There is such a nursing shortage that as the baby boomer nurses retire and over half the new nurses quit in the first year...we are always short handed. Since unlike the north the south has no union, on other floors they try to kill the nurses by forcing them to take more patients than they can safely care for. On our trauma floor you just can't leave an incoming patient gushing blood sitting in the hallway. We must be staffed.
Where I usually work three or four 12 hour shifts, I am working five and six two of them 18 hour shifts.
I do not usually use my blog for personal things but I NEED to vent desperately and am going to have a pity party complete with tears and a bottle of wine after working 19 hours. I am a trauma nurse so I am putting an cut in here for those who cannot handle that. Then I'll be back with the personal crap and advice seeking.
CUT HERE SQUEAMISH JUMP TO
Five car pile up--eight people brought in via LifeFlight 6 by ambulance. 3 straight into surgery, lost two women in their twenties to cervical fractures, got one on life support but her heart flat-lined and unlike TV when the heart goes into asystole (flatline) that means there is no electrical charge in the heart and only 1 out of 10,000 come back. We cracked her chest and tried massage, but it was too late. We hung 22 units of blood lost two more one bleeding out faster than we could infuse in.
Then when we finally stabilized the others for surgery I get the gangbanger who was shot in the ass and back running from a grocery store robbery. He's handcuffed to the bed four points, screaming for pain medicine when he meant 'knock me out I don't wanna hurt.'
The store owner came in DOA. We are not suppose to have any feelings one way or the other...I'm with the doc whose telling the store owner's wife he didn't make it and she collapses. Another helicopter in another gangbanger from the Asian gang in Nashville, figure he must be a heavy hitter he has police guards with shot guns on at each entrance and one at the bedside. Stabilized and sent to surgery to remove a knife from his gut.
A note here about surgery...when a patient is for sure going to die during surgery, they patch them up and bring them back into the ICU. They die with us thereby keeping the surgical death rate and thus insurance rate down. This is just fact of business done everywhere in the US.
I got the Asian gangbanger back whose now a boy of 19 awake, hurting, dying and begging me not to let him die... he just kept saying he was sorry and he wanted to live until he died. Family in waiting room--another scene.
We have wonderful Care Partners as they take over the preparation for the morgue, I have to put him behind me to move on to the next one. My other gangbanger is now fully awake and rattling his handcuffs and threatening to kill me and my family if I don't give him more for pain. My resident for the night bent over him and whispered something in his ear that widened his eyes and shut him up. Probably something like, its not smart to fuck with the person who has your life in their hands. God. if I weren't married and 15 years younger I'd have a fling with this newbie doc. He takes care of his nurses. Anyway each time we stabilize one we got another one that was worse. As I prepared to go home after eighteen hours I had one code and after 45 minutes we lost her...another family to strike a life altering blow, a stack of paperwork and since we were short I had to clean her and tag and bag her myself and push the gurney down into the bowels of the hospital met the guard who unlocked the morgue and pushed her in. I always hate this because as you walk in the door in huge letters over a refrigerator unit is FETAL REMAINS. So I carried that home with me.
So coming home I push the speedometer a little too much in fact I was at 85mph, My little Sebring its easy to go too fast so I got pulled over. Had the top down. Cop walked up, recognized me from when he'd been in to see a fellow cop weeks before and maybe the blood on my uniform--anyway he never even took his pad out. Just gave me the lecture told me not to speed on his section of the interstate again and slow down before I ended up in my own unit. Nice of him. Could have gotten reckless driving for going 30mph over the speed limit and lost my license.
Get home strip in the garage everything into the washer robe to the shower wash three or four times, pour a glass of wine out of the fridge and settle down to wind down on the computer.
Family note here. I have a serial marrying mother divorced from number five and four sisters. Mom lives in Montgomery Alabama, sister Debbie does as does Tina. Tina and Debbie do not speak because of something my mother caused. Sister Carolyn married a Country Music Publisher--now a widow, husband's owned rights to many country music collections. She sold them to Sony. Let's just say she has her own private plane and is doing fine. I'm glad for her but I know she misses Buddy, she hasn't remarried, rarely dates and she was almost thirty years younger than he was but they were happy. Sister Melissa the baby is eighteen and decided two years ago she is gay. Lives with 5 other women. I don't get it myself. Fall in love with another woman--okay I understand---but five?
But never mind that dysfunctional crap my sister Debbie calls me to tell me that my mother has stage 4 breast cancer, has already had chemo, a double mastectomy and radiation its in her skin but not anywhere else and there is nothing more they can do. 2 months to a year at the most.
Now why, I ask haven't I been told. Apparently my mother told them about my bad heart and I might have an attack. WHAT BAD HEART I DON'T HAVE A BAD HEART? Well seems since my dad and his dad died of heart attacks and had their first in their thirties, I am doomed for the same. News to me.Not even High BP do I have.
Bottom line,...I worked oncology for a year, know people, know what to ask. She didn't want me interfereing or disagreeing with her hillbilly doctors doing treatments like they did in the 1800's. DAMN IT ALL TO HELL AND BACK. Didn't tell Tina or Carolyn because they'd tell me. So here she is dying and she tells Debbie to call us and find out what we want of hers when she dies. SCREAM VERY LOUD HERE.
She doesn't want any of us coming down there because her boyfriend is staying with her, excuse me living off her right now, we might cause trouble. DAMN STRAIGHT.
So, now what. My hubby says come to bed and sleep on it. Talk with Carolyn and Tina tomorrow. I think I'm having an aneurysm behind my right eye, that just got me a smack on the butt from my hubby.
I will figure out this family crap, think I may take a week off if they can work around it. Maybe I can start back blogging regular. I keep getting unfriended. SIGH. Another one today. Try to read everyone, but no time right now to comment.
Anyway to make my sleep sweeter a couple of my other man's pictures from Identity Crisis