January 26, 2010

Recent highlights from work

  • Patients--of both sexes--on the high-functioning unit were coming onto me left and right. Something must have been in the water supply.

  • I had a patient throw some underwear at me.  Fortunately, they didn't hit me.  I do hope they were clean...they looked it, but I wasn't investigating them up close and personally, though.

  • I made a medication error.  Fortunately, it was the same family of medications so no harm, no foul to the patient...and in the tradition of "it worked out for the better" med errors, it did work out for the better for the patient.  Still no excuse though.

  • One sexually inappropriate patient on the intensive care unit got attached to me for some reason. I offered him 1mg Ativan. It didn’t even take the edge off. I had to call the doctor to get him 2 mgs of it plus a haloperidol chaser. That worked for the first day. Next time I see him, he follows me on the unit and says he wants to smell me. I’m not working on that particular unit at that time, so I can’t give him any meds. But I can damn well set boundaries.

  • I arrive on the unit one day and walk right into a code:  a  patient is cutting themselves.  Fun.  Secure patient, start paperwork.

  • I had a patient bitch all evening about how their foot hurts. I call the medical doctor and get the order to send the patient to the ER. Patient starts to bitch about having to go to the ER. I tell patient that they have been whining all day about how nothing was done for their foot and now they have the chance to get it looked at, so do they want to go or not because I have other things I need to be doing.  Patient opted to go...good thing too based on what they found.

  • For the first time, I got to see a patient being restrained.  I do understand that it is in the best interest of the patient, in order to prevent them from hurting themselves and others.  At the same time, to have to order someone to be strapped down--or to just even witness it--is very unsettling.

  • The patients fought over the television. I informed them that the prior shift had laid down the law about it and unless ALL parties could amicably come to their own terms, I was enforcing last shift's law. Everyone who came by the nurses station bitched to me about either not being allowed to watch their program, or having to deal with the others bitching about them because they wanted (and got) to watch something else. One threatened to check out AMA but backed down when I told them if that's what they wanted, I'll get the process started.

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