Friday, November 23, 2007

oxy- and other morons

At the risk of insulting someone of the nursing persuasion, I must say that some of the nurses in the ICU are total idiots. To be sure, and I will mention this in order to deflect any insinuation that I am a misogynist, we have some equally wonderful nurses. And to tell you the truth, I couldn't possibly do what the nurses do.

However, I was completely traumatized the last time I was on call, not by the patients, but by the nurses. Because of a last minute no show by the shift nurse in charge, another nurse was asked to fill in. The that night shift was staffed by the "vampire nurses from hell". They did their best to drain all the blood out of me. Some of them were just plain stupid, and others were stupid AND lazy (a very endearing combination). Their collective IQ did not reach 100. Among other things they managed to let a patient fall (or perhaps jump to safety) out of his bed. This was a drug addict who had undergone CPR including defibrillation (electric shock) when he suffered a cardiac arrest after a drug overdose. After a very dramatic scene in which each nurse pulled on a different extremity to try to pull him back into the bed, I tried to calm everyone down, but to no avail. How the patient was returned to bed with everyone pulling in opposite directions shouting and yelling is still a mystery to me. It was a real soap opera, but a few minutes later, the patient was back in bed no worse for the wear, having suffered no injury. I requested that the nurses fill out an incident report, which is standard practise. One of the nurses sort of casually mentioned that this was unnecessary since no one would tell about an incident that happened in the middle of the night. This incensed me, because there are some nurses who never hesitate to tell the ICU director about any mistakes (no matter how small) I make.

Now during all this was the nurse in charge running around hysterically like the proverbial chicken without a head. Except, that she really has no head. OK, actually, she has a head but it is filled with vacuum (is that an oxymoron?) She has no concept of filtering out the amount of stimuli that spews forth from her mouth. She never shuts up. She always makes lot of fuss and actually gets very little done. She constantly updates the doctors with very "important" information that we can easily see on the monitors or extract from the electronic charts. (All the patients' vital signs and even latest lab results are accessible on a computer screen). The straw that broke the camel's back came at 5 am when my ear had just settled comfortably onto my pillow. She jarred me awake to inform me that the patient's cardiac enzymes were elevated. I asked her what, exactly, she thought I should do with that information. I told her that a patient that underwent CPR with diffibrillation is supposed to have elevated enzymes, so no one should be surprised. She must have noticed the exasperation in my voice because she answered, "I'm only doing my job and informing you of abnormal lab results". I am resigned to the fact that she is beyong rehabilitation. She is, and I mean this in the most mean spirited way possible, an incorrigable moron.

OK. enough therapy.

This week I took the two older kids to their swimming lesson and put the youngest in a inflatable float with me in the pool. For an hour he drilled a hole in my head by whining and crying. He kept saying "red" over and over again. By "red" he means anything that is pigmented with any color whatsoever and has caught his fancy. I usually swim without spectacles, making me practically blind. I had no idea what he was looking at. Incidentally today he learned to say "yellow" which is completely interchangable with "red". Very efficient little fellow if you ask me. Since then, I purchased optical swimming goggles. WOW, what a difference. I can now see the scantilly clad babes in the pool. What an eye opening experience (I know, I have no shame.)

Anyway, after an hour of this whining I finally removed him from the water. He immediately mad a bee-line to a purple float which looks like an oversized noodle, and is, in fact, called a "noodle". He took the noodle and showing no fear and equally no sense jumped into the pool (I remind you, he's only 1.5 yrs old). After my heart started beating again, I pushed his head above water and he was laughing. He was laughing! He was having the time of his life. And he didn't want to leave the water. When it was time to go home he threw a tantrum and burst my eardrums. By the time we got to the car the histrionics were over and he reverted to his usual sweet self. He should get an Oscar for that performance.

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