Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How many shifts in the past week where I have not had time, nor have there been enough staff on hand, to have breaks at work? I talked to a family member of a patient one night, who couldn't quite understand, how a nurse could be so busy, as to not have time for a break. She said something to the effect, that break-time was "mandated" in California, so of course, we must certainly always have time for a dinner-break. I think I finally got through to her, that an unstable patient, might trump my need for a food break, if there were no other nurse available to fill in.

Well anyway, this job is horribly stressful at times, despite my training in spiritual enlightenment practices and black magic.

No Immunity

Encountering another ridiculous
PTSD opportunity,
I'm once again reminded
I have no professional immunity,
To protect me from experiencing
Overloaded situations,
Despite my secret talismans
And psychic affirmations.

Like a passenger in a canoe
In some Class-5, crazy water,
Some nights at work I feel the same
As a lamb led to the slaughter.


Monday, November 01, 2010

We all know by now, that Nursing is not getting any easier. It is way more complex than when I touched my toes in this turbid pond, 27 years ago. Heck, back then I had been an RT, and that discipline is incredibly more complex too.

I know so much more now, but I am ever the more frustrated with all of the crap we have to put up with in terms of management policies (or lack thereof), bureaucracy and regulatory agencies, medical equipment designed by cloistered lab engineers who don't know Jack about real-life usage, and so on. There is plenty to bitch about.

At the same time (and all wrapped up in our daily experience), I know we perform amazing feats of caring and healing, which are interwoven and incorporated into the very fabric of our lives. And that's the clincher; it's difficult to “come down”, after successive days at work, to process all of the experiences, frustrations, successes and losses, and merge smoothly into the ordinary home-life. I believe that this is a common theme among the public service industries like Nursing, Police, Fire, Military and the like.

Sometimes just a bitter cup of coffee, helps me to cross the bridge back to reality.

A Cause and a Curse

It's my usual way
After two crazy days
To unwind at the local brew shop,
Skimming the papers
While jotting down words
Disengaging my feelings with a chop.

It's that Karate killer instinct
Trying to sort, slash and bury
The experiences of this overworked nurse,
Saving people who are dying
And babysitting the rest
It's a career with a cause and a curse.