Saturday, July 25, 2009


Read at your own risk!

I have the best husband. He is so kind and sweet. I had so much fun in Moab and I think the best part about Moab, for Matt, was that I DID have fun. We can check another thing we love to do together. It just gets better every day.

It will be a while before I can update with pictures from Moab and general happening that have anything to do with pictures, editing and downloading. I have worked one night shift and I will be working 2 more and then heading to Flaming Gorge for our annual fun fest. As I was working this AM I was thinking I should at least throw in a thought or two so I don’t go too long without a post. Of course, I have been up all night and things are just different after staying up so long. I’m not a night person in general and have struggled with night shifts for years. Because of my seniority, I don’t have to work THAT many but I always end up picking up an extra one because of staffing. Plus, after a night shift, I am a freakin’ genius!! BAHAHAHA.Anywhooo….enough of THAT.

At work, I have discovered, and with every shift I am supported of my theory, that I am very OCD. I am probably offending all the life-debilitating OCD’ers out there, but I’m going out on a limb here.

I have to have my patients room a certain way. The SICU has 20 rooms and I like them all just SO. I like the patient table by the window (they rarely use them), the chairs in different places, depending on the room. I can hardly do anything with my patient unless I’m in the “Nurse” standing area. This is at the head of the bed by the monitors and pumps. I can’t stand my pumps on the other side of the bed. I must have a minimum of 6 pillows in my rooms for my patient and repositioning. YIKES!!

I have a very succinct plan to keep my patients turned. I have them flat at 8, turn to the window at 10, flat at 12, turn to the door at 1400, flat at 1600 and turned back to the window at 1800. There is a reason for it; it just became easier to remember which way to turn them by the time if I turned the patients all the same.

Mouth care – they must be immaculate. I hate dirty mouths and dry icky lips. I put Vaseline on my patient’s lips. I had a trauma patient whose sister asked me if I put lip gloss on his lips.

I always defend the drunken trauma that fell. I’ve been drunk and I’ve fallen. I think they should be given the benefit of the doubt. Statistically, most of the time it’s the alcoholics that get THAT drunk and hurts themselves bad enough to warrant trauma activation. But I still think that if I plant the seed that this is a freak accident then if I came in as a trauma and I had been drinking, I wouldn’t end up with a “Bag of shame”* and on the Alcohol Withdraw Protocol. There would certainly be mockery, of course. I think the key to that, if you choose to drink heavily, is to surround yourself with people that keep you out of trouble and off the floor.

I think faster then I talk. It makes for some interesting conversations, just ask Matt. I can’t think of simple words, like my brain is farting over and over again. But I never feel like I have forgotten what to do. I like to say, “Just because I can’t explain it, it doesn’t mean I don’t know what I am doing”. I also like to say, "Just because I make it look easy, doesn't mean it is!". Sometimes I need butter to get my head through the door!

I am always learning and to kill time during rounds, when I’m charging, I will take notes on terms I don’t quite understand or things that seem interesting and look them up later. I usually get hooked on some kind of subject during my shift that I end up googling or checking out reference books.
Unfortunately, last night subject was, “Do strippers in Utah still have to wear thongs and pasties”? Dr. Kimball refused to comment.

I HAVE to have my pen, sharpie, med book and ID.

I also have to bring my lunch/snacks. I need to feel like I’m not going to starve to death. Eating at work is just a series of healthy snacks to keep my energy up. I usually get hooked on a few delicious things and eat the same thing for WEEKS until I get sick of it and move on to something else.

We all try SO hard to be proper, PC and avoid offending patients and their families. Away from the area of professionalism, you can have a difficult time shocking a great ICU/ER/FLIGHT nurse. There is very little that anyone can say to me that I would think of as TMI. Unless I don’t like you, then, just don’t talk.

You will know if I like you, because I talk to you. Sometimes I tease. A lot of times I point out the obvious.

Enough about work. I think you get the point. Just look at my previous blog about my locker.
I guess I should go to bed. I need to be ready for tonight. It’s a Utah holiday weekend and the Trauma’s just get worse as the weekend goes by. We already have about 7 on our unit and the shenanigans are going to peak in the next 24-36 hours.

Blog on......

*Bag of shame – an IV bag full of all the vitamins and minerals a person needs when they are withdrawing from alcohol. It is bright yellow and has many terms. One is “bag of shame” and another is “banana bag”.

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