Ever wonder what it would be like to be a nurse working in a busy ICU on a weekend night?
Well read on my friends. Read on. I've saved some of the highlights for you.
Please remember that the minds of health care workers are warped from years of sleeplessness and exposure to probably asbestos. We laugh at things that aren't funny. We make jokes of life and death situations. We are socially inappropriate.
So here's my night... in a nutshell.
Walk in to work to realize someone changed the schedule without calling... I'm in charge and now 25 minutes late. Great. What a way to start 13 hours...
Take report on an octagenarian (someone in their 80's) who had major open heart surgery today. Can't decide if I should hum "Who Wants to Live Forever," or "Another One Bites the Dust" as my theme song tonight.
Review the surgery schedule... laser vaporization of vagina... wow. Remind me to stay away from OR 2. Holy crap. That sounds like something Spock would do to a Klingon...
Inhale a crappy $5 burrito while trying to read a chapter or two in the breakroom during my 15 minute lunch break, only to be interrupted by a co-worker's story about her Yorkie, Snoopy, who fell off a dining room chair and got a concussion. The story was complete with a reenactment visual effect of Snoopy's left-sided weakness and cross eyed gaze during his post ictal phase.
Admit a Cymbalta overdose. I intermittently check for the return of a blink reflex by touching her eyeball with a Q tip. Hours go by with no response, then suddenly an over exaggerated "OUCH." Seriously, it was only a Q tip, not a stick. Can't stop thinking about the Cymbalta commercial... Where does depression hurt? MY EYE! When asking her how many pills she took, I'm dumbfounded when she says "two." "TWO? Seriously? You only took two?" Oops. I shouldn't have said that.
Mentally calculate the tooth to tattoo ratio on a patient's family. That would be the number of teeth divided by the number of tattoos. This is done collectively as a group and the results are usually surprisingly close to being the same number. ie: 5 teeth to 5 tattoos. It's a fun game and helps really bring math alive.
Call the cops on a step-daughter and daughter pair of a patient who get into a fist fight and throw hot coffee on each other. What a waste of coffee at 3am. Really. I needed that coffee.
After being awake for over 24 hours in a row, I drive home with my fingers shut in the window hoping the pain will keep me awake. God forbid I get pulled over this morning, I am way more dangerous as a sleepy driver than I ever would be as a drunk driver. I don't even think I could pass a sobriety test right now. I want my bed.
Today I will ...
Sleep. Get up. Do the laundry. Do the dishes. Play with the kids.