on my performance and why it counts. She explained that she cannot work every shift to observe each nurses performance so she relies on peer review as a monitoring tool. She went on to say that I could critique their performance as well. (No thanks!) I have no desire to nose around in another nurses business unless there is a patient safety issue.

I guess I was surprised that the nurse manager took up for me, (Finally!) but at the same time I am pissed off that those bitches actually thought they were doing something. How the heck am I supposed to know the difference between help and meddling? And the nerve of them to say that I am doing sooo much better now. What was I like before? I must have been a freakin' train wreck! I think that right now my boss will do almost anything to keep people from quitting since we've lost almost 10 nurses in the past six months. In a way I want to remain "unapproachable" so that maybe those heifers will check themselves before they step to me with dumb shit! They used to come in my room and take over, often times telling me to move out of the way and let them handle whatever was going on, or calling for a resident to assess my patient when the resident and I would already be in the room taking care of business. Maybe now they will at least ask me if I need help before they come barging in. Team nursing my butt, if I come in their room and offer help they politely ask me to leave, but when I do that I am being "unapproachable and defensive." I just want those jerks to leave me alone and let me do my job. Respect me the same way I respect you.

Just in case, I had an interview for a position in a hospital closer to home. So now, I might be a emergency room NurseDiva extraordinaire.

NurseDiva...just fakin' it until I am makin' it!