Monday, June 26, 2006

An Ode to ER Nurses...7/8

It takes a special nurse to be an ER nurse, and we may be losing a few more of ours. I received an email over the weekend, and you might want to consider it:

I just talked with another disaffected ex-E$$ent employee, and as we were discussing the ills of the hospital, he mentioned that the ER was about to lose a significant number of its nurses. He referred to it as the second wave, since we'd already gone through one change over.

I had heard that they were going to try to open the North Campus ER, and couldn't really figure where they would get the extra trained personnel, but now more were leaving? Not good.

On the floor, where it's generally calmer, and you can point a traveler to the various supplies, locations of equipment, etc. In the ER, you generally don't have the time to babysit, so a traveler is more of a liability than a help. Even someone floated from the floor, having a general idea of where things are, is not going to be in sync with the "flow" and what the standard procedures are.

A serious bottleneck was created when they were floating ER nurses to the floors--and got caught by an influx of patients. Now, they have a similar situation, only with nurses that they have to orientate as well. Want to bet on waiting times?

When I was there, there was always a few leaving, but it would seem like a good chunk of the corporate knowledge is walking out the door. But, since even Bonham pays nurses about $6 per hour more, the drive doesn't seem quite as far....

And for the lighter side, some truisms for those in the ER:

  1. You Might be an ER Nurse if:
  2. You consider a tongue depressor an eating utensil.
  3. You have ever tried to identify what a patient ate last by examining the barf on your shoes.
  4. You're at the grocery store, look down and notice you have at least 2 body fluids on you shoes and it doesn't bother you.
  5. You've ever rolled your eyes when the 14 year-old says, "No, I've never had sex"?
  6. You've ever told a confused patient your name was that of your co-worker and to HOLLER if they need help?
  7. You've ever passed on the green stuff at the buffet because you are certain you suctioned it from a patient earlier?
  8. You know it's a full moon without having to look at the sky.
  9. You've developed a crease between your brows from trying NOT to inhale the various human secretions you've encountered over the years.
  10. Eating microwave popcorn out of a clean bedpan is perfectly natural.
  11. You've been exposed to so many x-rays that you consider it a form of birth control.
  12. Your bladder can expand to the same size as a Winnebago's water tank.
  13. You believe Tylenol, Advil, or Excedrin provides a large part of your daily calorie intake requirements.
  14. You don't ask "frequent flyers" their history, you know it by heart.
  15. You can keep a straight face when a patient responds, "Just two beers."
  16. Your idea of a meal break is finishing your coffee before it gets cold
  17. You've ever bet on someone's blood alcohol level
  18. Discussing dismemberment over a meal seems perfectly normal
  19. You believe in the aerial spraying of Prozac
  20. You have encouraged obnoxious patients to sign out AMA so you don't have to deal with them any longer
  21. You believe the government should require a permit to reproduce
  22. You believe unspeakable evils will befall you if the word 'quiet' is uttered
  23. You have used the phrase 'health care reform' to terrify your co-workers
  24. You have witnessed the charge nurse muttering down the hallway, "Who's in charge of this mess anyway?"


Anonymous said...

I am a very trained ER nurse, who would love to come back to be closer to home if----I could get more pay than I got 6 years ago, and was paid for extra credentials, and had a 3 to one ratio of patients, and have guarenteed 36 hours a week, and not have to get sent home with a pager to cover their slow times, and not being called every change of shift to cover.

I dunno--maybe that's asking too much, but that is what it would take. That and letting me do my job like its supposed to be done. Not by triaging administration or wealthy as priority.

hope you fry said...

This has nothing to do with the ER.
But I did not know were else to go with this. I have very interesting digital photo's of a Security Guard using the hosptial truck to go home while on the job. I would love to share them if I knew where to send them.

fac_p said...

Anything sent to gets to me. Use is my decision.

Anonymous said...

Two ways to retain competent nurses in ER:

1.Pay 'em what they're worth, in today's dollars, not 1950s money.

2. Make the ER bigger that the overgrown broom closet the south campus has. Sorry, but MRMC did it right when they built their new ER in the late 1980s- lots of room to move around, spacious pt. rooms, good-sized waiting room for patient families. What south campus has is about the right size for a facility half as big. I can't remember if Esasent of Christus was responsible for that debacle (methinks it was Essent), but it was a waste of money- more like rearranging stuff in the closet.

What patients will get in this present situation are new grads (paid cheaper) and agency nurses not paid cheaper- the hospital pays out the wazoo for travelers, as stated in my post about agency folks0 that get thrown into the mix with little to no orientation.

Anonymous said...

I can't remember if Esasent of Christus was responsible for that debacle (methinks it was Essent), but it was a waste of money- more like rearranging stuff in the closet.

CHRISTUS did the ER remodel...