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We had a patient once who had cardiac bypass surgery. Sometimes during surgery, the surgeon deems it necessary to put in pacer wires … these are wires that are kinda embedded in the heart and come out the chest. If needed, we RN’s hook those wires up to a temporary pacemaker after surgery. The pacemaker is a little smaller than a VHS tape, but about that size. Anyway, this guy has been hooked up to one of these since surgery. He’s an engineer. One night, a fellow RN went into his room and found him holding the pacemaker, fiddling with the buttons, and when he saw my coworker said, “Ya know, I can’t for the life of me figure out how this thing works!”
We nurses find this sort of thing quite amusing :-) (It’s okay … you have to push many buttons simultaneously to get it to work so you can change the programming on it.)
Lesson … if you are in the hospital hooked up to boxes and things, please try not to play with them :-)

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Nice to know that engineers can NEVER resist fiddling with things. BTW the whole blog is an interesting read. Keep it up!

Great site, sounds a lot like my life. It’s amazing how sarcastic we become in a hospital and how we learn to laugh in the face of human suffering. We must in order to prevent our own death. Great story about the pacemaker. Reminds me of my patient who wanted to take his antibiotics early in order to “surprise” the bacteria. Lesson, antibiotics should be taken on random schedules as a surprise attack is always better than a planned one ;-}
I’ll add this site to my links


Well, I’de have to try VERY VERY hard not to play with the monitors.

When I had my surgery and was in the observation room, I had to restrain myself from trying to turn the pulse tone on on the pulse oximeter.

Most people get So irretated with the beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep noise but I DO NOT.

Good story.

I woke up after surgery a couple of years ago to find a thingy in my nostrils, a thingy on my thumb, thingys squeezing the heck out of my feet, and a lot of thingys taped to my arm (and machines somewhere behind me making muted noises). Too tired to wonder long at it all, I went back to sleep. Do you have any idea the level of absolute trust in hospital staff and doctors patients must resign themselves to? Of course later, whatever you were doing we are very, very grateful for!

great Blog I wanted to list it on Hospital.com

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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