August 29, 2011

First trip to the morgue

Yesterday I helped with the admission of a middle aged woman. She was crying in pain. Specifically her legs, her back, and her head. She had multiple tests done. All came back normal. I felt so helpless and didn't know how to help her.

Today, she went downhill fast.  She was actively dying and was a DNR.  All we could do was keep her comfortable. Her very large family was all present and stayed with her the entire time. A Catholic priest was called at the request of the family. We all held our breath and prayed that the priest would make it in time. She passed away within a minute of the priest arriving.

After the family left, I helped the nurse's aide wheel her down to the morgue. I must say, seeing it was not like what I expected. Not at all. Just a very small room with a metal table and scale. A walk in cooler that was big enough to fit only 2 stretchers inside. Small hospital, small morgue I guess. What happens if you have to take a patient down there, in the middle of the night, and the cooler already is at capacity? What am I supposed to do with the body? Nobody could answer my question. They all say "Oh, that won't happen".

Murphy's Law: It will happen to me. In the middle of the night. When I'm fresh off of orientation.

August 22, 2011

Dr. Dolittle

I'm sensing a theme in the unit. There is one doctor in particular who nobody wants to call, and who everybody avoids at all costs. I hear repeatedly from different people in my unit, in other units, and in other disciplines, how this doctor never does anything for his patients, and when he does, his orders are outrageously unsafe. I'm fearful that my meek, mild personality won't cut it when the day comes that I have to deal with this doctor.

August 15, 2011

Bath salts? Really?

Twenty four year old former heroin addict who bought a ticket to the critical care unit by shooting up with bath salts. She was fine, however, the 6 week old embryo she was carrying was not. Even though she blamed the nursing staff for killing her baby with all the "drugs" we "made" her take, I feel bad for her. I feel bad for her husband, and the two small children they have together. I truly hope she gets the help she needs.

I had no idea this is something that has apparently become popular with kids. This is a video explaining the risks of bath salts in case you are like me and haven't heard of this "drug" before now.

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August 07, 2011

Waste of a promising future:

Apparently chewing Fentanyl patches is the new craze. He was down for who knows how long before his mother found him unresponsive. The paramedics found the patch still in his mouth. It took 20 minutes for the ED staff to shock him back to "life". Currently on life support with very little brain activity. Seriously, how can anybody ever think this is a good idea?