Thursday, December 27, 2007


Woke up to this headline this morning: Bhutto Assassinated in Attack on Rally.
Admittedly, I didn't even click on it right away because in my blurry coffee-deprived eyes I thought it said something about another attempt. But this time they did succeed. She was the daughter of a prime minister of Pakistan and twice prime minister herself, one of the first to be democratically elected in an Islamic country. But you can read her obituary here for yourself.

While upsetting and sad, I am nearly as disturbed by the fact that this story ranks number 10 on the NYTimes "most emailed" stories list this morning...just below "100 Simple Appetizers in 20 Minutes or Less." No, I'm not worried or appalled at American's knowledge of world events or priorities. I am currently investigating which countries will accept my application for political asylum. On the grounds that if I have to remain in the USA I will be clinically "annoyed to death."

Ok, back to nursing content. Later.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


I'm sick. I've spent the past several days on the couch, making sure that my tissue box, tissue disposal system (brown paper bag), TV remote, computer, and phone are all in a lovely semicircle arms-reach. This is chiefly because once the dogs settle in on me under the brown not-real-fur pimpin' cool blanket, it is very difficult to shuffle and shift them around simply to reach the phone or throw away a tissue. And also because I'm a little bit tired and lazy. Although I prefer the term 'efficient.' So I won't bore with you a litany of complaints or a disgusting barrage of my symptoms, because I just have a cold. A bad one, but a cold. So the chances are pretty good that you either have it, have just had it, or know someone who's had it. And the only thing worse than being sick is hearing someone complain about being sick, or list the details of their illness for you. So I'm sparing you. Before you get all worried and ask, "Wait, aren't you supposed to be a nurse? Don't you listen to sick people for a living?" Yeah, yeah, yeah. I am, and I do, and I actually enjoy it. But unless I am wearing scrubs, have a stethoscope around my neck, and am getting paid hourly (plus night differential!) I don't want to hear about your post-nasal drip or hang nail. I like to think of it like I'm a sort of super-hero. At night I put on scrubs, go out into the dark, minister to the sick, clean up their vomit and their bottoms, hold their hands, dry their tears, keep them breathing till the sun comes up. Then during the day, I put on a fleece jacket and comfy tracky bottoms with an elastic waist, curl up on my couch, think snarky mean thoughts about my neighbors, shout obscenities at women drivers who don't use turn signals, and generally practice being lazy and self-indulgent and somewhat bitter.

Whatever. I'm sick, indulge me.

Oh! The whole point of this post wast to highlight the difference between my old job, at the Place I Would Rather Chew My Own Foot off Than EVER Return to, and my current job, The Place Where I Learn Theres-no-place-like-home... So when I used to call in sick to the old job, here's how it went:
Me: Hello, is this the charge nurse?
Charge Nurse: Yeah.
Me: Hi, this is Rosebuttons. I'm not feeling well, I'm calling in sick for my shift tonight.
CN: *Sigh*. Uhm, ok. Fine.
Me: Uhm, ok, well, thanks....bye?
CN: *click*

Here's how it went when I called in to my current job:
CN: Hi Rosebuttons! Are you calling in sick?
Me: Yeah, I'm still not feeling much better yet...
CN: Aw, I'm sorry. You don't sound great, I'd probably send you home anyway if you tried to come in to work! Now listen, you stay home and rest, just take care of yourself. Hope you're feeling better soon!
Me: Aw, thanks, Charge Nurse! Hope to see you soon.

Granted, these different conversations could be attributed to either a.) differing personalities of the charge nurses, or b.) the fact that the first hospital does not have a resource pool or agency nurses they can pull from to cover absences, but I would like to attribute it to the fact the unit at the second hospital actually cares about their nurses, their well-being, and values their contribution to the unit as a whole. And therefore this attitude and culture carries over into individual interactions between staff, and greatly affects their attitudes towards work. Anyway. Carry on with your gift-wrapping or cookie-baking or whatever you people do around this time of year. I've got cable TV and knitting waiting for me.