April 18, 2015


I've had a rash of patients with bipolar disorder that are in mania.   I don't know if it's something in the water or the alignment of the planets or whatever.   Usually, I get them on the downside--they're depressed--so to see them dancing as fast as they can takes some getting used to.

Dealing with manic patients can wear anyone out.  They're talking a mile a minute, they're constantly fidgeting and restless, they're impulsive and unpredictable, they bounce from topic to topic as they follow their flight of ideas, and they're so distractable that they need constant redirection.  Then it gets even more fun if they're delusional on top of that--the grandiosity, the ideas of reference...

I feel like I've run a marathon after admitting such a patient.  I ran a lot of marathons lately.

Most want help stabilizing their mood.  The occasional one prefers their mania and would rather stay in that state.  I don't judge, I just make sure they stay safe and out of trouble.

Of course, it's always entertaining when two patients in mania meet.  They can keep each other entertained rather well because they can keep up with each other.  I'll have them hang out near me and let the two of  them have at it.  I just have to make sure that neither one (or both) are hypersexual, lest I have to go break up a romance or worse.  But anyhow, the conversations they have can be fascinating, though a little exhausting to listen to, especially if they try to pull me in.

Or I'll have them help me on the floor.  They're great at folding laundry...heck, they're happy to have something to do to burn up all that energy.  Occasionally I'll ask if they can tidy up the unit, which they're happy to.

Hopefully when I return to work, things will have calmed down.  I'm savoring this weekend off because I'm not going to have a lot of weekends off for a while.  Thanks to having to balance the scheduling demands of Jobs 1 and 3, I am working at least one day of the weekend every weekend for the next several weeks.  I did manage to save Mother's Day weekend for myself though.

April 12, 2015

Long time no type

So let me bring you up to speed.

I'm in demand at work:  a lot of staff have been going out on leave of absences or taking vacations, so I've been racking up days left and right.  Most weeks I have 5 days booked; some weeks I end up with 6 days. I have to be careful not to hit OT though because while I'm in demand, they're not desperate enough to want to pay me OT.

I accepted one potentially long-term assignment, which turned out to only be a couple of months because the nurse I was covering for returned from leave early.  So they were thinking about shifting me to another long-term assignment but they only wanted to book me for a month or two at a time...which meant that when another unit requested me for a long-term assignment coming up this summer, I was available for it and said Yes.

The first unit is now kicking themselves because they had blown their chance.  The second unit is trying to adopt me.  I have a guaranteed assignment starting in mid-June through October, with the potential to continue on to a very long-term part-time assignment past that.

I admit, I am intrigued because of all the units I work on, it's one of my favorites.  But then again, I'm still deciding if I want to accept a permanent position by the fall and if I do, there's a chance I won't be able to work this.

I'm now kind of torn about getting any permanent position.  On one hand, I want the stability.  On the other hand, it'd be a major pay cut and loss of flexibility.  Right now I'm getting enough work to make staying float pool a real possibility...but it wasn't but a few months ago that things were on the famine side.  *sigh*

I'm still working inpatient NOCs at the hospital in town.  I find that I'm liking it very much, and they're liking me very much too.  The shift isn't too bad as far as family life goes either, because they're 8 hour NOCs, not 12s.   Going NOC, either as permanent staff or float pool, is also a real possibility.

And that sums up Job 1.

Job #3 remembered I existed and wants me for three weeks.  I said Yes, of course.   While Job #3 isn't quite my favorite (not enough patient interaction for my taste), I am in Job #3's system which is a very hard healthcare system to crack into.  So I will do whatever it takes to stay in it and maximize my career options.

Job 2...well, I think that's come to an end, though I haven't officially broken up with my agency.  I should do that this week.  I don't want to sever all times, but I do want to let them know that I'm off the market for now and maybe may return in the future.

I got sick.  Laryngitis.  Whee.  And I had to be coordinating nurse on the unit that NOC shift...which was fine until it was time for me to tape report.

The littler one also got sick with a stomach bug.  Not so whee as the child can vomit like the world is ending.  Seriously, he would wake up out of a sound sleep, yack, roll over and go back to sleep.   I had to call out of work for several days.

And then I got sick again...well, not sick sick.  But constantly tired, itchy, rashes on my arms, losing some more hair than usual...so I go to the doctor tomorrow for an evaluation.

Part 2 of the ER nursing class went well.  It would hectic and tough, but I got my A-.  I'm looking at when to schedule the preceptorship.

I ran a half-marathon.  Well, walked/ran.   It wasn't my best time but I finished it...and this year, I got a finisher's medal!  I already registered for next year's version.

I went on vacation to see my closest friend and her family.  I got another tattoo while I was there.

And then NTI is coming up.  I will be there in a working capacity for the forum, so if you're going and want to see what a Meriwhen looks like, here is your chance.   However, it's on you to figure out which one there is me.

Busy indeed.

I'm enjoying this weekend off because next month I won't have a single weekend free:  because of the scheduling requirements for Job 1 and the fact that Job 3 is strictly Monday-Friday, I had to put in for several weekend shifts just to meet my required availability.   The joys of per-diem life...