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I Think I’m On Summer Vacation …

… from my blog. Sorry for the absence. I’ve been working on a project that has taken some precedence over the blog. I’ve been very sad to see some of my favorite bloggers decide to throw in the bloggy towel – Medpundit and Shrinkette. Best wishes to them both!

Work has been very busy as usual. There are a few posts floating around in my head, but for now I will leave you with some story submissions! Enjoy.

Sam, Student Nurse writes:

This happend to me last week and is a message for all you RNs. I work on a PACU unit at a university hospital and often we bring people to the floor after they get the ok to leave recovery. I was asked to bring a 16 year old girl up to the Neuro floor. She was reporting pain her pain at 8 but the RN’s were ready for her to leave recovery and giving pain meds delays the process 20 more mins. So I push her bed up to the 7th floor and I could tell she was hurting. I explained how we were going to move her into her bed. The floor was busy and a few RNs popped in and out of the room as I waited for more lifters. I could tell the pain was getting worse and I started to talk to her. I was only 19 and it looked like we could have been friends. I asked her about school and told her to breathe through the pain and once we got her in bed we could give her something and let her family in. Suddenly she reached for my hand. I was shocked, no one had ever reached out for me before. I held her hand, I stroked her arm and talked to her for 20 minutes when finally more people came to help move her. Her nurse told me “Sorry it took so long, I bet you had better things to do”. My honest reply was “NO, I think someone needed me to be here more”.

Nurse Steph writes:

I work on busy telemetry unit, and the shift had just started. We had just finished taking report from the off-going day shift and were walking out of the breakroom when I heard some loud but beautiful singing. As I neared the nurse’s station I saw a large lady with her hair sticking straight up sitting in a wheelchair at the desk and singing her heart out. Several nurse aides invited her to return to her room and she refused, they tried pushing her wheelchair and she planted her feet on the ground and wouldn’t budge. One of the nurse aides was standing behind a plastic utility cart and the Singing Lady grabbed it and pinned her to the wall. Now, this is shift change and there are Dr.’s, nurses, family members, etc at the nurse’s station. The Singing Lady became louder with singing and intermittent cursing that would make anyone blush. We all tried to no avail to get her to her room and put her tele back on (which we discovered she had placed in the trash).
Finally, we had to call security for assistance. It took 4 security, 2 nurses, and 2 male nurse aides to get the lady to bed. We all thought that the night would calm down and we could get busy. We were very wrong. I had a patient having chest pain, and went to attend to him (nitro, stat ekg, labs, vitals, etc.) While I am assessing the patient’s pain level and finding that his chest pain is completely gone, I hear a blood curdling scream “Stephanieeeeeeee”. I go running down the hall to my schizophrenic patient’s room (where nurse aide Stevy is assigned as a 1:1 sitter) and find the aide with her head on the bedside table. My patient had grabbed her ponytail and put her head to the bedside table and was scratching her face. Several people had run in by then and we got the lady calmed down and Stevy free. Stevy had to go to employee health because of nasty scratches to her neck. In the meantime another nurse had the Singing Lady and a foley was ordered for her. Well, you can only imagine how that went. You could hear her all over the floor! She was yelling obscenities about her private parts to the nurse and the tech helping. She described her privates in a way we had never heard. We couldn’t believe our ears, this is a elderly lady soliciting the young male tech assisting the nurse, who quickly left the room.
Another nurse had been looking for a patient for an hour or more and the patient in the next bed said he saw him and his foley (urinary catheter) bag leave the room. Well, we called security, house supervisor, Dr., patient’s family, etc. About 30 minutes later we receive a call from the local police department asking if we had a pt by the name of ——. They had found him 2 city blocks away carrying his foley bag. When they stopped him, he threatened them with his foley bag raised in the air. Needless to say they called EMS to return him to the hospital. Upon his return when the nurse asked him why he left, he stated he was going to get help for the lady that was being killed down the hall (the singing, screaming lady). All of this happened in a period of 3 hours and then the night finally settled down. We still laugh about that night 3 years later. You never know what is going to happen from one hour to the next. And just because you don’t clock in on psych doesn’t mean you don’t work on one.

(Oh, that last sentence is so very true.)

Last one, from “CICU Nursie:”

I was reading your post about the meat fibers and it sounded so familiar. One woman in particular comes to mind. I came in and got report from D. She was telling me how this lady came in to the ICU confused and hypotensive and that it was all downhill from there. O2 was now 100% NRB and she looked like she was gonna buy a tube. I went in to assess her and her posture just jumped out at me. It looked like she was gasping for air, neck arched and head thrown back. Decided to perform oral care first when I peeped the dried secretions making a ring around her mouth. I had to assemble the sponges, water and moisurizer because no one had taken the time to do so in the nearly 72 hours she was with us. I started by removing large hunks of dried secretions from her mouth and eventually got my fingers on a three inch long hunk of what looked like meat only it wasn’t meat…it was mucus that dried and built up on the prior dried bits to eventually block her airway. I can’t really recall how many times I have received patients in severe respiratory distress due to an easily removed blockage. How many times do these elderly NPO patients have to code before some of these practitioners realize that a little regular mouthcare goes a long way.

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A comment about the oral care. On our Med Surg unit, oral care is a must. It’s something we teach to all new grads, as well as do frequent audits with patients families about. How would any of us like to be lying in a bed, NPO, unable to reach our own mouth, and having dried up mucus and saliva caked inside and outside our mouths. I too wish more people would realize the importance of good oral care.

Don’t stay away for so long next time!!

Geeze, I didn’t hear about Shrinkette! I have GOT to read more often. I get so busy WITH my blogs I have no time to READ any blogs….

That first story made me cry. aww. Thank you for posting it.

I was working at a hospital in Memphis, Tennessee and had just gotten report that one of my patients was a failure to thrive. When lunch time came I carried her tray in to her commenting on how good it looked and how good it smelled and I wish I could take my lunch now because I would join her. She sadly looks at the tray and looks at me and says I cannot eat that. I asked why and the patient states, “Cause I have No Damn Teeth”. I was startled, I asked had she told anyone this and she said with a sigh, Yes, I tell the techs and they take away my tray. I went to the Charge Nurse and told her I knew why my patient was a failure to thrive when she asked why I told her She Has no Teeth. We got the patient a pureed diet and she licked the plate clean. She was starving to death in front of our eyes!! The good news is the patient went home in 2 days, fully recovered.

So, what brought you to the hospital today?

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  • profileI am Gina. I have been a nurse for 15 years, first in med/surg, then CVICU, inpatient dialysis, CCU and now hospice. This blog is about my experiences as a nurse, and the experiences of others in the healthcare system - patients, nurses, doctors, paramedics. We all have stories!

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