Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Change is not Coming

Ever hear that old-timey platitude about change? One guy says, "Change comes from within". Another one says, "Become the change that you wish to see"......these are dudes who are not Nurses, working on the front lines of healthcare in the USA.............and you know what I'm talkin' about!

Fill out an A.D.O.
Oh, wouldn't that be grand,
If only I had the time
And maybe it was planned,
But when we are crushed
And fighting for our lives,
All we want is the end
And how soon it arrives.

Fill out an A.D.O.
It sounds great, when it's spoken,
And could it do any good?
Well, I think you're jokin',
Because this is a system wide
Decades long issue,
And Sister Euphemia
Just keeps handing out tissue.

Where can I find an A.D.O.?
It's on a shelf somewhere,
In the back of the break-room
Probably under a chair,
Will I fill it out?
There ain't a snowballs chance in Hell,
The facts will be ignored
Despite the stories we tell.

Because, this is more than local
It's health-care bureaucracy,
This is business, it's about money
A type of Theocracy,
With a God at the top
And she runs a tight ship,
Fill out an A.D.O.?
She'll give you a fat lip.

Fill out an A.D.O.
I can't hear you, La La La,
Union Reps claim they represent
And all that, sis-boom-bah,
No, I'd rather have the form
For an early retreat,
I need a mental health retirement
And everything sweet.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Too tired to think

20 years ago, I worked too much and didn't sleep enough and at the end of a work shift, I might have an addled brain. Now, I'm twenty years older working just 38 hours a week, out of the ICU, but the level of job stress is of an equal comparison. Near the end of a typical insanely busy shift, I sometimes have too many details bouncing around in my brain, like the balls in the Lottery machine. 

Circadian Calamity 

I've been known to brag
That I am infallible,
Master genius at work
Always present, ever callable,
But in the waning minutes
Of my twelve hour shift,
I'm more prone to forget
And suffer memory drift.

But I'm not alone
With this egghead fault,
A Harvard brainiac
Suffering memory halt,
Other nurses I work with
Who are half of my age,
Remark, they, as well
Lose an occasional page.

Eminent researchers
Call it Shift Work Sleep Disorder,
Decreased mental acuity
After crossing the Circadian border,
Key details and facts
Have undergone cancellations,
Call a "Memory Alert"
Block the doors, man the stations!

12-Hour-shift workers
Includes many variants,
Rotating work assignments
You could forget your under-pants,
When your mind gets so befuddled
Sleep deprived and wasted,
You feel like rotten turkey
Unfit to be tasted. 

A paper was written
Let me read it to you,
Keen observations
And a theory or two,
To correct memory drift
A recurrent event,
A simple 5-step approach
Time well spent.

The best thing I found
When my brain feels like crap,
Stop what I'm doing
Take a break, have a nap,
Find some darkness
Or simply, close my eyes,
And even if I don't sleep
I watch the starry skies,
Behind my closed eyelids
With the ringing in my ears,
I relax in that environment
My mind shifts gears,
Producing relaxation
A restful transformation,
Feeling better, I'll be
When I return to the station.

Sounds like a treatise
Delivered at the N.T.I.,
Where's the documentation?
My competitors cry,
If I don't show some proof
My claims are just fluff,
If my brain remains addled
I'll be shunned, and that's enough.

But will I remember?
Let's not presume,
I suffer memory drift
When I walk across the room,
And forget what I wanted
To do for Mr. Jones,
This Circadian calamity
It rattles my bones.


Terrorist Snot

I don't like coughing, sneezing, and so on..........on the job. Patients have their own problems, and I don't need to contribute to that. Every year about this time, I get my first Respiratory infection, and endure a week of feeling rotten. This year, it was a 2 week attack by Terrorist Snot. I earned enough points to score an Albuterol inhaler and 2 days of "voice rest".

Sufferin' succotash
This ailment won't leave me,
If it goes on much longer
You might have to bereave me,
Because I think it might be
One of those new-age bacteriums,
Cooked up in a lab
By some government mysteriums.

Perhaps I was chosen
At random, to be tested,
If that is the case, then
Someone should be arrested,
Because I have been sick
More days than I can measure,
And fourteen gallons of snot
Is not something I treasure.

Five nights I have coughed
For hours at a time,
And I don't just say that
To make a good rhyme,
I used antihistamines
Antitussives, anti-pain,
Still, I've coughed till my back hurts
A frickin' hacking muscle strain.

I am starting to suspect
This is a terrorist plot,
Bugs tickling my lungs
And the buckets of snot,
I am under attack
From the inside of me,
And I'm telling you, brother
It's impossible to flee.

Was it the Axis of Evil?
It’s too hard to tell,
When I’m launching green golf balls
And I’m feeling like hell,
At this juncture, who cares?
About the source of the sickness,
If the Grim Reaper wants me
He'll be here with a quickness.

Oh, miserable me
Cough-master, I be
My outcome is shrouded in doubt,
I might need a new lung
Because my Left one just flung
Through the door,  'cuz I just coughed it out.

It flopped on the floor
And now I'm feeling quite sore
Losing a Lung isn't easy,
But one thing I'll say
Things might be going my way,
Because now I am one-half as wheezy.



It does no good to act like an a**hole, when the option is gratitude and collaboration. You poke your patients with sharp, pointy things, and we are assigned the duty of making sure they don't bleed. Sometimes, spontaneous hemorrhage occurs, and there is no way to prevent it, aside from paralyzing the guy for 5 hours.

Key Point:
Doctor, why not express a "Thank you", because we just saved the life of your patient. Take your nasty, grumpy attitude home and shoot it up with Vodka or something, Ok?

Doctor, dear doctor
Please, won't you calm down,
Blaming, shaming tactics
Make you look like a clown,
You're the leader of the pack
With this issue, you're complicit,
You lanced the artery
The cause of bleeding, more explicit.

I pulled out the catheter
And held pressure long enough,
Dressed the site, gave instruction
I did all the right stuff,
I checked the site often
Yes, everything was fine,
Two hours later, a leak!
Like gushing, bloody wine.

He came pretty close
To punching his ticket,
From our point of view
A bit of a sticky wicket,
A vasovagal episode
Blood pressure down to fifty,
Cut his heart rate in half
Fun to watch?; not so nifty.

Uncommon occurrence
Can happen any minute,
Billy-Jean blows an artery
Next, you're stepping in it,
With blood everywhere
On the bed, the wall
And the floor,
I said, "Holey moley!"
Grabbed a mop, what a chore.

Three nurses responded
Stopped the hemhorrhage, saved the dude,
And what did we get?
A grumpy-assed doctor, being rude,
Because he was complicit
In this bleeding event,
He should have thanked us profusely
Then gone home, to repent.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Way to Busy

Oh good grief! Another day of the same old sandwich.

Perhaps my perspective
Of imagined disaster,
Means I'm getting old
And no longer so much faster;

But still:

It seems like the funny stuff
Within the context of my job,
Has very little to do
With patient, Billy-Bob,
But more with situations
With my coworkers, and such,
Tired old nurses, that feel
Like a worn out clutch.

Unit Standard concepts
That don't make any frickin' sense,
We can't work as fast as they want
Even the highly trained dogs
Can't  jump that fence,
Yet, they will be the ones scrutinized
Held to the Policy intent,
And should we ever complain
They'll say we are exhibiting dissent.

I suffer intellectual overload
Some days I can barely function,
Quick; find me a Priest
Because I need Extreme Unction,
I am very nearly close
To the end of this frayed old rope,
Overwhelming nonsense
And I'm giving up hope,
In the course of this workday
Beneath this burden of need,
Oh, find me some Hemlock
To perform my final deed.


Thursday, December 04, 2014

Mirrors and Tissues

The kitchen sink, the cyclone, and Godzilla all get thrown at us after 5pm.......

Mirrors and Tissues

Forgo the trip to Tacoland
It wasn’t very clearly planned,
Three wrong turns
From misdirection,
Stuff like this
Won’t pass inspection.

Understaffing issues,
Can’t be fixed
With mirrors and tissues,
Missing four good fingers,
The boss goes home
Our animosity lingers.

The beating goes on
Every day after five,
Sometimes I wonder
If we’ll get out alive.



Historically speaking, our new hospital addition required about 12 years to achieve, from an idea, a donation, a break-the-ground ceremonial shovel, knock down a school, move houses, find a place to put a new school, batter heads with local leaders............until finally, doors were opened 8 months ago. And yesterday, as I stumbled and traipsed throughout a meandering path of new destruction (while I sipped my Latte') out come this minor missive:

First came the years
Of ballyhooed construction,
Celebrated with pomp
And parades,
Now we must undergo
Years of destruction,
Exposing our Brand
Of dignified charades.

According to the article in the Business News Journal, the whole kit and caboodle, costs $170 million dollars!