Monday, November 24, 2008

The Drawbacks

One of the drawbacks
Of being the man in nursing,
There are a few scenario's
Nursing school ain't rehearsing;

For example, last night
There was an elder, female, asian,
Though it looked like a peach assignment
I overlooked the equation,
Where men exit the room
In times of elimination,
They won't talk to the man
On this kind of occasion.

Every one to two hours
I entered her room,
Querying pain or discomfort
Anticipating no sense of doom,
But, with no relative for translation
She kept saying, "Ok",
Linen change at oh-five-thirty
Suddenly, hell was to pay.

This woman was lying
In a pool of liquid stool,
I was shaking my head
Like a newborn-nursing fool,
Trying to gently admonish
A lady, without my lingo,
At the same time, self-cursing
"I'm just a stupid gringo!".

But then, I understood
This is a crossroad of cultures,
As if twigs, leaves and tomatoes
Are thrown in a mulcher,
The output is messy
But fertile, there's no doubt,
She was as quiet as a mouse
While I was expecting a shout.

It all worked out in spades
I'm happy to say,
One poop for me, at the end of the shift
What more, can I say?!?


Monday, November 17, 2008

This is uber-ridiculous, yet funny. Actually, ridiculous doesn't begin to describe it; after all, how many times can I revisit the same old theme of Kaexalate?


I've written poems in the past
About the elevated K,
If the serum sample measures high
You have to make it go away,
And the Doctor commonly orders
An elixir; it's disgusting,
A-k-a: Kaexalate
Guaranteed for bowel busting.

But what if this was truck repair
Eighteen-wheeler, to be specific,
The differential diagnosis
Could really be terrific,
In terms of the location
The drive-shaft and its mate,
The nurse envisions a flexi-seal
And the mechanic, K-Axle-8.

So, you have to be real careful
When communicating with Patient-Bob,
He looks duller than a doornail
And he's dressed like a greasy slob,
But he has an uber-grasp of mechanics
Fluid dynamics and electrical lore,
When you tell him he needs an enema
Why, he thinks he's going to score.

Little does he know, this night
Will pass with loads of gas,
From bed to toilet, and then again
To empty out his ass,
If you can find a correlation
Between mechanics, and the way of medicine,
Instead of cussing you out, at four-a.m.
He'll be singing the praises of Edison.

Some things get old really fast.


Continuity of care, is fine
When all is well and good,
But when his bowels are loose
Hardly anybody should,
Be subject to caring
For more than a day at a time,
Although an incontinent patient
Has provided many a rhyme.

I've mentioned it before, how I recognize it is my role to report not only what is going on in the nursing realm, but to tell the stories of those persons who present into our health-care setting.

To Write

I'm not a prophet or a messenger
I'm just a fellow, who can make a phrase,
I come to work near the end of the night
And then, I welcome in the days,
To write about these others
To tell the story as I see it,
They may never get the chance
As their agent, I can free it,
I won't divulge their sacred oneness
When I meld it with my words,
Yet I'll cast a thousand seeds of wisdom
To be consumed by many birds.

_ - _ - _ - _ - _ -


Very few nurses
Read the lines that I pen,
The trials and errors
Experienced over and again,
Yet I still feel the urge
To put it in writing,
Like a night-time mosquito
Intent on its biting.

I have written for years
But very few listened,
It really doesn't matter
Regarding the verses I've christened,
These are recordings
That needed to be done,
And I surely didn't know
That I was the one,
While writing for years
In papers and in journals,
Never suspecting my topic
Might be of bedpans and urinals.

You have to be careful these days, when looking for a hot date!

Pseudomonas versus Pseudo-Mamas

If you're cruising the crowd
At the Autorama,
Looking for a pseudo-mama,
She might be offering a special bonus,
Candy-flavoured pseudomonas.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Do you like variety? Some do, while others like familiarity. Neither is better than the other.

New Patient

If you might ask a pool of nurses
Who work multiple days in a row,
Would they prefer a different choice each night
Or stick with the patients that they know,
Over the years I have asked that question
And the answers are all over the board,
Some like to see a new sunset every day
While others, like to work with what they stored,
Only yesterday, when caring for Mr. X and Y
And now today, they already own some of the facts,
It's akin to following a known path in the forest
Where you already recognize some of the tracks,
But should you query an ER Nurse
The answer is opposite and clearly understood,
That every new patient admitted on this night
Will be moving out in a few hours, as they should.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Some may think that I am lax, where I wait to give the bath till 4 am. First off, that leaning-over-pulling-stooping stuff that I have to do, to accomplish the bath, usually tweaks my back. Thus, I wait till the late hours of the shift. That leaves me free to help everyone else. So be it.

If All Looks Well

It's a double edged sword
When working with some nurses;

Even I may be a subject
Of somebody's curses,
Because, I guess it's well known
I don't care about the bath,
I look at every patient
And intuit their path,
In the great scheme of all things
I determine if it's needed,
With vital signs, irritation or rest
If they're alive, I've succeeded,
And after 10 hours
If all looks well, we're good to go,
It's time for my speed-bath
Because I want you to know,
That I recognize that fresh warm water
When placed against the flesh,
Has a remarkable, soothing effect
To erase memories, and refresh.

At Sister Euphemia's place, the proverbial wrench was thrown in (not the towel, mind you), regarding all the particulars about getting this humongous EMR system up and running by 12/2/08. Somewhere in the long chain of those-who-know, a decision was made to wait till next year. Which means, "just around the next corner after Jan/1/09". Mine is not to wonder why, but to make it rhyme with just one try. I think I've gotten to the crux of the matter: Resistance to Change. Hmmmmm, that sounds familiar...

Outstanding Duress

Why does Care-Connect pose
Such outstanding duress?
I think it's worth reviewing
Because an incredible mess,
A conundrum of calamities
Is looming in the future,
Where a pat on the back and cookies
Or a 24-carat gold suture,
Won't be adequate to patch
Our confused and aging staff,
Surely Generation X & Y
Will share a hearty laugh.

Why is change so difficult?
We confront it every day,
Never knowing for certain
How a disease dilemma will play,
In yonder victims body
After a week of rampant infection,
Change, is delta squared unknown
And we love to predict its direction.

But an aspect of our jobs
Is guaranteed regular and static,
It's the paperwork we're accustomed to
After decades, it's automatic,
We know exactly what to chart and where
The closet and shelf where they're kept,
This electronic medical record
Blatantly exposes why some feel inept.

I predict a silent rebellion
Perhaps later, an ear-rending scream,
Will be issuing forth from the multitudes
Who thought this nightmare, was surely a dream,
Then the PTO, Sick-calls and other
Will be ringing the phone off the desk,
Forty-five Nurses resigning
And swapping their jobs for burlesque.

I seriously doubt, that this disaster was foreseen
Assumptions were made, regarding the nurses,
Figuring heck, we're such resilient troubleshooters
We'll just knuckle down, muttering our favorite curses,
But, here in the waning, august years of our life
Who wants to deal, with the mother-of-pain,
Why not run with the pension and the 403(b)
And let them hire some new-grads to train.


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Leigh, the travel nurse extraordinaire, will forever be immortalized by this touching limerick:

Eau du Leigh

There once was a nurse known as Leigh,
Who worked so damn hard, all could see,
The sparks flew as she sped
From each CCU bed,
So remarkably nimble, was she.

Fibril_late (& Ms. V)

Monday, November 03, 2008

Every once in a while, I have to write something so silly and nonsensical, particularly after I've been penning a bunch of true-life-stories. Enough of reality already!


I’ll take most any medicine
But I won’t ever, take one pill,
To me it’s a moral issue
Regarding Lisinopril.

About the name, it sets me off
It rankles my nerves and gives a chill,
The first two syllables set the tone
Lie, sin, o-pril.

How could I possibly consider
To absorb within, this Lie,
Follow up with a course of Sin
Oh pril, I’d rather die.

I’d rather let my blood pressure
Run it’s course,
Be trampled by elephants
Or kicked by a horse,
Lay on a bed made of
Porcupine quill,
Before I’d ever consume
Lie, sin, o-pril!