Sunday, April 16, 2006

Bad night...go away!!

I knew I should have gone into real estate.

Last night was one of the worst nights ever. It only could have been made worse had someone actually died. At the hands of a staff member wouldn't have counted.

I go to work, Starbucks in hand. Report. A few assessments. Then, some leisurely voice wafts through the halls.

"Code Gray. Code Gray."

Yeah, the weather was crappy. So, we begin pushing people out into the hall. (A code gray indicates severe weather.) The ones we can't move, we pad them with pillows because in the event a Dodge Dakota is hurled through one of the windows by a twister, the patient will be protected. Halfway through our moving-into-the-hall business, a more frantic voice comes over the PA.


We finish pulling people out of the rooms, and into the hall, closing all the glass doors behind them. One little old lady is zipping around in a hospital gown on her red motorized scooter. The only thing missing is pizza and a circus midget.

For 45 minutes, everyone is sitting around, chatting excitedly about tornados. Meanwhile, the nurses are still running their asses off. Sweat is rolling down the back of my neck. If I had balls, I'm sure I would have been sweating there as well.

The Code Gray is finally cleared and we are allowed to move patients back into their rooms. A large swarm of patients who can walk, in addition to the visitors, exit the unit so they can go downstairs, go outside, and look at the weather.

These are probably the same people who slow traffic down just to look at a car accident.

I immediately am accosted by a patient who wants drugs. DRUGS!! She demands that I knock her out so she can sleep. Believe me, I would like to...but we simply don't do that on my floor. She goes bananas and starts to scream and yell. I want to go jump off the helipad. I give her everything she has ordered, plus some extra I was able to beg the doctor for, and she is still not happy.

Patient: Where's my husband!?!
Me: He went home to check on your house. He will be back in the morning.
Patient: NO! I want you to call him and tell him to come back.
Me: I'll see what I can do.

I step out of the room and seconds later, she hits her call light. I go back inside.

Me: Do you need something?
Patient: Did you call my husband?
Me: No, I haven't even been out of your room long enough to.
Patient: I want you to call my husband!!
Me: (nearing the point to annoyance) I can't call your husband if you are constantly calling me to come into your room.
Patient: Call him from there! (pointing at the wall)
Me: Where?
Patient: That phone right there!! (jabbing a finger in the air for emphasis)
Me: There's no phone there.
Patient: Yes, there is! Right next to that dog!
Me: Your husband said he wanted to get some sleep so he could come in early in the morning. Don't you want him to get some rest?
Patient: No! I don't care about him sleeping! He needs to come in RIGHT NOW!

No wonder the national divorce rate is almost 75%.

Sighing, I take leave and look over the patient chart. The husband has left express orders not to call him at home unless it is an absolute emergency. After spending a couple hours with his wife, I can see why he wouldn't want to be disturbed. One of the residents from ICU saunters over to where I am seconds shy of having a nervous breakdown and asks me if I am torturing patients. I want to poke his eye out with my ink pen.

The rest of the night sucks in grand fashion. A very large person damn near passes out and almost smooshes me. Unable to hit a panic button, the staff is alerted by my muffled cries for help.

By 2 am, the entire staff was a herd of raging crab asses. I was the team captain. To entertain themselves, my colleagues decide I am pregnant and gush about my wedding plans.

I am neither expecting or engaged. Both would decidedly require an act of God.

A couple visiting Respiratory Therapists overheard the banter. So, I am fairly certain my big news will be housewide by the end of this week. I fully expect a phone call from Paul by Monday. I think was assigned to be the father/groom anyway.

By the grace of God, 7 am rolls around. We blast through our reports and run for the time clock like someone announced George Clooney was in the hospital lobby wearing only a loin cloth. I decide I am hungry, so I stop by the cafeteria to grab something to take home. Standing in line, I am dismayed to see the biggest, dumbest, douchebag of a resident standing in front of me. While he blathers on about something, I am fighting the urge to push his head into the pot of oatmeal, and hold him there until he stops thrashing.

Now, I am home. My bed is calling me, and I am going to go and try to forget this whole night ever happened. Hopefully, tonight will be a better night.


Kathryn said...

Oh poor friend! I hope that not all your night will be like this one. You crack me up however.

Tony said...

Damn. Horrible night but awesome post. That first line was killer.

pomegranate said...

i'm scared.