Friday, July 22, 2011

My best of all friends had a “global” spinal fusion a couple of days ago. The surgery was perfect and the care sucked. It's true, and if you could know all of the transgressions, you too, would be shocked.

My friend is a highly experienced critical-care nurse, like myself. Nine out of ten of her visitors were from the same crowd. Did that make a difference? Not really, but we were there as her witnesses, journal-persons, and safety-net. She went home a day earlier than expected. Why? Because every hour longer that she stayed in that hospital, was one more hour that somebody could screw up.

To an outsider, that may seem harsh. But, in truth, it was reality. I know, because I was there to witness the debacle. I'm sorry to say, that I work for the same employer, across town at a different facility.

There was an old saying, like a kind of prayer, that went like this: “Lord, have mercy on us/me”. Unfortunately, my best friend was a recipient of that mercy-style care. Ouch!


Diagnosed you were, indeed
With a surgery, to boot,
Unintentionally, under-medicated
You were primed, and ready to shoot,
Just name the perpetrators
The participants in this crime,
More focused on a policy
Than patient-advocate time.

Just forty-eight hours duration
Is more than enough, when care is lacking,
When you want to run home, screaming
And send those care-givers packing,
To be ignored, and accused, and betrayed
By fellow nurses, who treat you like dirt,
Unwilling to accept that their errors
Are at least half of your feelings of hurt.

Who is to blame, and what is the problem
I'm embarrassed, because this is my employer,
Where mercy should be doled out to everyone
But now we're looking for one good lawyer,
To right the wrongs that were experienced
To prevent future scenario's like this,
So that persons who follow beyond us
Might be protected from this careless abyss.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

A Guiding Principle

A common surgery
With the best doctor,
Turned out to be a gamble
In the absence of a proctor,
A guiding principle
Of good care and compassion,
Instead, you were abused
In the worst fashion.

The surgical intent?
To alleviate pain,
In the post-op period
It was a ball and chain,
Dragging you under
While caregivers watched,
Their morals and ethics
Completely debauched.

How can that be
In this day and age,
We have been counseled
That pain, is front-page,
And nurses stand by
As guardian's at your side,
Instead, you were assigned to
Beelzebub's* bride.

How could they, not act
To alleviate your pain,
Stand up for your needs
Isn't this their domain?
To act as an advocate
For those persons in their care,
Instead, you were trapped
Within the dragon's lair.

We sat there and witnessed
And I have written, what I know,
Guiding principles were lacking
Nursing was absent at your show.


Beelzebub* = Satan
__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

A Transgression – No Compassion

A transgression, a crime
Perpetrated upon you,
Oh, where was your error
Just what did you do,
You chose to have surgery
In a well known place of healing,
But the care you received
Was absent of feeling.

Is that a crime in the courts?
Probably not, but I suggest,
That nurses, who choose this profession
Should be offered a test,
Where they imagine their child in bed
Suffering life-threatening pain,
Will they stand around and argue policy
Or get on the phone with Dr. Humane?

We test Nurses on experience
And we test them for knowledge,
We check their credentials
And we applaud them for college,
We welcome them readily
When they come from afar,
But we don't test them for compassion
And that would reveal who they are.

This “calling” of Nursing
Is legitimate and true,
We're seeking a few good souls
Who'll take the best care of you,
And hopefully, we'll be watching
For the weeds, yes, pluck them out,
Because Caring is an advocacy*
That's what Nursing is all about.


*Advocate: Noun: person who pleads for a cause or propounds an idea
Verb: speak, plead, or argue in favor of

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Over many years, I've seen a metamorphosis and evolution of skin dressings, protective barriers, wound packing’s, etc. These are used to either promote healing, protect skin, and now days, prevent the formation of bedsores. Sure, those breakdowns have some fancy name like HAPU, but it's the same old story, as usual. Ya gotta see the humor; one of our computer charting Plan of Care selections reads, “At Risk For Skin Integrity”. I'm not kidding. How about that for a typo? Whoa there, I better be careful, my patient might develop integrity of his skin; I better leave him on the bedpan for a few hours.

The latest new product we are using is a dressing for the sacrum, to be used on all patients who are on a ventilator, and any one else who might get a HAPU. Last night one of the patients had his Mepilex dressing changed four times, because he had a CRAPU! By golly, we really got to the bottom of that problem, right away.

On The Bottom

Mepilex, oh Mepilex
Advertised as
“Butt Protects”,
Use it on
Your infant too,
A cover-up
For baby poo.

Mepilex, oh Mepilex
For the kitchen floor
And redwood decks,
Water proof
And rot resistant,
Placed properly
With one assistant.

Mepilex, oh Mepilex
We employ it often
Like a hex,
To ward off bedsores
On the bottom,
We don't care
If you already got'em.

Mepilex, oh Mepilex
For on-line dating
And couples connects,
Way better
Than those churchy meetings,
Though I don't know
About Twitter tweetings.

Mepilex, oh Mepilex
There are special versions
For rated, “X”,
Check our website
Adults section,
Then left-click right
For that selection.

Mepilex, oh Mepilex
The best protection
For having sex,
Self adhesive
And hydrophylic,
Try it out
'Tis life idyllic.