You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Year Five’ category.
We received an e-mail from our manager that spoke of disappointment over some nursing staff reading, sharing and expressing agreement with this article from allnurses.com: “Dear Nursing Students/Orientees: A Love Note from the Preceptor from Hell.” He attached the link to his e-mail, so of course I had to read the article he described as “negative, and almost confrontational, almost fully endorsing ‘nurses eating their young.’ Please know that there is no way we will ever precept new hires with the nasty attitude of this highly unprofessional article.”
First off, it isn’t an article so much as someone’s essay or editorial piece that the author admits in the beginning to writing in “an exhausted, frazzled moment after an insane day and trauma call.” As for the rest, I found myself nodding along to most of the article. I didn’t find it that negative. It was a nurse speaking plainly about his/her experience as a preceptor.
I’m so tired of that buzzword “negative.” My hospital has used it in the past to mean anyone who has something critical to stay – whether or not it is constructive is beside their point. As a very new nurse, I was in a meeting where we were actually told by another manager that among upper management “there will be zero tolerance for negativity. If you’re openly not happy with any aspect of your job, leave willingly or they’ll help you leave. There are over 200 active applications in HR. Those people know exactly what it is like here, and they want our jobs.” While there has been improvement since and many changes in administration, some of those same suits are still there. I’m sure those are the suits that wanted my manager to respond to the article.
I do the majority of the precepting on my unit. I’ve probably acted, said, or thought most of that essay, yet I consistently receive positive feedback from orientees and my manager. Nursing students hired onto our floor regularly request me as their preceptor.
I’m doing something right.
the first words out of your patient’s mouth are
“I’m not hard to get along with.”
A certain co-worker is well-known for her attitude, especially at report time. It is something that I know has been brought to management’s attention. She’s usually okay to deal with, but she has her flare-ups.
One morning I was the recipient of said attitude. She was giving me back a patient, and she proceeded to brag about a non-issue and her creative (and questionable) solution while insinuating that it was a problem that I and others had let fester. I congratulated her in a sarcastic manner, but she seemed oblivious. She smiled and pointed her feet at me. “You all need to kiss my feet.”
I told her I’d have a crown waiting for her that night. And I managed to find 30 minutes over the next 12 hours to do make her a crown out of the frame of a potty specimen collection “hat”, paper, and markers. It waiting at her usual computer by 6:30pm.
I let myself burn that entire shift over those few minutes of report. The other day shifters had witnessed the exchange and watched me steal minutes to angrily color and piece together a crown fit for the Queen Bitch of the floor.
I was eager to watch her wear the crown I’d made out of spite. A crown she would love to wear. A crown whose meaning was known to everyone else. She walked in, looked at crown with delight, and immediately put it on her head. She turned to me smiling proudly.
I found all the bitterness immediately replaced with the warm gladness that she liked her crown.
Apparently I can’t do spite right.
I’m okay with that.
The gift shop in the hospital lobby has a little coffee bar that I frequent. I can never remember its hours on the weekend, so I usually make at least one trip in vain.
I was on one such trip the other day and felt that familiar irrational surge of rage to see the dark shop. I started to turn back when I heard someone say, “Are you Diana?”
I looked to see a somewhat familiar face and said, “Yes.”
She then gestured to a young woman standing beside her and told me that I had been her daughter’s nurse. “Remember? You used to have to straighten her up all the time.”
I looked into her daughter’s eyes and suddenly remembered a young woman who arrested at home. Her family had performed CPR until the ambulance arrived. When I met her she had just transferred to the floor. Alive and doing physically well, but a childlike shell of the person she had been.
“She’s about 90% recovered. Just some short-term memory problems.”
I gave her a hug and told her how glad I was to see her doing so well. She never said much. I doubt she actually remembered me, but her mom continued to gush. “You were one of our favorite nurses. I know you guys don’t hear it enough, but this is why you do what you do.”
I had gotten my fix after all.
When a patient’s family member was your patient two years ago, and he tells the patient, “You’ve got the best nurse.”
I recently started orientation for a relief position at a minor care clinic. Trying to get in all the orientation time means that all my usual days off from the hospital are spent at the clinic. This means that this last week I’ve had no days off.
Pros: 1. Bigger pay check. 2. Enjoying a new nursing field 3. Next to no laundry
Cons: 1. Working seven days in a row
I forgot to turn off my alarm this morning, so I woke up thinking I had to go to work today. I was not happy.
I was cranky for the twenty minutes I was hitting snooze.
Then it hit me.
I went back to sleep with a smile on my face.
When a patient’s family member brags about you to other staff.
I was preparing a patient’s discharge when his wife arrived to take him home.
She met me in the hall and told me she needed to talk to me. There had been an incident yesterday, and she wouldn’t bring it up now except that she hadn’t been able to stop thinking about it.
“I don”t want to get anybody in trouble, but….
Sometime between one and four in the afternoon, our aide was making rounds. She went to his room, walked straight up to him past a few visitors, and said ‘Have you had a BM today?’
That was rude, crude, and unacceptable. She could have written that on a piece of paper and handed it to him. Or come back later, but she seemed like she was in such a hurry.”
I did what I always do when an idiotic complaint is made.
1. Keep a straight face.
2. Thank the whiner for bringing the nonexistent problem to my attention.
3. Tell them that I will speak to whoever did nothing wrong.
4. Ask if they need to speak to the charge nurse or nurse manager.
“Oh, no honey. I’m going to administration. This needs to go to the top and trickle down.”
Keep a straight face. Keep a straight face. Keep a straight face.
“I understand. You do what you have to do. I’ll let my supervisors know to expect that call.”
She marched herself down the hall.
I had a good laugh with my charge nurse at the station.
I had a good laugh with my nurse manager in his office.
I had a good laugh with my house supervisor on the phone.
And promised to get them out of here as quickly as I could.
Done and done.
“You’re better than a rail.”
* Pleasantly confused man when I told him he could hold on to me.