Sunday, March 24, 2013

A True Dead End

I received a letter clarifying that my current employment is a dead-end.

I have been applying for in-house promotions and transfers as the positions are posted.  I never hear back.  My inquiries go unanswered.  Sometimes someone else appears in the position; other times, the position remains unfilled.

I finally got an answer:  I am UNELIGIBLE for transfer or promotion because I am not a PERMANENT employee.

Oh.  I had no idea.  Truly I didn't.  I get health insurance and paid time-off like everyone else.  I read through my paperwork and saw no mention of status, other than "regular" and "full-time."  Probationary period of three months:  completed.

Is this my tangible sign to get the hell out of there?  Have they lined me up to be fired without recourse because I am temporary?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Women spend 2% of their lives trying to figure out
where bruises on their legs came from.

This comic brings me back to my nursing home days, where every little mark on a 95-year-old body was the launch of a multi-page report with drama for weeks on end.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


I don't know how this happened.  Thank goodness it did.

I was pulled to an administrative department for the day.  I am organized, detail-oriented, and love solving problems.  These are not valued skills at my place of employment.  Administration would originally pull me to an administrative department because "You can't get along with anyone."  This is not true.  I get along with some people.  I do not get along with people who are at work to do nothing.  I am the one who has to pick up their slack and I do not react well in such situations.  Once other people saw how well I organized the offices and got things done, they wanted me to work with them.  So administration stopped sending me to other departments because I was becoming liked.

I started on the floor with wild, out-of-control new admit from last night, running around, shouting, "I own this place!" and banging on doors to leave.  Medication time.  But I can't medicate because the pharmacy did not send medication for him yet.  I ask another nurse to make a run for the medications while I medicate the next tier of wild patients who aren't running and banging- yet.

"I didn't admit him," she explained as part of her refusal.

"Who admitted him yesterday is not relevant.  We need to medicate him now," I tried to rationalize.  Useless.  She wouldn't budge.  Sat at the desk smiling and laughing at the antics of the patients.  Like a child.  Not like another nurse, supposed to be pulling her own weight.

Supervisor came over and informed me that she was pulling me to an administrative department.  I fled immediately with the other nurse calling after me, "But who is going to do all this work?"  Ha ha ha.

I returned mid-morning because I remembered that I forgot to do something yesterday.  (Don't you love how things hit you later, in the shower, or when you are lying in bed, trying to sleep?)  The place was a circus.  They had:

---Podiatrist with handwriting of a chicken having a seizure insisting upon seeing every patient and finding a fungal infection on most.
---New admission:  wild, screaming, punching.
---State inspectors.

Yes.  The State was there.  Do not know why.  They can stop in unannounced, or they can eventually follow up on a possibly pressing issue.  We'll see if there is a fall out from this visit.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Finding Common Ground

Finding friends with the same
mental disorder as you . . .

This "funny" picture and caption is what I try to convey to my patients.  Reach out to those around you at the hospital.  They are going through similar situations as you are.

Some are able to connect to others.  Most are not.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Human Guinea Pig

I got my first call for testing consumer products.  They apply the lotion and cover with a strong bandage.  18 of them.  Much stronger than what I have at work.  Immediate stinging and burning.  By the evening, I couldn't deal with it and removed everything and scrubbed down.  I had to return, report that I was dropping out of the study, and forfeit that payout.

How am I going to make extra money for my monthly shortfall?  No overtime permitted, even though most shifts are short.  Nobody has been hired after I was two years ago.  In the meantime, people have gone out on permanent disability and many are suddenly retiring because the atmosphere has become so hostile.  The hospital is in a hiring freeze, I am told.  Only that brand new nurse was hired as a supervisor, a job that was never advertised.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Wrong Person Snapped

"Can you get me some Vaseline?  My lips are so chapped," one of the attendants said to me.

An attendant.  Not a patient.

"You can get some yourself," I coolly replied and then turned to the patient sitting next to the attendant.  The patient was crying.

"Why are you crying?" I asked the patient.  She is emotionally labile.  Crying one minute, laughing the next, anxious after that.  For no reason.

"My hand hurts," she babbled in between sobs, holding her right hand with the left.  The right was more swollen than the left with some purple bruising on the fingers.

"What happened to your hand?" I asked the patient.

"He hurt me!" she blurted out and turned to look at a male patient across the room.

The attendant chimed in, "Oh, Michael, he sat next to her, holding her hand, then all of a sudden he bent her hand until it snapped.  Can you PLEASE get me the Vaseline now?  I said PLEASE.  Is that what you want to hear so that you will DO YOUR JOB?"

I was furious.  "Are you kidding me?  You interrupt me all day with your own personal requests, ignoring the patients, and then you watch a patient break the hand of another patient, but that is not important enough for you to tell me."

"I didn't know the hand was broken.  I'm not THE NURSE.  You are.  You are supposed to know these things," the little snot retorted.

She doesn't get it.  None of the attendants do.  And this is my license on the line.  My livelihood.

The break had to be reported to the state.  I had volumes of paperwork to complete on both patients.  And the supervisor of the day had never worked as a floor nurse.  She is fresh out of a BSN/MSN in nursing leadership program from a local private university.  She kept calling me with Nursing 101 questions.  "You know to call for xrays, right?  My textbook says you need to get xrays.  I have it in the office in case you want to come and read it."  And, "Did you give pain medication?  Broken bones can be painful.  Remember, you need doctor's orders for all of this."  And finally, "Do I have to keep calling you to tell you what to do, or do you know?"

I stopped answering her non-stop phonecalls, so she actually got up from the office and came to the ward.  She decided to confront the offending patient on the floor, complete with yelling and waving her finger.  The patient exploded, but didn't hit her.  She has no patient management skills.  The attendants had to get up to control the patient, making them angrier than usual.  The supervisor returned to me and said, "See?  That's how you do it.  You need to tell them off," and returned to her office, leaving me to deal with the mess she created.

This is an unfortunate incident but thank goodness I caught it and reported it.  Much better than having a subsequent shift find the injury and then launch an investigation.