Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Oooookay...?

I pull back the curtain of one of my three infusion rooms and greet my patient. He's going to have an hour-long immunotherapy infusion. 

I have all my supplies set up to access his implanted port

I ask him to show me his port site, so I can visualize and palpate it prior to accessing. And he whips off his shirt. Completely.

He's sitting there in his slightly grubby jeans, smelling like cigarette smoke, just looking at me, as if daring me to question him or comment on his action.

I stare at him thoughtfully for a moment, then I say,

"Oooookay...as long as you keep your pants on!"

He didn't give me a lick of trouble after that, though he didn't put his shirt back on until he was ready to leave, either!

Saturday, September 11, 2021

So...this happened.

 I guess I haven't checked in for quite some time. Like, my entire contract in AUSTIN, TEXAS.

I worked on a Bone Marrow Transplant unit, nights. It was quite the educational experience for me, and I learned a lot. I learned a lot about myself, too! I learned that it is NOT OK for me to take too much time off with no plans or anything to do. I turned into a depressed sloth. No, a SLUG. It was absolutely disgusting and it made me realized that if I'm not working, I still need something the fuck to do!

I give myself permission to do absolutely nothing at least one day a week, though. I'm an extroverted introvert, so, since I'm around people all day long, interacting and taking care of them, I need my alone (*cough*hermit*cough*) time to decompress. So, in my jammies I stay, allllll day long!

Anyway. Austin happened. It was fine. Considering that it was only the second hospital I've worked in since I became licensed, it was a great learning experience. Some of the practices made me raise my eyebrows. Some made me shake my head. But I knew going into this travel nursing gig that I would encounter sometimes big differences in the way things are done from place to place, organization to organization, facility to facility. I've bitten my tongue, but also pointed out some questionable things. I figure, as long as my patients are safe and I'm not doing anything that could cost me my nursing license, I'm ok with whatever.

Now I'm in Minneapolis, and have been since the end of June. I'm close to wrapping up my assignment here, too. My last day is October 1st, and I already have a contract signed for another night-shift hospital gig in the Bay Area starting October 18th, medical oncology this time.

The interesting thing about my job here in Minnesota is that it is an Outpatient Infusion Clinic! I have never done outpatient anything before, so this is an incredible opportunity. I'm learning so much about chemotherapy regimens that we just don't give in the hospital. I'm also getting very good at some important nursing skills that they just don't teach in nursing school anymore, and which we weren't even allowed to do at my "home" hospital in NH, like STARTING PERIPHERAL IVs!!! Something so basic, the average person on the street just assumes every nurse will know how to do it. Nope. But now I do, and it makes me sooooo happy.

ANYway, I'm here in Minneapolis because my oldest child SystemsReady (aka Silver, or Silver the Evil Chao, way back when), lives here! I'm totally crashing in her living room on a queen-sized air mattress, lol! I took a job that honestly pays peanuts, just to spend time with her, since we hadn't seen each other in so long (THANKS, COVID). Soooo worth it. We've had a blast, and I'm going to miss her terribly once I leave.

She's doing great, BTW, thanks for asking. Kick-ass, Goth Chick, computer-programming, stick-shift driving, Manic-Pixie-Dream-Asexual-Autistic-Girl! 

So proud of her. 

She turned THIRTY this year, BTW!!! She was fifteen when I started blogging. Damn, I'm old.

And here I will stop. I have an anecdote from work to share, but I will time that particular post for a few days or maybe a week from now. I want this one to sit here for a bit. Maybe some of my loyal readers (hi, you two!) will wander back over and find it.

TTFN!

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Shenanigans!

 The joy of working with youngsters...

Like when your pod partner (*cough*Tyler*cough*) writes your name on a white board in LARGE letters and places it at the foot of his dementia patient's bed where she can easily read it, and over the next few hours you really grow to hate your own name..."CHRISTINA! CHRISTINA! CHRISTINA! CHRISTINA!"

It can get really old, really fast. But, yes, it *was* funny!


Thursday, February 11, 2021

Long time, no hear...

 Well hello there, Strangers! 

I'm embarking on a new adventure in a few weeks:

I'm finally going TRAVEL NURSING.

Watch this page for updates. I have signed with two agencies and two recruiters, so we'll see how it goes with contracts. I'm oncology nursing certified as well as chemotherapy and immunotherapy certified, so I'm definitely focused on heme/onc inpatient nursing and/or infusion clinics.

I'm hoping for my first assignment to be in the Dallas/Ft.Worth area, but we'll see. Anywhere in the Southwest is fine in my books, I just want to get out of the fucking COLD. And snow. And ice.

I really don't want to bust my ass in the parking lot again. Just my luck, I'd break something and be out of work for a while.

Yep, really need to pay off those nasty student loans before I hit retirement age. I'm in my fifties, after all!

Gotta think ahead. I would like to eventually own my own home and have a place to settle down to enjoy my golden years. ;)

Anyway, that's it for now. See you on the flipside!



Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Overheard in a Patient's Room

***while I was holding the urinal for a male patient with tremors and BPH.

"C'mon, George!"

I did NOT need to know that my patient's penis is named "George". 

That's my dad's name, and his dad's name.

My patient, btw, is NOT named George.

I'm bewildered AND slightly disgusted.



Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Not what I expected to hear...

from my 88-year-old patient.

I answered a call light in the middle of the night. My patient beckoned me over to her bedside and we had the following exchange:

"This is gonna be an odd request..."

"Don't worry about it, I'm here to help!"

"My snatch is itching, could you wash it for me?"

*blink blink*

So I did. 

I cannot make this shit up. Seriously. I can't.


Sunday, March 17, 2019

That time when... (no pun intended!)

That time when you're working the night shift when Daylight Saving Time starts.

And your *very insistent* patient demands that you adjust the clock in her room. Right. NOW.

And the clock slips out of your hand, falls to the floor, and on the way down triggers a Code Blue.

I can't make this shit up.

Monday, February 04, 2019

Overheard on the Cancer Ward

So, after having a *ahem* firm discussion with Eeyore* over the phone about why my patient, who's likely perfed his bowel, can't come to the radiology department for STAT portable x-rays, she finally shows up, and the following conversation takes place.

Me (joking while piling on the lead-lined gear, as I'm needed to hold the plate behind the patient for a specific view of the abdomen.):

"Meh, I get more radiation flying on a plane...and I'm almost fifty, I'm done having babies!"

Eeyore (seriously):

"You could always get cancer..."

Really? You don't say?  You realize that this is the oncology unit?! And we're in a room with a patient who was just diagnosed with lymphoma, a tumor of which likely punched a hole in his bowel about an hour ago...? And I'm an oncology nurse, who handles (carefully!) chemotherapy agents almost every shift?

Ugh. Some people.



*AKA the morose overnight x-ray tech

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Stop and Reflect

I roll my eyes as my ass barely hits my chair when the patient in 403 hits the call light. Again. For the millionth time this shift. I need to get my charting done!

I take a deep breath and let out a sigh. We're working without an LNA again this shift. I guess they figure things are "quiet" at night and we can manage without one. We can. Barely and sometimes poorly.

I step into 403 and say,

"Hey Steve, what can I do for you?"

And he answers,

"I just wanted to tell you what a great job you're doing! Sorry for being such a pain.."

Instantly I'm ashamed of myself. Being a patient totally sucks. Especially when you're as sick as Steve. He has no control over anything, except the call light. I get that he is lonely and wants someone to talk to.

I need to do my job, which yes, includes charting (oh, so MUCH charting), but mainly involves patient care.

Patient care isn't just pills and assessments. Patient care also means taking the time to tend to the emotional and mental well-being of the folks entrusted to us. It's a big responsibility. I need to focus on that more and on the minutiae of charting less.

It makes me a better nurse, and a better person. And all of my patients benefit.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Creepy...

That creepy/awkward moment when you realize that your fifty-something patient is calling her *husband* "Dad"...

And calls urination "tinkling".

*shudders*