Saturday, April 26, 2014

Battery Powers

I bring to work each day, the best of me. I have never let my off-duty life, dictate how I might perform at work. I bring 12 hours of Super-Power, High-octane, 110%+ each and every time........for 30+ years (and counting). I've gone to work with 2 hours sleep behind me........those I won't brag about, but I did it. But my awake time was full bore, Resource-go-to, kind of stuff. Some of us were cut out to do that; and I have pulled it off. How?...I never stop learning. I read about Cardiology and Critical Care Medicine every single week.

If you don't keep up; you don't!

Battery Powers

I need to remain
Less attached,
To the nuances and
Origins, of just who was snatched,
And to tend to my garden
The plants that I own,
And keep me away
From the gol-durned phone.

I need to ignore
That I know what is known,
All things that are needed
I don't have to own,
Yes, that is the secret
Of satisfaction and success,
But, too bad that isn't true
Without me, it's a mess.

Call me over-responsible
I expect what is best,
Every day is a challenge
A personal test,
Along side of me, I want
Persons doing that too,
At the end of the night
I wish it was you.

I'm not the best
But I try to be each day,
To perform at a level
Where our patient's might say,
They felt secure and well informed
And their Nurse, was so kind,
I strive to be like that
That is a rare Nurse to find.

I am tired, I admit
Near the end of 12 hours,
After working so hard
My battery powers,
Might dwindle and flicker
Like a flashlight, near its end,
Just shake me a few times
I might get a spark I can spend.


Thursday, April 24, 2014


Down-beaten at work
I can barely write,
We commiserate and complain
Because it's not worth the fight,
When our complaints are not acted on
Patient safety, be damned,
Night after night
We Closers are slammed.

We've got a hot new unit
It sure is pretty,
21 beds, same nurses
And our outlook is gritty,
Naturally, more patients
Can hang out with us,
At the end of our shift
Nothing to do, but cuss.

Then, we are reprimanded
"Too much overtime!"
Charge Nurse stays late
Like we committed a war crime,
They are not effective laborers
Their attention is on the dollars,
Running around, disorganized
Like juvenile installers.

After 12 hours
The money is dandy,
But when I get home
I want a brewsky, not candy,
The chocolate was at work
For a quick energy fix,
At home I might reach for
Blue Moon, one to six.

Relaxing? yes..........
Not so good for one's health,
I'm aging painfully
And pondering my wealth,
Knowing another four years
Would be ideal, to retire,
But can I survive the duration
Or Go Postal, and get fired?


Rant of Frustration

Things (where I work) are a huge pain in the neck, now that we have moved into our new unit. My *"Well Known Hospital" system, is all about public image and branding and la la la la................while crushing the life out of the workers. In the past two years they have outsourced Dietary, Laboratory, Medical Records, Housekeeping, Staffing, etc.

 The latest debacle is a computer based "Tele-Tracking" bed placement, Transporter Directory, bed and pillow locator all rolled into one. Previously, Transporters were Unit based, meaning that Radiology would own some and Cath Lab / Surgery would own some, and we had one and so on. Now, all Transporters are in one big pool, and they are directed by pager to respond to all calls (lumped into some kind of queue), the end result being, when I request a wheelchair or need to transport my patient somewhere, I don't have a clue, how long it is going to take somebody to show up. Previously a phone call to our own transporter, would have answered that question. 

Our own Unit transporter, they were the ones that would do the Hair Clipping for the preop-preps, which can be hugely time consuming (for the open heart patients). Hairy apes can take 45 minutes to an hour. Patients come to us a day or two before surgery to get Labs, Xray, teaching, meet the Anesthesiologist, maybe have a PFT and so on. This typically takes about 3 hours, and now the RN, is assigned the Salon job too. Lets see, I think that means having the $60 dollar per hour hair cutter, instead of the previous $20 dollar per hour technician to do the same job. The RN is then reprimanded by the Charge Nurse, "Why are the pre-ops taking longer now?". 

And now, we have become the designated Procedural Sedation Nurses, for the Bronch Lab that is adjacent to our Unit. I like doing them, but then I am out of the Unit for at least two hours for Prep, Procedure and Recovery, which can have a major impact on my fellow nurses elsewhere. 

If a genuine "work-flow" study were done, these glaring inefficiencies would be revealed. But you and I know the answers; Management doesn't give a damn. They know that the public will love our pretty shiny new Unit/building and workers can always be replaced, preferably by someone younger, less experienced, and thus, lower paid.

Can I put up with this another four years? I truly don't know.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Serenity Prayer - Fail

Most of us in this Grand Ole Land of milk and honey and AA styled programs (12 Steps), have heard of the Serenity prayer (Author: Reinhold Niebuhr). It starts off like this: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. It continues onward with all sorts of good words and ideas, and truly is serene, but may not reflect reality. It is shrouded in quasi-religious feel-good babble, and just might be the best darn thing to repeat as a group, if you believe in Sin and weakness. But in the hospital setting, where people come to find answers regarding their bodies, and we do stuff to them with sharp pointy things and powerful drugs, I can not allow myself the Serenity, to accept things that I can not change, not when lives are at stake!. My "higher power" is Education, and I while I work my one day at a time, I expect of myself and all others, the highest degree of performance and knowledge. I can not tolerate stupidity and ignorance, and must speak out against it. 

Oh, I'm frustrated
After today's Kindergarten session,
A couple, short-attention-spanners
Left a heckuva impression, 
On my potential longevity
If this situation doesn't change,
What I need is a human cannon
To send them way down range.

Too many errors of inexperience
I can no longer ignore,
This couple of newbies
Need to find the nearest exit door,
After six months of coaxing and cooing
Happy smiles and sweetness, doth fail,
Failing to study, refusing to learn
They rejected the Holy Grail.


Monday, April 07, 2014

Mentoring is Guiding

Swim or Sink

New Nurses;
I want to inspire,
I want them like me
Willing to run towards a fire,
I want them to study
Their favorite interest,
More in depth
Than photo's on Pinterest.

New Nurses
You have to leap into the saddle,
If you seem uninterested
I'll hit you with a paddle,
Because if you claim you are learning
But you do stupid stuff,
There will come a time
When I've had enough.

Then I will ignore
I won't offer assist,
You can flounder your way
Into the fatal abyss,
If you ask for my help
I will do what is right,
But I won't hold your hand
Into the darkness of night.

New Nurses
Have to be motivated,
Intelligence and effort
Are not overrated,
A passion for learning
Is a professional demand,
If you don't acquire more knowledge
You'll be stuck where you stand.

Some older Nurses
Don't want to learn about new,
At my EKG class
I always meet one or two,
I'm shocked by their complacency
Their unwillingness to grow,
What kind of fool is that?
Not a colleague I want to know.

I like working with scholarly types
Others striving to be the best,
Persons not completely satisfied
Passing one simple test,
Because I meet folks like that
They took one class and quit,
Apparently, that's enough
If you just want to sit.

New Nurses
I encourage them to study,
I am happy to mentor
I'm a professional buddy,
But its a two way street
Payback, one might say,
You need to be a good student
And do things my way.

In time you will be comfortable
Self-assured with good skills,
Critical thinking
Beyond bed baths and pills,
But you have to keep learning
Today and beyond,
Don’t bother to do that
And you’ll drown in the pond.


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Fools of April

On Our Heads

It has been a dull, boring year
For inspiration,
So I’m in a learning phase
Out of desperation,
I'm lackadaisical
And procrastinating,
I'm not excited
Standing and waiting.

At my maximum moment
Of absolute uninspired,
The powers that be
Say, "New programs are required",
To satisfy
Regulatory demands,
We must stand on our heads
While clapping our hands.

Another JACO visit
And to prove we're not lazy,
A sheaf of papers to memorize
Management goes crazy,
Reminding and scolding
Rolled up, neat and tidy,
Then they sent me home early
I'll be gone until Friday.

Surveyors should be gone
Maybe the Boss will have praises,
Though it doesn't really matter
There sure won't be any raises,
Those are destined for the team
Dean Lloyd and his crew,
Not even a Starbucks card
For any of you.

Yes, just business as usual
This undignified caring,
Human kindness as branding?
As a slogan, is overbearing.