As of this writing, I have forty-five minutes. Exactly forty-five minutes for the phone to ring and Nurse-In-Charge to tell me to come to work, for my regular shift, and earn my regular pay. BUT if the phone rings in forty-six minutes or thereafter, and the Nurse-In-Charge tells me to come to work, I will earn time-a-half plus two extra hours of pay. Let the nail-biting commence...
But also I have to admit that I don't really want the phone to ring at all, I want to stay home in elastic-waisted pants and a tank top (yes, I really am that spoiled that now I think even scrubs are 'getting dressed' and 'restrictive.' And yes, I realize that this means there will be moomoos in my future.)
So while I wait and try not to watch the clock or the phone, I have some fabulous tidbits of reading for your entertainment: First, I apparently have a very presitigious job. Go ahead, let it out, I know you're snickering too. It's a lovely sentiment and all, but apparently these people who wrote this article or voted in this poll have never actually seen nurses work, or probably ever met a nurse.
Above, nurses on a day off. Yes, we are alpacas. I do not have any photos of us discussing a fecal fat collection, wiping our patient's butts, suctioning liquid stool, gloving up to pick pills out of a basin of puke, packing a rectal abscess, taping a plastic bag over a dead patient's head, or, doing the windmill dance with our scrub pants pulled up to our armpits to the lady lumps song while pretending to spank each other at four a.m. Perhaps the term 'prestigious' in the survey was loosely interpreted to mean, "Thank god there are people weird and crazy enough out there to do that job because you couldn't pay me enough to step away from my cushy desk job which is lacking any contact with body fluids at all."
Also, Dr. Hebert has written a moving and eloquent entry on the case of the charges against the doctor and two nurses from a New Orleans hospital regarding their questionable actions in the immediate aftermath of Katrina. I've been wanting to say a bit about this lately, but he puts it into words much better than I could. It's extrememly thought-provoking, and unfortunately the case is going to get very polarized because of the hot-button issue of euthanasia. As an oncology and ICU nurse who has been a part of countless discussions and situations of end-of-life care and issues, this case seems to strike close to home. But also having seen families go through absolutely unimaginable horrors with their sick loved ones and losing people, I know that until you are actually in your own little hell, until your own unimaginable horrors are visited on you, there is no possible way to guess how you might react. Therefore, I don't think it's possible to truly understand or to judge how others react while they suffer through their little hells.
And finally, read this med student's post about his experiences in the MICU. As I read this, I kept looking over my shoulder to see if he was on my unit, and I wondered if I'd seen him at the code the night before. It's funny how I alternate between feeling like my job and my work environment and situations are so surreal and bizarre that no one else would understand, to reading a doc or a nurse's blog entry and becoming convinced that he or she has followed me through my shift and saw exactly what I saw.
CHA-CHING! It's now officially 7:00 pm.