Saturday, February 24, 2018

Bloody Mess (again)

Oh Nurse, never ever think that your work environment or work load could never be worse, because that is the equivalent of inviting hellish demons to prove otherwise!

Take it from this reliable source, it is never a good idea, to run a bare-bones staff, in a Diagnostic and Procedural Cardiac Unit. Our patients, for the most part, are massively anticoagulated for various reasons. Interventional operators poke huge IV lines in them, and we Recovery Nurses are expected to deal with that crap.

Oh, I failed to mention that feature. When Gilly the Nurse, presses upon Betty Lou's groin with the weight of an elephant, to stem the flow of essential life juices..............Well, there is bowel nearby below the skin, and the squishing can cause a squishy ejection, of no longer essential, crap from their rectum.

Just image 3 or 4 nurses, with a combined total of 7 or 8 post-op patients, and three of those patient's are a temporary 1:1, because they have non-stopped bleeding, or there is a fresh General-Anesthesia recovery. The problem with Femoral artery bleeds, it sometimes demands two or three nurses to deal with a combo of details. The stop-the-flow-of-bleeding, maybe the ensuing hypotension, the administration of Atropine and fluids. All that can be happening at once. This doesn't happen every day, but it does occur every week. Yet our staffing never changes. At least half of our Unit nurses, are not solid Recovery nurses, because they are the folks willing to come to work at 5am, to preop the public. After 5:30pm, we have two, three, or four Nurses; at 930pm, only two Nurses. Late evening recoveries are typically just Pacemaker recipients, but we still have earlier patients on groin-recovery. If any of this sounds unsafe to you, just clap one hand, because I know you won't be heard.

Yesterday, was a Hellish day, for four of us.

A colossal mess
In our complexity of care,
Vascular complications
That would give you a scare,
To make doctors throw tantrums
When they were the doers,
Poking hundred pound patients
With 14 French skewers.

Back in my days
At good old university,
There were Interns and Residents
To help buffer adversity,
Extra doctors on deck
When blood began to fly,
Now our current situation
Is enough to make one cry.

Don't imagine I'm blaming
Only the doctor,
Our corporate entity
Is a beast of a proctor,
Forcing tight budgets
Upon a short-handed nurses,
Thus, we bear the brunt
Of discontent and curses.

Few nurses are willing
To do what we do,
Ya, we get all the glory
The brave and the few,
But the conditions are abysmal
Unsafe, for Public Joe,
And when Boss counts only numbers
It's a pyroclastic flow.

A dense, destructive mass
Hot lava and gasses,
Exploding and gushing
And burning our asses,
Yes, that is how it feels
In Cardiac Support,
It never changes, my friend
And that's my report.

Saturday, February 03, 2018


Yesterday was cur-r-r-r-r-azy. Patient's behaving abnormally gruff, a couple major bleeding problems, cars breaking down, people waiting hours and hours for scheduled procedures and so on. Unfortunately, this is turning into a regular, daily occurrence. Even a couple doctors were short tempered, but amazingly, we actually had enough nurses for once. Sure, that probably won't happen again, but I guess it is notable.

Anyway, I managed to ruffle some feathers on a doting family member, and let me tell you why:

Brain Salad Speech

Near the end of 12 hours
And 40 million thoughts,
My words become garbled
And I begin to see dots,
Speech dyslexia
And sentence destruction,
Like a garbage disposal
Applying suction.

So, who could blame me?
A spousal wife,
When she misunderstood me
And pulled out a knife,
Figuratively speaking
Claiming, I was so rude,
When I asked her, "Now, what?"
I'm an insensitive dude!

"Now what can we do for you"
Had a couple words missing,
She immediately looked daggers
Sputtering and hissing,
I had no way out
Not even an apology,
It was her misunderstanding
And abnormal psychology.

For the next two hours
I avoided that room,
After she took the time to tell me
All dire and doom,
That folks where she works
Over at Hospital X,
Would have tossed me out the door
With a doubled-down Hex.

At 12 hours plus
I have a disability,
This ancient nurse brain
Has lost some agility,
Manufacturing speech
At the drop of a hat,
“Now what (do you need)”
Is not more than just that.


Thursday, February 01, 2018

In the Details

I am an avid student of the EKG and what is now called the science of Electrophysiology.


I spotted a parasystole
As obvious as a cyst,
No one else had heard of it
The reason it was missed,
Benign it was, in general
The anomoly fit the condition,
While I enjoyed the discovery
Everyone else had suspicion.

Effectually, they cared not
With glazed look in the eye,
A ho-hum sort of response
I felt that I might cry,
That's how it is sometimes
For the guy who holds the loot,
Getting excited about a mystery
And nobody gives a hoot.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Candidly Speaking

In my current job position, death does not occur in our unit. We rarely ever call the "Code Blue". Occasionally, we call a "Rapid Response", primarily to get a little help, for the problem that is already known to us. But, the discussion of death, never comes up in our outpatient conversations. My past tours of employment included a heck of a lot of death, so I have played on both teams.

I try to be, often,
But in my line of work
I don't talk about the coffin,
Down the hall in the closet
It is ready for you,
If I can be perfectly candid
Your time is almost due.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Hip Hop Nurses

After seeing an advertisement for the upcoming Grammy awards, naturally I thought "what would a Hip Hop nurse do"? Just use your imagination.

If Nurses were Hip Hop stars
We would take it up a notch,
I could give you your Norco
While grabbing my crotch,
Other nurses are my homey's
Just working in this crib,
We talk with hand gestures
Hip Hop lingo, ad lib.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Vacation, Staycation..........Flucation

Newsflash! If you are harboring any ideas of visiting California about now, DON'T!
We're all infected with the big, bad Flu. That includes all hospital workers too. This year, it surely doesn't matter if you had a Flu shot or not, you will still get sick, albeit less likely to die, if you did accept the needle. Don't get me wrong, I am a staunch supporter of vaccinations, in effect, believing it to be a moral imperative that health-care workers be required to be vaccinated. However, that's for the ACLU to sort out, I guess.

Let me tell you how it was,
Everyone I know was sick
And the research says, because,
Just breathing is enough
To share the evil virus,
And what you get is worse than any
Song by Miley Cyrus.

In my case, I suffered
24 hours of severe pain,
In every joint and ligament
From my ankles to my brain,
One simple short term fever
That was it, and I am happy,
Everyone else I know
Was in a crisis feeling crappy.

The death rate climbs each week
Healthy people dropping like flies,
Don't even visit the hospital
Death is in the air, oh, surprise!
It will catch you unawares
And tomorrow you'll be sick,
Call the mortuary now, my friend
You'll be heading there, right quick.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Kind of Crazy

I went to the Dentist for a cleaning, and had the good fortune to be worked upon by Dental Dana (my favorite). Once again, it was another appointment that went south, very fast.

Dental Dana #65

Dental Dana
Might be crazy,
But that chick
Is never lazy,
Her tool control
Is so efficient,
In the Dental suite
She appears omnsicient.

I always get
A tingly rush,
When she uses
That laser scaling brush,
Abrading plaque
In my nether regions,
Bacterial legions.

How she knows
I don't understand,
But I follow each
And every command,
"Turn your head
Now, clench a little,
And do control
Your slimy spittle".

With words like that
I can't resist,
A subtle nudge
Upon her wrist,
Unnoticed, I think
Oh, not a chance,
She dropped that laser
Onto my pants.

That's her usual
Time to quit,
Stating, "We're done here
And do not spit"
But I'll come back
When she says it's okay,
For another round
Of hygienic play.