... but only for one day.
Last Friday was well and truly a day to remember. And that's being pretty nice. I started out the day by getting report, as always, to discover that a patient had a fall that morning and had to be on neuro checks every 2 hours. So I had to keep my eye on her. As we were winding down report (and this is my favorite part) the nurse goes "Hmm... and there was something else.... Oh yeah! You have a new admit today." ARRGH! New admits are my ABSOLUTE LEAST favorite thing in that job, when I'm the one who has to admit them. It means a crapton of paperwork, assessments, sorting through the piles of things and meds and papers people give you, doing every little thing by hand, and that's all on top of the everyday work you still have to do. Not 10 minutes later another patient comes walking down the hall, looking like she's about to fall over. And oh no, this isn't someone you can just gently lead to bed and have her rest until she's stronger and won't be in danger of a fall. She has very little idea of what's going on around her, and will by golly walk herself right into her grave if she could. And if you try to get her to lay down, she's getting up 10 seconds later going "Where's my shoes? Get me my shoes!" And with much more colorful language, besides.
So while I'm keeping an eye on Fall Risks #1 and #2, sorting through my paperwork and trying to get things ready for my new patient, a CNA comes up to me and says "Umm... I know you're busy... but I just took I.C.'s blood pressure and it was 90/60." And yes, he double checked. So I had that to worry about and hand-check myself and look up what his history is and decide if it's a risk, on top of a new patient, a patient that looks like she's gonna fall over and won't sit down, and a patient who's fallen (I think this was her second time, actually) and needs to be personally checked on and vital signs taken every 2 hours. AND THEN, very soon after I receive the news about the blood pressure situation, a patient's family calls and wants to talk to me.
And I proceed to be yelled at for about 10 minutes because their family member was at the doctor when someone came to visit, and nobody knew she'd gone to the doctor (because we don't make a habit of notifying family about routine appointments), and why did she even need to go to the doctor anyway was something wrong? Well, of course I didn't know, because I hadn't made the appointment and nobody had even deigned to tell me this person was gone. So I did some sleuthing, looked it up in the appointment book, and figured out that she had an appointment to "get new eyeglasses." I told the woman this, and proceeded to get yelled at for another ten minutes (all the while not being able to attend any of my other mountains of work for the day) about how she didn't need new glasses, she has three pairs, why would they make her an appointment to get new glasses, she's an old lady who has no idea what's going on, what must this experience have been like for her, etc etc etc etc.
It was about that point that I just lost it. I hate crying at work, where I can't escape the eyes of patients, family, and coworkers. It makes me feel ridiculous and weak. But I could not handle that day.
It's days like that which make me really question whether I'm cut out to be a nurse. Nurses need thicker skin than what I have.... they deal with this kind of stuff all the time. And the area I want to go into is naturally stressful and riddled with obtrusive family. On top of individual days like this, I'm starting to feel like no matter how fast I go or how hard I try, I can never quite catch up with everything I want to do in the day. There's just so much! And with the amazing morning nurse who did EVERYTHING and ALL the paperwork and whatever she could possibly do to take the load off my afternoon now gone, I feel like it's just piling up. I can no longer afford hour-plus breaks... I should probably stop taking breaks altogether if I want to get my charting done before 10. I still get most things done, and I feel accomplished, but it leaves me wondering what I'm doing wrong that I'm still running my tail off all day.
Oh well, enough whining. I still love my job, even when it's busy, as long as those days like Friday are few and far between. Even though I secretly hope I get more days like that while I work here so I can develop the tough skin I'm gonna need as a nurse. But don't tell anyone I said that.