Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Chemical restraint vs fixing the bed

Back to work after two nights off. Rare scenario for me and so difficult.
Highlights included: ativan ordered for a resident who became nasty during the day. First, nobody locked up the ativan liquid or had knowledge that this was supposed to be done. The vials were lying in the refrigerator for anyone to take. I attempted to open the locked fridge area, but could not locate a key. Again, nobody else was any help. I ended up giving them to the supervisor. Once I take over for the night shift, I am responsible for any problem that the prior nurses created, which includes unsecured narcotics. Second, an overview of the resident revealed increased nastiness, as well as a depleted air mattress. He was lying on a deflated bed, feeling the metal wires of the box spring. That could make anyone nasty. I got him a regular bed because I could not figure out how to get the air mattress operating properly. The prior nurse admitted that she noticed this bed problem, but just left it.
Another resident had been agitated and combative all day. I found her running around her room. She's very unsteady on her feet and we're lucky that she did not fall. She has a bed sensor which the evening shift consistently sabotages. This night, they had removed the battery. I told the nurse, who was 1-baffled as to why anyone would do that and 2-baffled as to why I was telling her- did I expect her to look at each resident to make sure that everyone was safe and set up correctly? Yes, I do expect her to make sure each bed alarm is activated, just as I have to do when I get in. I told her that I would be writing the situation on the 24 hour report (again), though I know that administration never takes action against these people, never holds them accountable.
After work, I was able to fix a minor problem with my car. One of the great things about working nights is that sometimes I finish on time and can get to places before everyone else. I could hardly stay awake the hour and a half in the garage waiting area, but now the problem is taken care of. One of the drawbacks of finishing work at 7:30 or 8:00 a.m. is that some businesses don't open until 9:00 a.m., so I have to go home, try not to fall asleep, go back, further delay my sleep, etc. It's a rough schedule to work with.
My housemate is still lurking- staying in her room, being quiet, not turning on every light in every room. It's not that she has suddenly become a considerate human being. She's avoiding me. It's conducive to sleeping, but I'm just waiting for her true, noisy, selfish self to reappear.

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