Saturday, November 28, 2015

Preserving Yourself

One of the doctors boasted about all the errands she has been accomplishing with her latest trick:  an extended lunch break.  Dental, hair, shopping, gym, phonecalls.  She has more time to spend with her children now.

"They will never give you respect or a raise.  They will make it impossible for you to practice medicine properly.  I'm not going to stay here all day, arguing with everyone.  I've never changed anything by protesting.  I've only wasted my energy and time.  Now I am so much happier with a break in the middle of my day and my evening free for my family."

I really want to be this way.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Money and more Money

One of the doctors was wearing a very nice looking suit.

"Oh, doctor, that is a nice suit!" one of the nurses said.  "You look like a millionaire!"

He chuckled and said, "I made my first million years ago."

How?  How do some people have so much and others can't make ends meet month after month?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Pawn in a Game

The couple who split were walking hand-in-hand through the parking lot.

This is after the hubbie asked me out.

Imagine if I had said yes?  If I had feelings for him, other than disgust?

Let this be a lesson to you and me.  Do not let people use you as a pawn in their game.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Who can and can't complain

One of the doctors said I should write an email to "all the higher-ups" about the abuses of power and nepotism at the hospital.

"I would be fired," I answered.

"I do it all the time," he said.  "Look at me.  I'm not fired."

Yes, look at him.  He makes how many times more than I do?  He probably has one of those financial safety nets, so if he were fired, he would not starve and be homeless.

Also, several doctors have already quit this year and not been replaced.  In what seemed like a calculated financial move, the hospital saved money by pushing the work onto the remaining doctors.  Some resented the overload and left.  Now the hospital must look the other way as doctors refuse additional assignments, take their earned paid time off as well as unpaid leave, and take extended lunch breaks.

In other words, his finances and his job are way more secure than mine, so he can risk offending people, even pissing off important people.  I cannot.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Newbies cannot Gossip

I checked on one of the new nurses who had just received an admission to handle all by herself.  She was upset.

"I was on break when the admission arrived.  The other nurse said she started.  I'm looking at the papers.  She did nothing!  And she reported me for not giving medication to her patients when she was on break, even though the meds were past due when she left, and she knew I had my hands full with the admission."

I told her she could ask me for help or to double check anything.

She said to forget that she said anything bad about the other nurse.  "It's okay," I told her.  "I've worked with her before.  I know that she does nothing, but reports you for not doing your work and hers, and the supervisor sides with her."

She said, "I have to watch myself.  I said something bad about someone, and the person agreed with me, but then ran to the other person and told them."

I confirmed that this was a common occurence here and to be careful.

She added that she needs no help with the admission.  "I did one before and the supervisor and the other nurses said it was perfect.  So I have no worries."

I was worried.  Didn't she realize that she doesn't need to do anything wrong to get in trouble?  She was already in trouble, courtesy of her partner nurse, for not doing the other nurse's work.

As I tried to leave, the psychiatrist called after me, asking me to help him determine psych meds for the new admission.  "That nurse said there is no paperwork!" he pleaded.

I returned to the new nurse and asked to see the papers.  Finally I found the list of "Medications from Home" and the list of meds given while staying in the emergency department via crisis.  I gave them to the doctor.

"I didn't want to say anything more to her," the doctor explained.  "If you upset a nurse, she quits, and we can't find any good nurses."

What am I?  Look at how I'm treated.  They think I'm an idiot for not quitting.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Change in Command

The Director of Nursing is leaving!

I don't write much about her because I rarely see her.

She is woefully ignorant.  Or maybe she's better at avoidance than I am.  A leader she is not.  Either way, I am glad to see her go.

In every place I've worked, the Director of Nursing stays a few years maximum.  This is one of the longest stays I've seen.  She started right before I did.  I've only heard tales of previous directors.

Not looking forward to seeing the replacement.  I'm thinking they'll appoint one of their favorite children as an "interim" director and then quietly slide that person into permanent status.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


The increasingly irritated and irritating nurse called, saying that my supervisor did not tell her about an upcoming procedure.

I was surprised that she was not blaming me, but grateful for the momentary reprieve.

"I'll tell her," I answered and hung up.

As soon as I told my supervisor, she flew to the phone and called the nurse.  "I gave you the packet on Thursday at 10:45 in the morning," my supervisor declared, reading from the log where she tracks who gets what when.  (People lose papers all the time.)

The nurse shouted, "You did not.  You can't just make up a name and time and say that's when you gave the papers.  You are lying!"

"Don't you tell me that I am lying!" my supervisor shouted back.  "The ward clerk was standing right next to you when I handed you the papers.  Ask her.  Maybe she remembers what you did with them."  Then she slammed down the phone.

A short while later, the nurse called again and asked for my supervisor.  "I found the papers," the nurse explained, again talking so loudly that I could hear from across the room.  "If Enid would have told me WHEN you gave the papers, I could have found them and not had to bother you."

Are you kidding me?  She bypassed me from the start and called my supervisor a liar.  Yet she thinks that I would have been able to slide in a helpful "You got the papers on Thursday!"  She organizes papers by patient or by date received?

Saturday, November 21, 2015


On payday Fridays, one of the secretaries in my area of the hospital delivers the checks or stubs.  For the last several payday Fridays, my immediate supervisor has been out.  Usually the secretary hands me my check and the supervisor's check, which I lock in the desk to await her return.  This most recent Friday, only my check was given to me.  I said nothing but "Thank you," as I didn't want anyone to think that I had a vested interest in receiving the supervisor's check.

Later, I delivered a paper to the woman who works next to my office.  I spotted my supervisor's check on the counter.  I pretended to not notice, not the she would have noticed, as she didn't look up from her phone.

I don't fit in with this crowd.  I've known that from the start.  On one hand, I don't care.  They aren't nice people and their work ethic is terrible.  On the other hand, this is my only source of income.  Their disdain for me can get me fired.

This particular secretary has always seemed contemptuous of me, but lately her nastiness has increased.  A few weeks ago, my supervisor went into a locked closet that she never goes into, which is where I keep my jacket and keys.  (Everywhere else is in her way.)  My key is a copy of a copy of a copy, so it doesn't work well in any lock.  The lock on this closet has perhaps molded to my mutant key.  When the supervisor tried her key, it did not glide in easily, so she started banging on the doorknob and kicking the door.  I feared that she would break the door and I would not be able to retrieve my stuff inside.

When she finally forced the door open, I grabbed my jacket, keys, and supply bag and threw them on the counter of an exam room that nobody ever uses.  Ever.  It is more of a storage room.  There is one working light and cobwebs cover most surfaces and objects.  Keep in mind that it is a room for the activities of my department.

Well, later that morning, this secretary decides that she is going to use the room for one of her patients.  (Her section, though it borders mine, is not mental health.  It also has plenty of nice exam rooms she could have used.)  I ran in behind them, blurting, "Oh, excuse me, let me just get my stuff out of your way," and grabbed the jacket and bag.

"What is YOUR STUFF doing in here?" she growled.

"The lock was jamming on the closet, so I put my stuff in here in case I can't get the door open," I explained, smiling as if there was nothing wrong.

"So what you do is you call the locksmith!" she shouted at me.  "What you DON'T DO is put your crap in an exam room that people need to use."

Another time, a patient appeared in my office, looking for her.  Her area is labeled until you actually get to it, so people keep walking and end up in my area.  I walked a clueless person back to her area, where she was talking with someone.  I told the person to sign in at the counter.

She said, "I'm standing right here."

"Oh," I said and turned to leave.

"OH!" she moaned.  "Like you didn't see me standing here."

I kept walking.  I did see her.  She was busy with another patient.  There was nothing wrong with anything I did or said.

I come away from these interactions thinking that she is so rude and unprofessional.  Yet she has the same perception of me.

I have to do something about her.  She's getting worse.  When I try to impress upon her that I meant no harm or insult, she gets more offended.

Other than my usual technique of avoidance, what can I do to make her stop?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Coping Skill: Writing

Someone asked me how I survive working where I work.

I write.

There is something therapeutic about putting happenings and dialogues onto the screen into words.

I review the story.

Then I can let it go.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Focus on the Hate

A major procedure was canceled for a patient on Nurse Fortune's ward.  (She and I applied for a position that I got, which caused her to become more psychotic.)

I called the ward and the secretary, who is intellectually challenged, answered the phone.  I gave her the news thrice, as she was not understanding it.  I also called the staffing office and canceled the extra orderly, so I could not logically be blamed for excess staffing.

Nurse Fortune just had to call me.  "What time does the patient have to be there for this procedure?  You have a date, but no time.  How do you expect me to get the patient ready when you don't even provide the time?"

"The procedure was canceled.  I told this to the ward secretary.  Didn't she tell you?" I said.

"The supervisor called here and said that the procedure was canceled.  But you did not put a time, so I don't know how you expect people to know what time the procedure is," Fortune continued, unswayed.

"I do include times with my published schedules.  The time was 6:30 a.m., but that doesn't matter now because the procedure was canceled because the doctor will be away," I tried again.

"Ok, I get that, but you are not listening.  You don't listen when people are trying to speak.  I'm asking you what time we are supposed to send the patient, and you keep saying that the procedure is canceled.  That doesn't tell me what time," she continued.

She is so focused on hating me and pointing out my supposed errors that she cannot process new information.

"6:30," I answered.

"6:30.  Why couldn't you tell me that in the first place?  So we will send the patient at 6:30," she said, then hung up.

Oh well.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Relationship Advice from a Pro

One of the psychiatrists does couples therapy as a side job.  He bestows his learned wisdom on the staff.  Unsolicited.

"If you want to make love to a woman that evening, you start in the morning by being nice to her and happy to see her."  This is great, I think.

He also advises people to be willing to try whatever act in the bedroom that their partner wants to do.

And people are to have as many lovers as possible before settling down so that they know that they are with someone who is good in bed.

Any thoughts or discussion?

Friday, November 13, 2015

Push Back

Normally I avoid people at work because they are an aggressive bunch of blamers, as you may have gathered by some of the posts here on this blog.

Someone kept calling my office and hanging up when I answered.  In this electronically-challenged institution the phones oddly have caller ID.  I knew it was the nurse who got another nurse in trouble for having good relations with patients.  This nurse has become more hyper and stubborn lately.

So I called her ward.  I told her that someone keeps calling and hanging up when I answer.  She said it was her and I did not answer the phone; "It rang and rang and I don't have time for that."

I said that the phone rings four times before switching into voicemail and that I picked up by the second ring.

She said, "You did not answer the phone."

I said, "Yes I did."

Normally I wouldn't bother, but this nurse has really been irking me lately.  She exploded into "How dare you accuse me!" and "You are the one not doing your job."  She also threw in, "It's about patient care, not you," as if calling me repeatedly and hanging up helps a patient.

I yelled back.  I was so glad that my supervisor was not around.

Later in the day, I went to her ward under the pretense of needing a record.  She left me alone.

I am never sure if pushing back will make someone stop bothering me, or come at me worse.

My friend offers her mother's advice:  If someone slaps you, don't turn the other cheek.  Hit that person back so hard that they never try to hit you again.

The next day, this nurse called my office for me to cancel a test scheduled for one of her patients.  I said okay.  Later, she called back and I let my supervisor answer because I was in avoidance mode.  The nurse talked so loudly that I easily heard her saying, "I told Nurse Enid this earlier, but she didn't understand.  I need the test cancelled for Mr Smith."

She undermines other people for no reason except to be nasty.  I switched out of avoidance mode and called her ward.  I asked her why she told my supervisor that I did not understand her earlier phonecall.

She screamed, "You are not supposed to be listening in on other people's private phone conversations.  That is illegal."

That was a diversion tactic.  "I'm still waiting for you to answer my question.  Why did you call my supervisor and imply that I am an idiot incapable of understanding your simple directive?"

"I don't have to answer you!  You are harassing me!" she screamed and slammed down the phone.

I don't know if I have to keep doing this, or somehow increase the severity to get her to leave me alone.  I understand that she has some personality glitch that makes her behave this way, but she chooses her victims.  She doesn't do this to everyone, only a select few.  I need to get off her chosen list.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Unprofessional as evidenced by Good Patient Relations

One of the nice nurses got in trouble by one of the witches.

The complaint:  Unprofessional.

As evidenced by:  The patients made her a card for her birthday.

According to the witch, boundaries were crossed when the patients found out the nurse's birthday.  Plus, patients being nice to the nurse demonstrates that she was nice to the patients, which is unprofessional.

I feel so bad when I hear stuff like this.  She actually had to meet with the Director of Nursing to develop a plan to improve her professionalism and make the patients like her less.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Blocking an Attack

My fake twin has been floating lately, owing to her home ward not liking her/me.  Although I'm banned from the wards, I visited her temporary ward of the day, deeming it friendly to me.  She was highly stressed.  The phone rang.  Nobody was answering it, so I did.  It was the nurse who wrote up my fake twin, demanding to speak to her, and demanding to know why I was on that ward.

"Nobody is here, the phone was ringing, ringing, so I picked it up," I answered.

"Put Nurse S on the phone!" she hissed.

There is no reason why my fake twin needs to speak to this brat, except to be harassed further.

"Nobody is around," I answered.

"So go find her!" was the command.

"I can't go and find her because I don't see anybody.  I don't even know if she is here," I answered, smiling to myself.  "Is there something I can help you with?"

"Yes, you can help me by putting Nurse S on the phone!" she snapped.

"I've already explained that she is not here, and if you can't tell me what you need with this ward, I'll be hanging up now," I said.

She slammed down the phone.

It felt so good to give it back to someone who has made my worklife miserable over the years.  I didn't even do anything to her.  I simply blocked her attempt at harassing another nurse.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Job Interview

I had the job interview!

Don't get too excited.

The person interviewing me did not read my resume or application until I sat down for the interview.  He asked a few irrelevant questions and then asked what job I had applied for.

"Nurse to review medical records for litigation," I answered.

"Is that what the ad said?  I didn't even read it," he said.  He thought for a moment and then said, "I think a trauma nurse would be best.  Are you a trauma nurse?"

"No," I responded.  Reading my resume had not helped him gauge who I was.  "My experience is in psychiatry and nursing home care.  I took care of some very sick people in the nursing home."

I have no idea how to save an interview.

"Well, we mostly handle cases about orthopedic surgery and delivering babies," he said.

"So why do you need a trauma nurse?" I asked.

"Because trauma nurses do everything," he answered, surprised that he had to explain to a nurse what nurses do.

"No," I decided to risk it.  "Trauma nurses do trauma.  They don't do surgery and they don't deliver babies."

He just sat there.

"May I ask," I continued, "How many trauma nurses applied for this position?"

"None," he answered.  "I interviewed one other person so far.  It turns out she isn't even a nurse."  He looked at me.  "Are you really a nurse?" he asked.

"I am," I answered and ended the interview.

I guess that there are other places also disorganized and inefficient just like my current job.