Saturday, February 10, 2007

I'm not okay - I need to up my meds

There just aren't words. At least not appropriate words that I can muster right now.
I am prevented from discussing much of this case, but I will give it to you in a nutshell.
Psychotic patient self-aborts 32 week fetus.
Professionally, I am having a hard time dealing with this one; everything from how it managed to occur on the unit, to how on earth can you face a patient like that, with an open mind, objectivity and empathy?
Personally, I'll tell you this much: I'm am a mess.
I have tried to hear the information, file it away in my private mental library and lock it deep inside that little repressed safe. The door won't latch.
As a woman who has battled secondary infertility, and multiple losses, I am downright pissed.
As I am facing the 2nd anniversary of my stillborn son, 35 weeks, buried at the feet of his grandfather, I am absolutely nauseous knowing the mistreatment that baby received at the hands of his mother.
As a nurse, I can't wrap my head around this one. It cuts way to close to home, and I feel it is absolutely OK for me to step away from any and all involvement.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Crossing the line

Sometimes, your personal life and professional life meet each other head on, and you're left dealing with some massive casualties. Tonight will likely be *that* night for me.
Due to the ignorance of a co-worker who believed herself to be doing the right thing, I have been forewarned of a situation that occurred last night (thankfully I was OFF); the whole department is still reeling. And I, having minimal information and a few hours to dwell on it, am trying hard not to get all worked up before I need to.
For now, I must face this with an open mind and empathetic heart, and do my best not to bring preconceived opinions into my workspace. My private thoughts, on the other hand, might be on their own.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


It's pretty cold. Right now, my thermometer reads 3 degrees. That is downright balmy compared to Monday. Two days ago I woke to minus 8 degrees (-8), with the wind chill factor making it minus thirty-five (-35)!
So, the boy has had two snow days off school (only a delay this morning), and since I also happened to be off (legitimately, I might add), we have pretty much just lazed around. It has been AWESOME. Thanks to the magic of Netflix and my rather lax nutritional standards, we have been very, very naughty. Looks like I'll be going a few feet farther on the old treadmill.
The best thing about winter is *Hockey*Season*!!!! I dusted the Dorito dust off my chin and headed out to catch an outstanding game last night. The boy's team tromped their opponents, and I was there to see it. Too cool. Since I am primarily 2nd shift, I miss most of his games. I'm so glad I was able to be there for this one. I narrowly escaped acting as the medic, however, because I was about 3 minutes later than she was in arriving (also late). Had to get my coffee, you know. Almost immediately after my arrival, one of the refs went down. The man landed hard on his coccyx after a nasty crash between several players and himself. (Remember, they don't wear pads). He was dragging his right leg afterwards, and though he tried to complete the period without putting any weight on that skate, he decided to remove himself and use a sub. Poor guy.
Here's another chilling story... unauthorized charges on my check card. No, not a fraudulent breech-of-security kind of thing, more like an alleged computer malfunction that took a week to clear up. I made an online purchase of some scrubs from a catalog floating around at work. I have three favorite places that give good service and decent products (read: affordable), and had not used this retailer before. Never again! For some reason, three weeks after our transaction they re-posted the charge to my account - the exact amount as the previous purchase. Seems something happened at the first of the month that caused all previous purchases to be posted again. WTF? As this was my Mad Money account, the balance remains low (really, really low) until I decide to plump it up a bit. Had I not been trolling around for more needless spending, and poised to transfer some funds, I probably would not have even noticed I.Was.Overdrawn. Ack! Several frustrating calls later, I was promised that the charge would be removed "soon" (fact: two more business days [Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday]). My bank said they would "probably" be able to undo the NSF charge once the error was corrected, and all I could do was wait. I'll spare the details, but will report that all is well currently, and I am a little less freaked out. This is exactly the reason I refuse to participate in automatic debit payments. I really don't care too much for the autodeposit of my paycheck, except it does free up some time. And I'm forced to. What's the worse that can happen, they pay me TWICE? heehee
Well, I'm off to my conference. Have a nice day, and stay warm.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A feel-good post

I love my job. All my groaning about the little things that irritate me are merely a way to vent some steam. And we all need that from time to time, don't we?
I love my boss. My nurse manager is an absolute god-send, and if I could send her roses every day, I would. I mean that sincerely. We all love her.
I have worked at some pretty shitty places in my life. I can count on one hand the number of employers I have had that made me want to show up every day. Three, to be exact. It's a shame that during a nursing shortage/crisis that more organizations don't take a look at how they treat their staff. But this post is about greatness, so I'll go back to my happy place.
Currently, we are faced with a new nurse who recently resigned. There are many reasons for her departure, and concessions were discussed before she ultimately made her decision. We are sad to see her go. Besides feeling like we didn't keep her happy, we are also trying to juggle scheduling around as a result.
As you may have noticed from my previous posts, this is a tough job to do day in, day out. Not a lot of people can work in psych. Tensions sometimes run pretty high, and that fact is not lost on my NM. She stated in a recent staff meeting that morale seemed low. We, her loyal charges, didn't immediately agree. We thought we were doing well, and things were running smoothly. She, however, managed to pick up on little subtleties that suggested otherwise. And perhaps she's right.
I can't speak for my cohorts regarding their possible perks, but I am just tickled about the 1:1 we had the other day. For starters, she chose me to attend an upcoming conference. She also commended my effort and abilities, and soothed my frazzled nerves with compliments and encouragement that made me feel like a good investment rather than just a warm body to meet staffing regulations. Everyone needs a little ego stroking now and then, am I right?
She has given me confidence and added some fuel to the spark under my long-term goals. I think, after my son graduates this spring, I will start working towards my next degree - with tuition reimbursement and an extended contract, of course. If she believes in me, then I can, too! Warm + fuzzy = one happy nurse.