You are currently browsing the daily archive for February 12, 2010.
Your first day back from work after any extended time off should be relatively easy. A shift that helps get you back into your groove. I got shoved back into that sadistic groove by a hellish shift. It was so bad that the next morning a patient of mine died, and it was still a better day than the first.*
Most of my problems were related to lab draws. I had several patients that had timed and stat lab draws. One was on potassium protocol with a level I couldn’t seem to get higher than 2.7. The others were surgical patients, and the scheduling of their surgeries depended on those results. And so I had doctors circling me all day long, asking after those labs. (Labs that policy states are to be drawn by our lab techs. That means we don’t get supplied with vials and butterfly needles.)
I check the computer for the current status of the labs. “In Progress” used to mean the specimen was in the lab being processed. Apparently, now it could mean that its being processed, that it has only been collected, or that no one has done a damn thing at all about your stat lab.
It’s true that the lab is understaffed at times. There have been times in the past that I was notified while calling about my labs that only one lab tech was available to draw blood for the entire hospital. I get it. But if that’s going to be a norm, the units should be notified and supplies should be available for us to draw at least our stat and timed labs.
Which leads to the other problem on my unit – there are no supplies. This is how our manager has decided we will save money. I was told that while I was gone the nurses were even having to take on more patients so she could save money by not having another nurse on the clock. Nice.
I’ve begun my third year in nursing. Happy Nursing Birthday to Me!
*This was an elderly lady with a DNR and family at her side. I’d consider myself blessed to be able to die peacefully with my sister and daughter whispering love.