Posts tagged ‘nurse’

March 14, 2016

stranger in a strange land

by ada

People who talk to me at work:

  • the cleaning lady from Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • the cleaning lady from Macedonia
  • the kitchen helper from Tibet
  • the nursing assistant from Congo
  • the nursing assistant from Turkey (although she’s no longer there)
  • the nurse anaesthetist from the Czech Republic (she’s on a sick leave since months)
  • the OR nurse from the Czech Republic
  • the OR nurse from Romania
  • the Polish doctor

People who don’t talk to me at work:

  • the remaining 9 Austrian cleaning ladies
  • the remaining 53 Austrian nurses
  • the remaining 25 Austrian doctors

I might open a new subcategory betitled “conversations that never happened”.

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May 1, 2014

you know how it is with an April day

by ada

Well, you sure know. They are short. Especially when they consist of 12 hours of work and 2 hours of public transportation. I do my best to use those commuting hours for literary purposes but I’m just an ordinary human being without any superpowers. My brain does not perform on a very high level at 5.45 am.

Starting the day at 5 am is definitely not the same as starting it at 6 am. This one short hour makes all the difference. I am now miserable 90% of the time and only daydreaming about quitting my job gives me any pleasure.* Sleep withdrawal is a very powerful tool of torture.

* I have this bad habit of quitting jobs very quickly if they make me feel unhappy**

** since I feel unhappy all the time, regardless of what’s going on in my life, it actually does not matter the least bit wether I quit my job or not. I guess the only solution would be to quit life itself. Fortunately (unfortunately?!) I have never been suicidal, not even during my worst times. I’m actually horribly afraid of dying. I guess it’s just a natural side effect of my job; eight years of watching people die, then dumping their bodies in plastic bags*** did not really help to manage my intrinsic depression but it really made me worship life regardless of its quality.

*** the daily chores of a nurse. Just in case you wanted to know what I’m actually doing during those 12 hours. An emotionally rewarding job, isn’t it?****

**** sorry for being sarcastic. I’m just not the crying kind.

Well. At least April was full of contained traces of Paasilinna whom I love deeply so I guess I’d better stop whining.

april books

July 10, 2013

conversations with my coworkers – part 7

by ada

(Because sometimes the one without brains is me).

We are sitting in the nurses’ room, suffering from the usual workday afternoon energy level crash after 8 hours of constant stress and running-around and still 5 hours to go.

coworker: Wow. We have ecological dishwasher.

me: What is a co-logical dishwasher?

coworker: Ecological.

me: Oncological?! Extra for the needs of cancer patients?

coworker: ECOLOGICAL!

me: Oh. Do we have some more coffee?

June 30, 2013

and the affairs of June

by ada

Another month of six books. I’m sort of proud of myself even if it’s actually pretty ridiculous*.

While observing this photo, you may think that I’m

a) unusually fond of Håkan Nesser, which I’m actually not. I found these books in the cellar of my previous workplace.

b) unusually fond of Andrea Camilleri, which I am, even if I hate his detective, Montalbano’s habit of eating snails and seafood all the time. I’m no seafood person, that’s the truth.

*I really wonder how did I manage over a hundred books yearly during my university times, besides working (a lot), researching my (unfinished) master thesis on a daily basis and practising three instruments (not as much as I should have, ehem, but playing instruments is pretty time-consuming anyway). I once was a clever person with an existing intellectual life. Now, only one and a half year later, the biggest intellectual challenge in my life is to remember the generic substitutes of drugs we don’t have at hand.**

**Oh, sorry. The biggest intellectual challenge in my life is to open the Austria Codex program on the computer and search it for generic substitutes, haha.

June readings

April 28, 2013

all things must pass

by ada

Last day at my workplace. I received some unexpected kindness from my coworkers (and some unexpected rudeness from my boss as well). I’ve already got another offer which I turned down because even if it was on another ward and paid better, it was the same job I’ve just quit because of the reason that it didn’t feel right for me. So I just decided to have some time off and see how things work out. It’s nice to be unemployed again, it feels so safe and comforting, haha.

Untitled 1

March 22, 2013

Despereaux Jr.

by ada

Meet Despereaux Junior. We found him on the first floor nurses room terrace, suffering from severe hypothermia. We put him in a sterile urine container padded with gauze sheets and I took him home with me. He got a dinner of cucumbers, parrot seeds and some aged grana padano cheese I brought home from Venice. My coworker also donated some milk for him. When the temperature finally gets above zero I will reintroduce him to the big wild world. If we are stuck in the Ice Age forever as it seriously seems to be the case, he will grow up to be a domesticated mouse and will eat aged cheese on every day of his tiny life.

despereaux jr

March 4, 2013

conversations with my coworkers – part 5

by ada

Neighbouring ward at 3.30 am. I’m helping out the night shift nurse, a tough German guy with a slight air of brutality around him.

me (trying to do some small talk): So, and how is it in Germany? Who does the washing, dayshift or nightshift?

coworker: You are not allowed to wash the patients during the night! It’s against the laws!

me: What laws?

coworker: The sleeping laws! (Opens the door of a room with a crash and turns the lights on. All three patients in the room wake up startled.)

me: (confused): Well, in Hungary we do wash them during the night, because during the day you really lack the time for it.

coworker (slams the door. All the doors on the ward resonate. The patients look like they had just got shocked): But you are in the EU! Report them!

me (amused): EU? Hahaha! It’s Hungary, man, it’s not “the EU”! Whom should I report anyway? The whole Hungarian Health Care System? To whom?

coworker (gets really excited): Patients have the right to sleep! (Hearing this, the patients try to hide under their blankets.)

me (trying to get him calm down while hearing how other patients begin to wake up in the neighbouring rooms): Okay, okay, they do, they do.

coworker (start to shout very loud while tearing brutally the blanket off one of the patients): THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO SLEEP! THEY CAN REPORT YOU IF YOU WAKE THEM UP!

me (cautiously): Well, you are waking them up right now.

coworker (yells at the totally terrified patient who tries to get his blanket back): DON’T MOVE! (turns to me) I NEVER WAKE ANYBODY UP!

me: What if we just do the job quickly and then I just go back to my own ward?

January 22, 2013

conversations with my coworkers – part 4

by ada

Three weeks ago:

coworker1 (calling me exactly 20 minutes before the beginning of her day shift): I’m sorry but I can’t work today, I feel so sick, I’m staying at home today.

me: Oh, you poor one! It’s okay, don’t worry, we will find somebody instead of you, just take care of yourself and get better!

Two weeks ago:

coworker2 (addresses me in the middle of his day shift): I’m going home now, I feel sick, I can’t work anymore today.

me: Oh, you poor one! It’s okay, don’t worry, we will find somebody instead of you, just take care of yourself and get better!

Yesterday:

me (calling the nurse on duty on the previous day of my day shift, giving exactly thirteen hours for her to find somebody to work instead of me): I’m sorry I’m sick so I can’t come tomorrow.

coworker3: Oh no! How will I find somebody else? Why do you call me so late? Why didn’t you told me that already yesterday?

me: Well, yesterday I still felt fine.

coworker3: Can’t you really come tomorrow?

me: I’m sorry but I’m throwing up all the time, I don’t think I’ll manage to work thirteen hours in this condition…

coworker3: How long will you be sick?

me: I really don’t know, sorry…

coworker3: But you sure come on Wednesday?

me: I don’t know…

coworker3: On Thursday? On Friday?

me: I will try to do my best not to throw up on Friday…

coworker3 (in a plaintive manner): What shall I do now? How shall I find someone instead of you? How long will you be sick? Why didn’t you call me earlier?

me (already pretty nervous and wondering about this interesting phenomenon of the complete lack of empathy in health care professionals): I’m soooo sorry for not getting sick one day earlier!

January 8, 2013

conversations with my coworkers – part 3

by ada

Scene: meeting for administrative education purposes (I don’t know how is it at your workplace but I spend more time with meetings, evaluations, charting, and counting narcotics than with patients).

coach (explaining how to interpret the small numbers written on the duty schedule): If you are assigned to work 165 hours but you actually work 167 hours, how many excess hours do you have?

coworker1: three!

coworker2: four!

coworker3: two and a half!

coworker4: zero!

coach: two. And if you are assigned to work 167 hours but you actually work only 165 hours, how many excess hours do you have?

coworker1+2+3: two!

coworker4: zero!

couch (with a hopeless sigh): negative two.

(I, the firstborn daughter of a mathematician father, the girl who spent her early childhood with reading books about the wonders of numbers, written by Soviet scientists for educational purposes; spent the two hours of the meeting wordless, dreaming about freedom and a nicer future.)

December 30, 2012

365/346

by ada

I don’t know how did I deserve it but I had three extremely relatively nice and peaceful night shifts in a row.* That’s what I call an unearned present.

So I will now put my feet up for an hour, drink a coffee, listen to this song and imagine that I’m there.

* well, so far, at least. I still have 5 hours to go until the end of my shift and in this business of nursing you never know what is yet to come.

346

December 29, 2012

365/345

by ada

I haven’t done night shifts in the last eight years so I totally forgot how nice the feeling is when you are alone in the middle of the night, everybody is well and asleep, peace guides the planet and love steers the stars.

P.S.: I didn’t even finish writing down this sentence when the ambulance team of the Red Cross unexpectedly showed up at the door, exactly at 1.30 am. That’s also a feeling I totally forgot.

345

November 30, 2012

365/335

by ada

First Christmas cookies of the season, produced by some overly active patients of ours.

335

November 29, 2012

365/334

by ada

Making Christmas ornaments for the ward with coworkers. Poor patients were already forced to bind Advent wreaths a few days earlier. Tomorrow we will bake Christmas cookies. I’m being continuously blackmailed every day to play Christmas songs on the recorder, accompanied by our social assistant playing the guitar (I’m still heroically resisting the pressure).

 

November 27, 2012

365/332

by ada

Emptying my pocket in the evening. Today I managed not to take home with me the a) master key b) thermometer c) duty phone d) schedule 1 narcotics; so I’m free to go to sleep in peace, and that’s exactly what I will do in five minutes.

November 24, 2012

365/329+bonus

by ada

I had free today, which meant that I spent my afternoon at the station teaching my coworker about how to use the nursing program on the computer. I’m definitely gifted with some teaching skills, more, at the university I was famous of being born to be a teacher but today I was just in no mood for spending one and a half hour with something I could accomplish in 30 minutes if doing it alone. I’m out of practice, I guess.

And some obligatory autumn leaves.

November 16, 2012

365/321+bonus

by ada

The annual nursing ball.

November 12, 2012

365/316

by ada

First I discovered that my patient cut the tubing of his Foley-catheter through and the balloon was still inside.

Then, when I was leisurely changing a decubitus dressing just 30 minutes before the end of my shift, my boss asked me to fill out a preoperative questionnaire for another patient. This simple act required an hour of hysterical flipping-through about 200 pages of documentation searching for hidden information like cerebral episodes that happened 32 years ago and old laboratory values nobody will ever need because they do a new test anyway.

On my way home I met an excited group of people running up and down the corridors, searching for signs of how God literally heals people in the 21st Century.

Except of these special moments, the day was quite peaceful, with the usual blood sugar crises, blood pressure crises, violent combats between distinguished old ladies and the continually presence of various sorts of body fluids in overflowing quantity, literally everywhere.

I managed to take the usual dinner photo before passing out.

November 8, 2012

365/313

by ada

Is it only me who thinks that right after finally finishing my thirteen-hours long shift, an obligatory 90-minutes workshop about the health care management projects of the year 2015* is totally cruel and unfair?

Sorry for the terrible photo, but well, you know how it is. I just got brainwashed by people in black suits lecturing on management project structures in German language**; all this after changing colostomy bags full of sh*t thirteen hours long. I don’t even know anymore what button to push to produce a photo.

* 2015! not this year or next year, no, 2015! I don’t know where will I be in the year 2015 but definitely not here

** I tell you, everything sounds twice so complicated if told in German. They are just crazy for words that have at least eleven syllables***

*** I have a pretty good German, but there comes a point when nothing makes sense anymore

November 7, 2012

conversations with my coworkers – part 2

by ada

coworker1: Why don’t you eat bread?

me: Because gluten erases intestinal villi made of epithelial cells and makes the gut wall permeable, causes a leaky gut syndrome and increases inflammation levels. All that leads to diseases based on the failure of the immune system and on an autoimmune response.

coworker1 (looks perplexed)

coworker2: Gluten is healthy.

me: No, it isn’t. As it was pointed out in several studies…

coworker2 (interrupting my words): Gluten is healthy. I saw a dietitian speaking about it on TV yesterday.

me: Oh well. You know how it is with dietitians…

coworker2: It is true, because it was on TV.

me (looking perplexed and having dark thoughts about the present state of education for health care professionals and the future of the human race): Oh well. Forget it. I don’t eat bread because I want to lose weight.

November 7, 2012

conversations with my coworkers – part 1

by ada

me: I wanted to visit Prague for a few days but our boss changed the schedule chart on a short notice so I can’t get away this weekend. Next time.

coworker: But… why?

me: What why?

coworker: Why did you want to go to Prague?

me: Because I haven’t been there yet and it is told to be a beautiful city.

coworker: But… why go there?

me: I like discovering new places.

coworker: But… why don’t you just stay at home?

me: Oh, well. Forget it.

November 6, 2012

365/311

by ada

At this moment we have four actually circulating schedule charts. All the four are different. I altered my calendar already five times to keep up with the changes (and we are only 6 days into the month. What is yet to come, I don’t even want to imagine). That’s why I got up at 6 am and went to work on a day when I was scheduled free. All I want now is to get some sleep (and find a new workplace).

October 30, 2012

365/304

by ada

Cute little pill I had to administer today. 

October 27, 2012

365/301

by ada

Today with a coworker of mine we visited the annual nursing fair.

October 25, 2012

365/299

by ada

After three days of thirteen-hours shifts in a row, I woke up this morning with the comforting thought, that I’m scheduled on drug shift today, which means “only” eight hours of working and involves no messing up with any kind of human excretions.

The reality? Well, I worked only 30 minutes longer than I had to, but after a short physiotherapy session for my back and a ravenous photography run in Mirabellgarten I was back again, sitting in team meetings, doing the evaluations of out-of-date nursing projects and checking the drug list until 22.30 pm.

How do other people manage to have a normal life? What is normal life anyway?

October 24, 2012

365/298

by ada

The sad truth is, if you are working as a nurse, low-carbing is practically impossible.

October 23, 2012

365/297

by ada

Today we had CPR-refreshing training, which is obligatory every two years. I badly needed it, I guess. Last time I resuscitated someone we still used 4:1 ratio and tracheal tubes with balloon after checking carotid pulse. How time flies.

October 4, 2012

365/278

by ada

Meet my new table decoration. As you see, I’m a big fan of recycling.

September 20, 2012

365/264

by ada

All I could think of today was, if my back pain continues to influence my life the way it did during the past eleven days, I have to look for another, physically less exhausting job* very urgently.

*Don’t let the photo fool you. Sorting out drugs for hours is not the most exhausting part of nursing. There are many things I just don’t tell you about, haha.

September 16, 2012

365/258

by ada

Maybe it’s not that adequate, posting a photo of my work for today, because although I had another thirteen-hours long workday, I spent it mostly outside of the building with activities like visiting my GP, getting electrotherapy and having lunch break.

September 15, 2012

365/254

by ada

If you work as a nurse you learn to separate your life and that of your patients. I have seen so many agonies and deaths already, that I can’t even remember all of them.

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