When I first got into nursing, back in the day, I took a job at a teaching hospital somewhere deep in the Bible Belt in a place at the time that wasn’t on any map. My orienting nurse was experiencing a very hectic shift plus burdened with the task of orienting me to the unit. She was being pulled in 50 different directions, near ripping her hair out when, at the height of her anxiety she turned to me and said, “There are days in this job where no matter what you do, as hard as you try, things go crazy. Nothing goes right. You can’t satisfy anyone, patient or staff. They just seem to suck the will to live right out of you!”
Being new to nursing without experience to fall back on I took her word for it. But in all honesty I had no idea. No idea.
Fast forward a few years. It starts like this…
…Your patient refuses to call for assistance, tries to get up out of bed by himself and FALLS! He complains his HIP HURTS “REAL BAD”. The resident sees him and wants a STAT CT SCAN.
Your other patient is constantly on the call light claiming the morphine he was given gave him an upset stomach. You notice the half eaten BURGER KING WHOPPER AND FRIES next to the EMPTY SODA on his bedside table. WHERE DID HE GET THAT? He is NPO for a procedure. He starts puking up his guts when his wife calls for an update and asks how he liked his “Whopper”!
Your new admit from the Emergency Department suddenly arrives: ALCOHOL WITHDRAWAL in full blown DTs (Delirium Tremors), pale as a ghost, and smelling like a GI Bleed. SNIFF SNIFF … yup definitely a GI BLEED! He yanks out his newly placed IV while demanding a cigarette and beer or else “I will go AMA!” You can tell he has been here before, he knows the jargon.
All of a sudden his eyes roll back, he starts jerking and shaking uncontrollably. GRAND MALL SEIZURE! Before you can yell, “GET THE ATIVAN!!!” your manager violently grabs you aside urgently wanting to know, right this very moment, if you signed up for the potluck tomorrow to celebrate the one year birthday of the CEO’s puppy. Will you be bringing the paper plates or the plastic fork and knives??? (Management has it’s priorities!)
Blank stare, dumbfounded, struggling, you feel that tenuous grip on reality and your sanity slipping as the code blue alarm goes off and everyone is running toward your room.
Every nurse eventually has one of these days. Some have many!
Today was your day. The day….
“THEY SUCK YOUR WILL TO LIVE!”
NOW YOU UNDERSTAND! WELCOME TO THE CLUB!