Saturday, March 20, 2010

For Brad

8 hours is not a princess, nor is it a full shift. I was described as a super-princess (yeah!) or (as I put it) a glutton for punishment. 8 hours in triage on a Friday night. Hell, at least it's overtime!

I continue my super-freak streak with the 3 Crazy Boys:

1) His balls itched for a few days. Then his penis began to itch. Then his penis began to swell, but only where he had scratched it. Oh, and the skin don't feel right. Its supposed to be smooth and its all pebbly. But I don't got the std cause I be haven that before. 
                        OK, Have a seat in the waiting room, we will get you registered and seen

2) The note from the screener nurse said "Knot on leg" Take that for what it means. When I think leg I think LEG. 6'6, 300lbs, the first thing he does when he walks into the triage room (which has 3 out of 4 walls all glass windows!) is drop both pants and boxers on the floor and whip his junk out. WHOA! I seriously wasn't expecting that. Turns out the "knot on leg" was a hematoma up in his groin. He truly wanted me to feel it. 
                         Ummmm..... I don't have gloves on. Pull your pants up, have a seat in the waiting room                                                                   and we will get you registered and seen. 

                       (AM I DONE YET?!?) My night has been shitty, I'm tired and its 5 minutes to shift change. 

"Assaulted" on the screener note. I was assaulted by 20 people at 6 last night. I got tired so I went to bed. Mmmmm, you are pretty.... 
                         Thanks, so what happened next?

Well, I went to sleep and woke up. Damn, you are pretty girl. What your name?
                         You woke up and then what?

Where your ring? Ain't you got no husband? 
                           I don't wear a ring at work. What medical problems do you have?

Schizophrenia and bipolar

Its the return of the bug zapper!

I think that as I have matured as a nurse some things have begun to bother me more than others. There was a time where I could strictly focus on the physicality of an injury. Mom, daughter and daughter's friend driving home. Somehow there is an accident and the car hits a tree. The daughter is flown to us with leg trauma, facial trauma and is promptly intubated. The friend comes by ground. Other than a leg fracture, she will be ok. Parents show up as the first child arrives, but before the second. Dad, who is alone, is asking about his daughter and where his wife is. 
Wife is still pinned in the car. They have shut one helicopter down and are still trying to cut her from the wreckage. I can't tell her husband that. I just tell him that we haven't heard from the helicopter yet, but that I will let him know when I hear something. 

The flight crew finally calls in report (it took over an hour to free her from the car). She was unconscious, unresponsive the whole time and has coded in the aircraft. The crew is doing CPR. I can't tell him this. His world is going to change, this will be the worst day of his life and I have to pretend that nothing is going on. Unfortunately, I couldn't handle it. I asked one of the other triage nurses to take the screamer desk and bailed. I saw her come around the corner into the trauma room. She had dead person's feet. (for those of you who understand what that is). After 45 minutes they got a pulse back and she went to the OR. I still couldn't go back to see her husband. I couldn't look him in the eye after that. It was like watching the death of a family, but the family doesn't even realize it. 

That stuff didn't used to bother me. I didn't look at the humanity of trauma, just the traumatic injury itself. So to my friends out there.... hold your families close today. Realize how lucky you are. Make time for the ones that you love, because all that other stuff will be there tomorrow. You family may not. 


Anonymous jobubr said...

isn't it crazy how a second here or there can change your entire life? love your posts!

11:11 AM  
Blogger A Nurse's Curses said...

I cried all the way home from my OT shift yesterday. A pregnant woman was hit by a car then run over, both killed. I was so sad for her husband so I got through the day but melted down in the car. This job is so messed up.

12:40 PM  
Blogger battynurse said...

And I thought my dude with the fracture penis was bad. Coworker wanted to know if they were doing an ORIF?
So sad about the family. I think maybe that's why I have a hard time working in a critical care environment. It's very difficult to not let the heart breaking moments become a part of me.

1:15 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home