Monthly Archives: March 2013

It’s Too Early For This

I have only been a bona fide working registered nurse for four weeks and I already have three things on my list that annoy me. Perhaps I am checking out of the honeymoon phase of a new job/career a tad early, but here goes it:

The first thing that annoys me is a patient who wants me to make them feel better, but refuses all the care I am capable of providing. Refuse a test or procedure because you cannot afford it or plain do not believe it is necessary – I got your back. I know healthcare is costly and a lot of people have to pay for it themselves. And I know that some doctors just really like ordering tests. Some are just downright redundant. Refuse a medication because it makes you feel worse – I totally understand.  I would be happy to have a chat with the physician and try to find another med that works for you. Refuse the nausea medicine because you don’t feel like taking it, than refuse the antibiotic because you feel nauseous just so you can stay in the hospital longer – hmmmmm, no. Don’t play the system and think I won’t know what you are doing. And don’t think I am going to play along – that includes all you I-have-pain-and-only-Dilaudid-works-on-me types.

The second thing that annoys me is the family that uses the hospital as if it were their home. Do not help the patient order their meal choices, then eat most of the food that comes up on the tray. Do not ask me for crackers and cookies for your children that should not be around their immune-suppressed grandmother anyway. We have a cafeteria for you. Use it. Yes, there is an option to order a guest tray – that is for the spouse/girl(boy)friend/significant other who does not wish to be away from their loved one even long enough to eat a sandwich. It is not for the whole freakin’ family that chose meal time as the time to visit.

The third thing that annoys me is the nurse/care provider who looks at a patient who has just refused a med/test/procedure/whatever and huffs out a “fine” right before walking away. Find out why the patient does not want the med/test/procedure. Find out if the patient truly realizes where that puts them on the path back to healing. Find out if the patient understands the consequences of that refusal or are they so sick they cannot think beyond not feeling good. Do not look upon them as an inconvenience. Learn from them, so they can learn from you. If the reason is valid, do not hold it against them. It is their right to refuse. If their reason is invalid/crazy/weird/whatever, start a dialogue. The patient’s end goal may be vastly different from ours. Maybe they are tired of fighting and just want to go home to live out what they have left, but you cannot know any of this unless you talk with them rather than to them. There is more to our patients then their diagnosis.

Stepping off my soapbox now.

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Posted by on March 20, 2013 in Things That Happen To Me


Off To A Roaring Start

Got my first week on my unit taking care of live patients.

The things I have learned thus far:

  • Watch where you are aiming the saline flush when the plunger gets stuck. 
  • Always remember to attach the IV tubing to the patient instead of laying it on the bed…and then forgetting it. 
  • Security frowns on strange people doing strange things outside their hospital.
  • Plan on changing more bed linen than a hotel housekeeper.
  • Documentation will make you its bitch.

My feet and my brain hurt in equal measure.


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Posted by on March 9, 2013 in Absolutely Fantastically Wonderful, Things That Happen To Me


First Week

Hospitals invest a lot in their new graduate nurses. Most have a residency/orientation program which can last anywhere from 3-12 months depending upon the unit in which the new graduate nurse will be working. It can cost upwards of $82,000 for each new graduate nurse in the program. Which is why most require their new grads to sign a contract of at least two years in duration in an attempt to justify that cost. It is also why hospitals do not hire very many new grads.

For my residency, I just finished my first week of orientation as a new graduate nurse. I expected to be overwhelmed – expectation confirmed. I did not expect to be sitting on my butt all day. The first week was a lot of powerpoint presentations, lectures, and teambuilding exercises. In other words, it felt a lot like nursing school without the improbable syllabi. I will also point out they were paying me rather than the other way around – a situation I much prefer!

Next week I will be on the unit for a couple of shifts, so the real work begins – cue nervous twitching.


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Posted by on March 3, 2013 in Things That Happen To Me