Monday, August 09, 2010

Is it December Yet?

Would love to say that July went in like  lion and out like a lamb. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The learning curve appears steep again and the phrase "it is July" seems to drop from my mouth daily. Around here it will be "July" until at least mid to late December. The July bug seems to be catching though and (as my favorite resident has said) "its NOT July for you" has been said to many a resident who has been here more than 30 days. Maybe stupid has finally evolved into an ICD9 code-able disease.

The university, in their infinite wisdom, (and new nursing direction) has decided to make some changes. Not one at a time, but all about a month apart.

June 1: Non-Smoking Campus (I don't smoke, but that has gone over really fucking well) We have a huge campus, so people just go down the street. That hasn't stopped the hospital from hiring security who's job it is to walk the outside of the hospital and prevent people from smoking. I wonder how much that cost?

July 1: INTERNS. I should say 'nuff said, but like I said, the hospital is being fucktarded. Not only do we have to suffer through the interns, but the new ER computer charting which can be compared to pulling fucking teeth. Every attending and resident has to do a computerized note. We have a limited number of computers and and even more limited number of chairs. Can you imagine what the nurses station looks like? Yup, doctor city. Neither a chair, nor computer (or phone) to be had.

July 10: Medics have been shafted. We have a strong group of overtrained, under paid paramedics that work in our department. They are my right hand in traumas, they responded to codes on the floors, they transport ICU patients, they help with IV access, meds (within their list of meds they can give.... which is pretty liberal) and all in all help with the pace and flow of patients through the department. Not to mention they bust their asses and are of more use to me than an intern. Our brilliant nursing leadership has decided to pull their privledges. They are now nothing more than glorified stretcher pushers. They can draw blood, but not flush afterwards (saline is a med you know). They can transport a patient upstairs, but if they code they no longer have intubation and code med access. They are actually no longer to even put a patient on oxygen. These people are more trained than (a lot of) nurses and they are being fucked, hardcore. How are we supposed to claim to be the best and most forward thinking of departments when we are moving backwards? Hospital management is considering forming a committee to decide what to do with the medics now. I am calming myself enough to write a letter to the CNO. I think calling her a stupid yankee bitch with no goddamn clue would be bad. B=Maybe I'm not calm enough yet.

August 1: Uniforms. Yes friends we have sunk to that. We have always been on the forefront of research in cardiac, stroke and trauma emergencies. There are things all over our walls to prove it. Nursing management has decided that success is not enough to portray a "professional nursing image." As of August 1 all nursing has to wear the same color scheme. (we have the choice to wear all blue, all white or a combination) I work in the ER dammit. I get covered in the grossest shit on a regular basis. With the exception of my ICU time, I always wear hospital-issued scrubs. Its cheap and if I get god-knows-what on me, I can go to the machine and change. We tried to explain this to the all-knowing management and their response was something along the lines of "Based on out research ER nurses are no more likely to get soiled than any other nurse. They just need to remember to take the proper PPE precautions." Ok Doctorate and Masters in Nursing dumbasses.... I will ask the drive-up GSW, active labor, GI bleeders and drunks to not get blood, stool, vomit and god knows what else on me until I am ready with my PPE. Seriously?  We no longer require ER nurses to have ACLS because we can't afford to pay for it, and what do we do with it anyway, but God forbid we aren't all dressed alike.

Sometime in August: Tracking systems. Whose brilliant idea this was I don't fucking know. It started with putting tracking devices on our equipment. That way if it needs to be fixed or is just missing from the unit we can track it down. The newest idea... lets put it on the staff so we always know where they are. I do about 10 miles in walking a night (wore a pedometer for about a week), I don't sit a lot. But I don't need to be low-jacked. I don't need big brother to know just how long I take in the bathroom or where I go to find Diet Mt Dew when we are out downstairs. we are told that this is simply a tracking device and will not be used against us. I highly doubt that. I have a feeling that our tracking will start coming up during any discipline or patient relation problems. This way they have someone to pin shit on. I have every intention of hanging my tracker from the computer in the nurses station or tagging a piece of helicopter equipment with it. That should make for some interesting tracking. Fuckers

Any of this sound like a good idea to you? The no-smoking I can get behind. It doesn't stop the random psych pt from harassing us outside (even though I don't smoke), but its a start. Uniforms, tracking? Gestapo Germany anyone? Just checking.


Blogger because it all matters said...

Oh my gosh!!! I thought my workplace was bad!! I hated when we had to go to uniforms. Working in a nursing home, having cute fun colorful scrubs gives elderly and demented residents something to identify us by and makes them feel less institutionalized. Color-coded uniforms was useless because they all still called everybody "nurse" because they didn't know what our colors meant and we all looked drab to them.
And in the new facility I'm at, we wear bright tops (at least we have a few color choices) and white pants. Which I manage to get something disgusting on at least twice a month. And no, my spare scrubs are not white and do not match.
And rules and tasks changing...yes. I had to ask a nurse if I could put an abductor between a resident's knees. Why I have to ask permission to do that now, I don't know (no injuries or complications, I just wanted to prevent contractures and skin breakdown).

It really sucks being a pee-on. Which is pretty much how it always goes in medicine. It's a good thing it's a rewarding field.

7:41 PM  
Blogger battynurse said...

Ugg. That all sucks ass.
The uniforms idea sucks. I've seen several different nursing magazines pushing the idea to make nurses look more professional or to help patients identify who is the nurse. It still sucks and doesn't really make much difference to the patients or anyone other than management.
The tracker things? Hell yes they are going to use those against you. We have locked doors in our areas that we have to "badge" into. A few months back they used those badge logs and time cards to fire like 8 different people who had forgot to clock in and wrote in a time but then had a badge reading that in management's opinion contradicted the clock time.

10:25 PM  
Blogger Nurse J said...

that blows major. i wear khaki cargo pants and whatever color top i want. i'd hate to have manglement dictating my dress code. the things that the waste time regulating is mindblowing. i say. put the trackers on the elevator. or, flush them from the top of the hospital. or, tube them to each other. if your hospital has a tube system. good luck not losing your mind or your mojo....

11:46 PM  
Blogger Paradise Driver said...

Well, uniforms aren't such a bad idea but must be initiated by management example. I believe that all management personnel, from the head honcho down, should wear something similar to a parochial school uniform. You know, blazer jackets, white shirts/blouses matching slacks/skirts. Lets face it, the most important people in a hospital are the administrative staff (just ask them) and a uniform would make it easier for the general public to identify and request their assistance in such traumatic areas as billing issues, lack of adequate table bussing in the cafeteria and fielding complaints that are generally classified as "OTHER" on the automated admissions systems. The doctors should also be required to wear uniforms that, by color combination's (in alternating 2-inch vertical stripes), that would give a patient immediate knowledge as to the years of experience and area of specialty. Lets face it, do you really want a proctologist doing your eye-ear-nose-throat exam? Food service personnel must be mandated to wear butler or french maid uniforms, depending on sex and/or orientation. Housekeeping would be appropriately attired in full Level-1 bio-hazard gear. Security would wear a variation of the standard Dunkin' Donuts uniform.

Finally, to ensure proper utilization of this innovative improvement to medicine, all patients and visitors must attend a 4 hour orientation class (with a 100 question pass/fail multiple choice exam) before they would be admitted as a patient or be allowed to visit as a guest.

Also, all flight qualified personnel would wear something akin to a "Buzz Lightyear" costume.

Again, I have no problem with uniforms as long as all change is initiated from the top down, rather than bottom up.

Just my 2-cents worth.

4:18 AM  
Anonymous Nurse Stella said...

And they wonder why so many nurses are leaving the field.

7:29 AM  
Blogger MOJITOGIRL said...

i know the economy's bad and all, but I think you seriously need to get THE HELL OUT OF THERE SOON before you blow a gasket, like the flight attendant! burn out COMPLETELY or just decide that you can't do this anymore.

You're too talented, and mind you, there is BS everywhere you go, but a high-stress job AND BS? And stupid BS to boot!

Time to go, friend. Time to find another niche. It's out there....even if you get out for awhile to clear your head.

Take stock around you and examine your CAN DO BETTER!

11:59 PM  
Blogger Melanie said...

He Jeepgirl,

you seem bright and one hell of a nurse. From the otherside of the ocean I just found your blog and I must say it rocks!! It took me a few days to go through alll your posts, but it was like reading a good book; sg you cannot put down untill you are done. And then you just wait for the next edition to come out!! So please keep us updated on all the crap you come across, all the babymomma's and pappa's with the GSW and the psych patients with god knows what stuck in their asses.

My advise, bring back your little words of advice. They made me laugh.

Thanks for all your posts so far and keep me busy during working hours in my boring office job while studying for what you are already. One hell of a kickass trauma nurse!!

Greetings from Amsterdam

3:46 AM  

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