Thursday, January 18, 2007

Nurse Follies: Download This!

With the revolution of technology, the world of medicine was bound to follow. Everything is tied to computers. Surgeries are done with robotic arms. We rely so heavily on technology that some people wonder if a machine will take over our jobs someday.

Unlikely. I can't imagine any hospital shelling out millions for a machine that wipes ass when nurses are still cheaper. I can't imagine a company designing such a robot. They would see it as a waste of money because, again, nurses are cheaper. Besides, wouldn't want to get shit on a multimillion dollar robot.

Yes, we are overworked, and underpaid. Oh sure, you can make over six figures doing what I do...but you've got to work 80 hours a week to do it. I don't know of any person that has that kind of intestinal fortitude. There's a reason we only work 3 days a week. Any more than that, the number of crazy nurses in psychiatric wards would grow exponentially. In case you haven't read, the number of dedicated psych beds are decreasing as specialized facilities/hospital wings are being closed. Can you imagine a world where thousands of crazy nurses are out roaming the streets? With the knowledge we possess, you should be breaking out into a cold sweat just thinking about it.

Why else do you think cops are so nice to us?

Back to my original care and technology.

My workplace is gearing up to go live with all computerized charting. Actually, everything we do will somehow tied to computers...from medications, to procedures...everything. The idea that by going to all computerized stuff, it will eliminate all things paper, whereby decreasing the chance of breaches in patient privacy and blah, blah, blah. Today, they were having a vendor fair so we could go and inspect what the nerd herd, I mean, computer committee is looking at in terms of what to put in our hands. The items up for scrutiny were various laptops/tablets being pimped out by various companies, handheld devices, and staplers (I got a free one from one of the vendors).

They were also going to be giving away door prizes: two laptops, digital camera or two, and some golf equipment. Why else do you think I'd drag myself out of my warm house into the freezing ass cold? It certainly wasn't for the fruit and cheese platter they had for vendor attendees. (But the meatballs were rather tasty...)

So, I go. I am given a clipboard and a sheet of paper and I am supposed to go around to the various vendor stations to inspect the products, ask questions, and fill out a survey as to which ones I liked the best. After the first 5 laptops, they all started to look the same. Then, I come to the Panasonic people and they have this little laptop that is all dressed up like it's about to go camping...rubber bumpers and the whole nine yards. I, with two O.R. nurses remark that it looks like a sturdy little guy, and we are invited to drop it. The other nurses decline because they are candy-asses. I shrug, pick up the laptop, and give it a heave-ho to the floor, where it bounces a foot in the air, before landing with a clatter. The Panasonic guys are impressed. The nurses are mortified. The $4,000 laptop is still running, and it immediately goes to the top of my favorites list.

I go to another station where one nurse is closely examining another laptop. It's obvious she doesn't know a whole hell of a lot about computers because all she can bitch about is that the stylus pops out of the left side of the computer, and she's right handed. I roll my eyes and the company rep tries not to laugh out loud.

The last station I visit is the stapler lady. A older female MD is in the room, and doesn't even look at me, even though I said hello. Whatever. Some women docs (not all) have attitude against they are trying to distance themselves so far from us, that they won't be confused for one of us. Heaven forbid a doctor gets mistaken for a nurse! You don't encounter these hateful women too often, but you do encounter them.

After an hour and a half of looking at computers, I leave with my free mini stapler, a water bottle, various pens and a sticker announcing to the world that I voted on my favorite computer. No one will find out who won the door prizes until after tomorrow because the fair ends tomorrow night.

If I win a golf club, I'm going to be pissed.

1 comment:

"The D" said...

Why would they give away staplers if they are going paperless. My doctors office is paperless, the nurses carry around tablets that are no bigger than a 8.5"x 11" sheet of paper. Plus I can get my records online. Set up appointments and all that other cool stuff.

You should definatly vote for the tablets with the touch screens (you don't have to use the stylus pen) they are easier to use than laptops.

My 2 cents.