Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sure, I'm a bit disorganized, and I spread out my papers, all over the place. The deal is, that I like to see it all, and not have to dig through a pile of stuff to find what I'm looking for. If you're a neatnik, then I'm going to drive you crazy.

1st Debris Belt

I have a 1st Debris Belt in Messiness
But Lana, she's got me beat,
Just trying to start an IV
There are throw-away wrappers
Covering her feet.

I have a 2nd Debris belt in Organization
I couldn't follow a list if you paid me,
That's why it's not a good idea
To try to coerce or persuade me.

Then there's my 3rd Debris belt in Entanglement
I can conjure a knot in any shoelace or cord,
Why untie, when I can more easily break it
I'm one of those employees, you can't afford.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pill-bottle safety caps have been around for years. When my kids were young, I could see the value, although, as a good parent, I kept a locked cabinet in the garage for all poisonous substances of that nature. Now that I'm an older person, safety caps, knobs on devices that I must unleash, and other similar designs, are a painful threat to me on a daily basis. Quite frankly, I think it's a conspiracy against all of us with cranky hands.

Pill Bottle

Narcotic security
It's a no-brainer,
Until I need the medication
And can't open the container;
Sure, I understand
There's a crime problem, dude,
But, this bottle is so hard to open
It might as well be glued.

Then take into account
My arthritic right-hand,
If you're asking me
This mechanism should be banned,
Because, just trying to remove
The top, to get a pill,
My hand hurts, I get so angry:
There's an inventor I want to kill.

Press down, hard
Turn counter-clockwise, and lift,
Feel the bones in my hand
Torque sideways and drift,
As a thousand nociceptors
Are activated, and I scream,
Dammit, whose idea was this?
Now I need a surgical team.

I have real pain
And I need some relief,
But all I get from this safety-bottle
Is a world of grief,
So, once again
An engineering braniac,
Has turned a civil citizen
Into a raging maniac.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

I don't like getting sick. Sure, paid sick-time is good, but it does put a burden on the crew at work, and I should be able to stay healthy, right? But the viral community / army, thinks otherwise. It seems like I'm nailed each year, with some atomic-sized particle, that my immune system doesn't recognize, and about one hour later, I've been ambushed, and then spend the next 7 days, in abject misery. Hows that for the easiest downfall of the most advanced species? Pathetic.

Buffalo Clover

Finally, I acquired my first infection
At my latest job,
What can I say, it's the season
For the free flying, viral blob,
It's so difficult to dodge
An invisible and tasteless microbe,
Thus, it is freely distributed
Around our city and the globe.

Was I careless
With my hand-washing habits,
Hard to say with a virus
That multiplies like rabbits,
I wash several times a day
And several times hourly with the wipes,
And who knows, maybe it was airborne
So hard to avoid that; holy cripes!

Was it a coworker or patient
The Echo-tech or coffee-server,
Was it the computer mouse
Or just a casual observer,
Dropping by
For laughs and diversion,
Whatever it was
I suffered viral conversion.

It surely wasn't spiritual
I didn't see the light,
But there were four days
When I nearly coughed all night,
A seven day trip of misery
I suppose I escaped unharmed,
Not like I was blessed
But rather, just charmed.

Infection number one
I'm glad it's over,
I did score some tasty cough syrup
It's better than buffalo clover.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Today, reading old writings from years past. The big hiedy-ho moment? When I realized nothing is changing in Nursing. Way back in the training period of '81-83, having to write by hand, those silly care-plans.....knowing at that moment, that P.O.C. really stood for piece of crap.............About every 10 years, I check the landscape, and we're still dragging around that POC anchor. You find me a nurse, who thinks these POC things really have value (not just something that gets audited, so that's why we do it), and I'll show you a nurse who wants to join management, because they groove on these concepts.

On that cynical note, here are my words from around 1993:

The Care-Plan Stomp

As nurses of these modern times
We're guided by the rules,
The policies and procedures
Designed by greater fools,
And every working moment
We must document our actions,
Despite the ever present risk
Of paperwork impaction.

The bedside nurse's duties
Are defined by job-description,
A lengthy boring manual
That's written in Egyptian,
There's a universal format
We call the P.O.C.,
Officially named the Plan of Care
It's a Piece of Crap, to me.

There isn't any doubt
There was once a worthwhile goal,
But in the interpretation process
It's been lost in some black hole,
Burying the spirit
By the wording of the plan,
It astounds the simple logic
Of any thinking man.

In the unit that I work
The P.O.C. is simple,
We're training adolescents
How to cultivate a pimple,
So all we have to document
Is how they wash and eat,
We write, “Alteration in Nutrition”
And right there, I claim defeat

Each and every problem
We address by intervention,
If we documented properly
We'd be forced to place attention,
On the paperwork itself
Instead of sick old Joe,
Who'd be swirling down the drain
With a documented glow.

I've worked in many hospitals
I'm care-plan oriented,
But the way this thing is going
I'll soon become demented,
And the hospital will be forced
To pay me Workmans Comp.,
Because I suffered mental injury
Performing the care-plan stomp.

circa: 1993

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Almost every day, there will be a period of several hours, where all hell breaks loose. There will be too many patients, that need to be prepared for procedures, and we will be temporarily short on staff members. It is a stressful part of the job, because we are trying to make this journey-in-a-day, as comfortable as we can, for those people we are serving. It is the nature of our business, and it involves crucial resources.

Crucial Resources

This is a real-time journal
Written soon after,
The raccoons and the bats
Took residence in the rafters,
At least, that's how it seems
Some days in this church,
When we're short on crucial resources
Way out here on our perch.

Ours is not a job
Of bright lights and glitter,
I prefer a shotgun
To get rid of those critters.

I am thrilled when I learn something new, and when it happens at work, perhaps I'll perform at a higher level tomorrow; at least that sounds good, right? But when that "teaching moment" is delivered by Dr. X, and he is renowned for his arrogant persona of superiority, well, it feels more like the sting of a wasp. And even moreso, because I didn't learn anything; it was old news.

Good Learnin'

Unexpected outcomes
Do arise,
Awarded to me
Like a secret surprise,
Not because of carelessness
Or lack of attention,
No, it's like a betting game
At a gamblers convention.

Dr. S said
A teaching moment, this is,
Perhaps he'll come back later
And hit me up with a quiz,
But I was thinking, honestly
He was prob'ly still in prep school,
When I pulled that first sheath
Twenty years ago, fool.

Well, yes sir, I'm open
To good learnin', if you will,
But cut me some slack
And don't send me a bill.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Really, I'm proud of my ICU heritage, the good reputation that goes along with it, and so on. I don't jump in front of speeding bullets, but rather, I just reach out and grab them.................slow them down, hum a catchy tune, and we have a Latte' together, before readjusting our viewpoint on who the target really is.

Plenty of stress and angst are expelled, but at the end of the party, the dust settles, and Joe-Bob dances off into the sunset ith his best lady.

And here is the reason why:

Statute 57

I'm going to do things for you
That other's won't do,
When they are complaining
About Rule Forty-two,
Of the 54th Congress
And Statute 57,
I'll be saving your shirt
In EP eleven.

But don't come to me
About productivity,
I don't give a rats ass
'Cause that just isn't me,
Particularly when
I saved your shirt on One/13,
You do the billing, and
I'll keep it clean.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

This is so sad, let the poem speak for itself. It's true, and it was only yesterday.

MJ Trumps Life

Michael Jackson's power
Revealed, I''ll show the truth,
A decadent influence
Of all ages, not just youth;
I will tell you about this
So-called, Michael Jackson Immortal,
Wife of Cardiac patient
At deaths-door portal.

Husband, renal transplant
Just three years ago,
Hypertension, Diabetes
And CVA times four,
Chest pain and short of breath
Today, M-I ruled in,
But MJ Immortal?
Tickets for wife, that's her sin.

I have an appointment
She alluded to me,
Cardiologist, stopped by
I have tickets, you see,
I'll call in the morning
I trust your professional hand,
It's Michael Jackson Immortal
I'm sure you understand.

Cirque de Soleil
We can't blame them, for sure,
It's Michael Jackson Immortal
And he's way past a cure,
But he influenced so many
And they behave like the crazies,
MJ is long dead
And he's pushing up daisies.

Mr. CVA, M-I, Diabetes
He's screwed,
His wife thinks Michael Jackson
Is her number-one dude.

In the past, I have written that I didn't enjoy doing baths. Two reasons: (1) I didn't have to do much of that for the first 25 years of my career; call it avoidance, or just good luck (2) Getting up close and personal, with those personal body parts of strangers,.......just call me cautious, all right?

So now, new job and no bath's...........what a relief!

Like Heaven

I have performed one bath
Since August 27,
Take it from me.........
It feels just like heaven,
It's not that I don't like
Squeaky, clean tissue,
But just who is doing that bath
That's my issue.

Most of our client's are walk-ins
They bathe at home,
Whether they use a loofah
Or Lavender foam,
I don't really care
I'm just glad it wasn't me,
Two baths back
On August 23.

Our client's go home
Most often, today,
But if they stay the night
They still go away,
Off to another floor
Because we close at eleven,
Just another reason why
This place is like heaven.


Saturday, January 07, 2012

This is the first story for 2012, but it's really a sequel to "Blackhole" posted on December 31. So, to understand this, just read that one also.

A Bloody Emergency

I almost think I am psychic
And causality, is my gig,
I wrote of my likes and my hates
What happened, is prophetically big,
I went to work the next day
As if to test my creed,
I became intimately involved
In a hemorrhagic bleed.

The candidate for this disaster
Had an A. Fib Ablation, that day,
Three puncture sites times two
Long-term outcome is good, one would say,
But in the short term risks are present
The patient shouldn't wiggle and squirm,
Repeating over and over, “please, don't move your legs”
But the guy was like an undulating worm.

I accept that he didn't enjoy supine
I understand he had chronic bone pain,
But with prior experience, he knew what to expect
He was not a novice, in this lying-flat game,
An hour went by, he was stable and awake
'Twas almost time for his move to the floor,
We carefully turned him, he yelled and he strained
And his artery blew, oh, the gore.

Prophetic I was
Oh, a seer I be,
I'd rather run from any task-list
For a bloody emergency.