Friday, May 28, 2010

I've worked nightshift for the majority of my Nursing career. Under some circumstances, family members/visitors are welcome to stay, particularly when the patient in question is confused or anxious. Often though, when it's a family member who just wants to stay over, for their own unexpressed emotional vacuum, it's usually more of a bother to the Nurse, and ultimately, the patient recieves less rest.

Sometimes the visitor just won't listen and won't accept, that it would be better for all concerned, that they go home! Critically ill people need defined periods of zero stimulation. I, as the nurse, can control my actions and activities, but having family there 22 hours a day, is usually a detriment.

Visiting Hours

Visiting hours are over
So, get the hell out of Dodge, we do ask,
Nothing is easier than leaving quite promptly
Do I need to explain this simple task?

Visiting hours are over
We've had quite enough of you now,
Leave now or suffer the consequences
Or I think, I just might have a cow.

Visiting hours are over
We overhead paged so politely,
We would like you to leave in a hurry
Or suffer a night with Golytely.

Visiting hours are over
We anxiously await your departure,
This is our one last sweet warning
Vamanos!, or we're calling the archer.

The memo was sent, the rulebook delivered
We explained it all clearly, I'm sure,
Leave now, you're no longer welcome
You're like a disease with no cure,
A thorn in our side, you're causing us pain
Your presence unasked for; uninvited,
The faster you leave, isn't quite quick enough
Disappear and we'll be so damned delighted.

For Visiting Hours, we flex our powers
Leave our building at night, or you'll pay,
We'll honor your return in the future
You're welcome to return, the next day.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Sometimes I get a little too proud regarding my poetic endeavors. And then I'm shot down by my buddy Steve, and his hilarious tales of Nursing mayhem. If you don't laugh and fall to the floor with this poem, you're a stone-cold chump!

Holy Senokot!
His abdomen was large,
His pants fit tightly,
The doctor had ordered
A jug of Golyteley.
After drinking a few cups
 He loudly proclaimed,
“I can’t drink any more
And I’m not one bit ashamed.”
“This stuff tastes like seawater,
 And it’s making me sick”,
So, I got on the phone
And called really quick.
“Hello Doc, about Mr. Johnson,
He can’t drink any more,
His belly is hurting
And he’s sick to the core.”
"He says there’s no reason
 For him to stay,
If to clean him out
There’s no other way."
“Can he swallow a pill?”
 The Doc asked with a snicker,
A pill would work I thought
And be a whole lot quicker.
So he ordered Senokot
A good drug indeed,
“15 Senokot PO now”
Just how much did he need.
Yes, I gave the patient
Those fifteen little pills,
Then I got some towels
As I knew there’d be spills.

And I called the pharmacist
“Did you do the approving,
Of fifteen Senokots
To get this man moving?”
 She said, “Holy crap”
I said, “That I will second”,
She replied, “That is a lot”
I said, “That’s what I reckoned.”
And the fireworks began
It was quick and abrupt,
The diaper bulged out
As he began to erupt.
The elastic in the legs
Didn’t hold it at all,
Poop shot from the diaper
All over the wall.
Mr. Johnson ran in circles,
He became all confused,
He looked like a sprinkler
I wasn’t amused.
Poop flew from his diaper
Til it finally blew off,
The smell was ungodly
I choked and I coughed
With a very loud sputter
In a big lake of brown,
I just about screamed
When his bowels settled down.
I wiped off the toilet,
I wiped off the floor,
I wiped off my scrubs
And I wiped even more.
I sat him on the toilet
And he kept on going,
In a boat with no paddles
Somehow I kept rowing.
So I called back that doctor
Just to say thanks and such,
“Doc, about that Senokot

Steve Huff
Reading the previous post (below this one), you'll understand that I endure a stressful job. Sure, you say, tough luck, that's life. But I think it contributed to my current condition, the allergy attack that became a sinus infection. This story is about a little lump of mucus.

Lumpy Mucus

A lovely bit of lumpy mucus
Launching from my lung,
Came bouncing through my oropharynx
And landed on my tongue,
Its' origin, a putrid particle
Inhaled in room eighty-eight,
Has been festering for a week now
Near my laryngeal gate.

The taste is indescribable
The smell upon my breath,
As if two million viruses
Met untimely death,
And rotted in the warm and dark
In regions moist and wet,
Infectious mucus, I am thinking
What do you want to bet?

A lumpy glob of mucus
Is flying through the air,
I launched it with some gusto
As bystanders gasp and stare,
They're reaching for their cellphones
Snapping pictures of the rube,
Spitting nastily in public
Check it out, on “Mucus-Tube”.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

This is the last poem for the day, which includes the post's you can read, further down the page.

Our "new" 20-bed unit just gets crazier every day. I willingly step in as "Relief Charge", because I'm a closet-megalomaniac. Ya, any rights, I'm technically a masochist, because this place is nutso. In the first four hours last night, we admitted 5 ICU players, transferred another, and sent another to a buddy hospital, and the northwest corner player had to get emergently intubated. I took about 50 calls on my Commander phone during the shift. Sure, I got a little testy at times; who wouldn't.

During my 20-minute drive home, I dictated the following tale:


It was a dud, again
It was, it was,
And I ask myself why?
Because, because.

Assignment Done
Under Duress,
No matter how much I scream
It doesn't impress,
The powers that be
And the powers that don't,
It's a dud again
And I wish, but I won't

We were slammed
Pinched and scrambled,
I made some side-bets
But I've never gambled,
With odds such as these
Who could possibly win?,
It's a dud again
And I lost some skin.

An Assignment Done
Under Duress, I swear,
Twelve hours go by
And I've lost some more hair.

While the Boss in her bonnet
Is asleep in her bed,
Twelve, over-worked nurses
Are raising the dead.

And a dud is developing
On yonder north corner,
After raising the dead
We've discovered a mourner.

The Night-Supervisor
Calls me seventeen times,
With fourteen ideas
I can turn into rhymes.

An unwitting accomplice
To the power of words,
Creating seven new stories
About chattering birds.

A dud by another name
Is a dud by the same,
Assignment Done Under Duress?
Is the same cheatin' game,
I'll do all that I can
For the mission and the plan,
Just know, that I was under duress
And I'm not Peter Pan.

Every once in a while, it all comes together in just four, short lines. I thank a current Medscape highlight for the inspiration.

Taste It Before You Waste It

"New Targets For Pre-Diabetes Treatment"
That's what I read today, in the journal,
Measure the sugar in the urine
"Taste it, before your waste it"; your urinal.

I think I discovered the source agent of "restaurant syndrome", that all-to-common, food born illness.

Special Ingredient

If they ask for the special ingredient
We include it, for a thank you and please,
They don't know that the special ingredient
Comes from a cough and a sneeze.

A few weeks back: this patient was 55. She was an osteopathic mess. Multiple back surgeries; arthritis, some chronic inflammatory problems, and plenty of reasons for pain. She had become addicted to multiple medications like Norco, Dilaudid, Methadone and so on. She might not classify it as an addiction, but she had clearly developed a high narcotic tolerance, and the number of meds required to reduce her pain (“as stated, according to the patient”), was mind boggling. She was incredibly debilitated, and I suspect it was somewhat self-induced.

But, oh well: I don’t judge the pain or the victim. In ICU, pain is the 17th vital sign, and by golly, I’m like Robin Hood with his arrows. Where there is pain, I shoot the drugs.

Brittle and Broke

She's busted and rusted
She's brittle and broke,
She's on so many pain meds
It's almost a joke,
She has morphine for breakfast
For lunch and for dinner,
With a methadone side-dish
Baby, that is a winner

She has a long list of meds
It's an alphabet soup,
There's a bucket of pills
She keeps on the stoop,
And every year on the holidays
She gives them away,
Plus a few for little Bobby
To go out and play.

She's broken from pokin'
A needle into her arm,
She believed her first dealer
He said it would cause her no harm,
Now as a regular customer
It doesn't matter any more,
Being hooked on narcotics
Is the name of the score.


Wednesday, May 05, 2010

On the journey to work, traffic patterns and snoozy, smart-phone owner addicts, test my emotional barometer. Why can't "they" pay attention to the task of driving?

Places To Go

I can go from complacent to impatient
In the wink of an eye,
If you stall at the green-light
I'm thinking, "Buddy, you're about to die",
I know that seems a little harsh
But I've got places to go,
Get out of my way and off of the road
You don't belong here and that's what I know.

I'll beat you off the starting line
Nine times out of ten,
I've got places to go
And I know exactly when,
The light is about to change
I watch the other traffic, you see,
So don't wait on the green light
If you're the car in front of me.

I'll lay on my horn
Before you can gasp a single breath,
I've got places to go
And things to see before my death,
I don't like waiting at traffic lights
While you're yakking with Bobby, on the phone,
Pull off the road into that parking lot
And take care of your personal life, alone.

Sometimes I really wonder
If the guy in front of me is sleeping,
The light just turned green, it's a simple machine
But his car hasn't even started creeping,
No forward motion
And no acceleration,
If he doesn't get moving soon
There may be an assassination.

I'm heading to work
The traffic flow is quite unreliable,
I can't waste my time going slow
Arriving at work late, just isn't viable,
So I expect that all other drivers
Should be awake and alert just like me,
I've got places to go
And that's the most important decree.


Monday, May 03, 2010

I don't know about you, but sometimes all the flippin' memo's, decree's, announcements, reminders, JCAH crap, rules and regs, P&P's and so on, end up plastered all over every spare freewall in either the employee restroom, conference room or break-room! Enuf, damn it! We deserve some friggin space where we're not being reminded to do some new, stinkin' thing! Sheesh.

Restroom Repose

The restrooms of our unit
The private, employee loo,
Should be a place of repose
Not a forum of, "You must do"!

Let's save the professional memo's
For the walls of the conference room,
Where we gather Q12 hours
For the daily groom and doom.

A recent Reuters readers poll
Affirms by group opinion,
Leave the memo's off the walls
In the loo-dominion.

Dear leaders, don't find insult
With the comments I opined,
They are but ramblings of my repose
In this room, where all unwind.

*(Loo = Toilet or Restroom)