Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Meals on Wheels

Yes, there are some annoying senior citizens, but most of them I enjoy along with their stories. Seniors are also resourceful; the years of life experience means they do not get upset easily about daily problems.

 I'm reminded of this while doing some substitute driving for Meal on Wheels. The routes are quick and the seniors know you don't have a lot of time to socialize. I was also warned not to tell the clients that I was a nurse, because it would become impossible not to get inundated with health questions.

With the holidays we had extra meals to deliver and people have asked for help with little things before, but today a client asked if I could open something for her on the kitchen table. As I looked over at the table there stood a row of eight bottles that she needed opened to last for the next four days, things like Ensure and Gatorade.

How do these companies expect people who are weak and many have arthritis to open any of these things? In fact many of the people seem like they could use either a fluid bolus or some Lasix, but you have to love em.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life your living? - Bob Marley

Looks like more storms starting over the next few days, which translates into major snow in the mountain passes. It will be better to cut this trip a day short and head south to avoid getting stuck here.

I like family, but there is a balancing act to staying just long enough, versus staying too long and getting frustrated with that same family.

This visit also solidified that my current journey and career choice is very much the correct one, I am satisfied.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Whack a Santa

Before leaving for Christmas I noticed one of the local supermarkets had a big variety of piñatas hung along the length of the store. Several parents stood there pointing and picking out certain ones and if I understood more Spanish I could tell you what they were debating.

The way in which they were acting piñatas appeared to be a big tradition for some families during Christmas, and it was important to pick out the right one for the kids.

There were dozens of varieties; however something seemed wrong about getting a Santa piñata. Should the kids be beating the man who is bringing their presents, even if it is only a representation of the real thing?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Nurses and Food

Did I gain weight during the past few weeks? Yes.

It was not only from family and friends sending me gift baskets and home baked cookies (those are the best). No, it is from work and the horrible nurses and nursing assistants.
All year long there is food to be found in hospital break rooms across this country, and I have seen it of from the east coast to west coast. This time of year it is doubly bad with all the sweets and baked goods.

But like I said nurses are horrible, year around they use any excuse to bring in some kind of unhealthy food. A birthday, holiday or special occasion is fine, but sometimes people bring in things just because they cleaned out their fridge or they wanted to bake, but not eat it.
See that homeless man on the freeway ramp, give it to him.

OK, I'm bitching because I'm weak!
Plus, this past year I've eaten more Filipino and Vietnamese food found in the staff break-rooms than I have in the last ten years.
I thought it was good working in the float pool, but now I realize that just means different staff telling me to eat. Every time I walk-in someone is encourage me to try something they made, I don't want to make them feel bad and so I eat.
There is no getting around it that Filipino food is not healthy, and definitely not how my co-workers make it. They basically fry everything and use various meats products in numerous combinations. 
Now off to eat more with family and friends over the next few days.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nurses with Guns

Some visual images probably come to mind when you read the title, and I'm sure there have been some bad stereotyped dirty movies involving nurses and guns. Does anyone even say dirty movies anymore, now its porn or not.

Anyway its Christmas time and I decided to buy a gun, and no not "A Christmas Story - Red Ryder BB Gun", but something with a little more kick. There is a shooting range about ten minutes from here and for some reason it seemed like a good stress relieving activity. I don't have a problem with guns, just some of the people who own them. A background check should also include a mental health check.

Unless you're a crook this State is a tough place to buy a gun, but I jumped through the hoops and bought one anyway. I don't have a problem with guns just some of the people who own them, a background check should really include a mental health check as well.

In reality I will probably shoot it a couple times then lock it up for years to come. Maybe I should have just gotten a massage?

No idea what this says, but it must have been a masterpiece.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I made the mistake of telling staffing that school would be finishing December 15, and I would be able to work when they needed me. That was a stupid mistake or early onset dementia, either way they said OK and booked me every day for the rest of the schedule. I quickly told them to take me off for a few days around Christmas, then I will also take a week off to re-energize before classes start again in January.

Need to finish getting my paperwork together for the graduate part of the program and prepare for my Mom's visit in a few weeks, I just want to make sure she has a good time and hopefully it quits raining. If it ever got cold enough to snow here we would have had about 10 feet this past week.

Monday, December 13, 2010


I love and hate getting floated to the oncology floor.

I have worked in the area and at this hospital long enough to know several of the patients who come and go on a regular basis. These are not the Frequent Flyer's all hospital staff roll their eyes at, these are the patients who are dying, yes I suppose we are all dying, but they just have a better idea when.

It's a goal of mine to have fun with my patients and if I can make them or their family laugh a little all the better. Of course the situation dictates how you treat them, because some will being going home for the holidays and some won't. And the ones who don't have any family or visitors really rip at my heart, you want to know why, but it is not important at this point, they are human.

It is better that I float to oncology instead of work there all the time, because I don't want to become jaded. Most nurses are wonderful on that floor, although sometimes you can tell the ones who have been there too long and have lost compassion.

We are all allowed bad days at work, but for some nurses and doctors it has gone beyond that and into an autopilot, robotic, watch the clock, wait for my 401K to recover so I can retire mentality.  

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fake sick calls equal fake crisis

Being in school full-time I work per diem with just one hospital and on a schedule that is mine, and everything works out well. However, every so often I get these calls from the agency begging me to come in because the hospital is extremely busy and they need everybody they can get.

The actual translation is that more staff than normal called in sick. Today it was because it has been raining for the past 12 hours, it is so predictable when this is going to happen. Halloween fell on the weekend this year so all the parties were Friday and Saturday nights, so why was it a surprise to have numerous calls both Saturday and Sunday morning.

Pretty soon more holidays and school will be out for the little kids, so will they prepare knowing sick calls will be going up, probably not. This is not a crisis, this is a staff problem. The weather is bad and people call in sick, staff wants to extend their vacation for a day or two and they call in sick, hangovers from holiday parties equal sick calls. The only ones hard to predict are the real sick calls.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


So ready for the fall quarter to be over and have a few weeks off for the holidays. This has probably been one of the most intense and busy couple of months so far, but things are staying on track to start the graduate part of the program next fall.
Group projects, PowerPoint presentations and of course a shit loads of papers, which has caused me to have trouble sleeping through the night. So I bought some melatonin to see if that would help, if not then I'll move up to something stronger like Benadryl.