Off the wagon again

For a while there I was posting an entry every day. Now, not so much. I guess it’s just fallen down the priority list. Oh well.
So we meet again.

You know that The Princess and O’Baby moved out with Koby to an apartment about six weeks ago. You know that Dad came out for a visit last week.

I also downgraded my employment status to PRN (as needed) from part-time. This means I am not guaranteed hours anymore, but I can pick when I work and when I don’t. This will free me up to watch O’Baby while The Princess works, and give me more time with Bubba and O’Baby over the summer. And I don’t have to do any more presentations or be the hall monitor for my department. I can also work in other departments in the hospital, which will be fun.

In other news, Bro moved back in yesterday. He slept until about noon, and I watched him eat a nice lunch. He hung out for a while, then went to work. It’s nice to have my boy back again. He needs to be fattened up, and I’m just the mom to do it.

Tomorrow, Hubby, Bubba and I plan a killer walk on the arboretum trails. We are all really looking forward to it.

I’m just glad to have a couple of days off work. The past two days, I had to work as charge nurse on understaffed shifts. We were sent an unqualified replacement nurse to fill in on both days. I refused to let her take a team of patients, opting to take a load myself in addition to my charge duties. I had the replacement assist me and the other ED nurse instead. My concern was validated on Sunday, when I let her take two fairly easy patients on her own.

She couldn’t do anything right. The IVs she started, if she succeeded, ended up looking like a bloodbath occurred. The simplest tasks made her flustered and confused. She had her priorities all messed up, which caused wasted time and effort. Everything she did took ten times longer than usual. She’s been floated to our department many times, and thinks she is qualified to be there, even though she’s just been lucky enough not to really do major damage. She is actually a dangerous, overconfident nurse in the ED.

The worst part of the weekend was when she asked me to witness her wasting narcotics. This is something we do all the time. If we give a narcotic and there is some leftover, we have another nurse witness as we waste it, then confirm it in the medication machine using our passwords. No problem.

But she asked me to say that I witnessed her wasting something that accidentally squirted out of the syringe that she had in her pocket. Happens to all of us once, but she also asked me to witness another large narcotic dose that she ‘accidentally wasted.’ I was shocked and immediately uncomfortable. I did not suspect her of abusing drugs, and I still don’t. I believe she is just stupid, for lack of a better word. I wouldn’t trust her to take care of anyone I knew and liked.

I told her she was putting a lot of shit on me, and she replied that I had put a lot of shit on her that day too. (We had been exceptionally busy and she was easily rattled anyway.) I told her that this was NARCOTIC DISCREPANCY shit, and I had to think about it. I ended up telling her to call pharmacy and tell them her story. I took myself out of the equation completely. She settled things with them, and I advised the other nurses of the problem, so she wouldn’t be able to ask them for witness.

I hate being made to feel that uncomfortable. It’s stressful enough being in charge. Double that when a nurse calls in. And another nurse calls in. And the replacement the supervisor sent you is dumb and untrustworthy. And you get an ambulance with a patient who won’t stop seizing and has to be intubated. And your replacement nurse has to watch over the rest of the department while you work the code. And upstairs has no help to give you because they’re in the same boat.

I know her day with us severely damaged the replacement RN’s confidence in her abilities. I hope that this will make her more aware of what is expected of an ER nurse. Not many floor nurses can handle what we do. I am proud that I had faith in my own judgement, even though the supervisor wanted me to assign the replacement nurse a team of patients.

Yesterday was a nightmare. We got through it okay. Nobody died.
But it’s pretty bad when the best part of the day was when the physician’s cat-like reflexes save you from a shot of aspirated vomit to the face.
THAT would have been a really bad day.

1 thought on “Off the wagon again

  1. WHEW! I kept thinking reading that… I would be that replacement nurse if someone sent me to the ER. But I know that and so would never allow anyone to send me there!

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