Medical Monday - Rough Days

Photo: Welcome to my life!

That sums it up pretty well.

Being a night shifter, I also get to wake people up in the wee hours of the morning, often when they've 'just fallen asleep' (or at least, it feels that way) to take their blood pressure or check their blood sugar.
In case you're new here - I'm a Nurse Tech at a hospital (a.k.a. Nursing Assistant).
I work on a Med/Surg floor; we get a lot of stroke and back/neck surgery patients.

I get to help people into the bathroom when I've been trying to get to the bathroom myself for the past hour but haven't had time.  (cross your legs and pray you don't sneeze.....)

For the most part, my patients are nice and understanding.  Especially considering that almost NOBODY is at their best when they are a patient in a hospital.

But you do get the others....patients who think that "H" on the sign stands for HILTON instead of HOSPITAL.  They expect you to do anything they ask, immediately after they ask for it.  There's no consideration for the fact that you have other patients (sometimes the nurses forget this part too....).  They want you to cater to them.
And we try - we really do. And if you're lucky you can win them over or at the very least, appease them and get them to sleep.
There are many benefits to night shift. 

There are drawbacks too though - and already I've realized that even though I last worked night shifts only two years ago, I'm not as young as I used to be and they're harder on me than they were.  I work three nights in a row and then I'm off for four, but my sleep schedule never really goes back to 'normal' on my off days.  It did before, but not any more!  I either stay up way late, or wake up at the crack of dawn.

There's very little that 'grosses me out', I've become pretty accustomed to things that some people find stomach-turning.  The other night I was emptying a device called a Hemovac which drains blood & other fluids from a wound.  I noticed the patient's teenage daughter out of the corner of my eye and looked up.  She looked positively GREEN.  She said "OH EM GEE that is SO nasty!"  Her mom said she used to want to be a nurse but after seeing her dad go through surgery, she wasn't so sure any more.

I love working in health care - but that doesn't mean that it's easy.  And just like any job, there are good days and bad days.  That's one thing I love about working three 12 hour shifts in a row then being off for four - on rough nights, I can always tell myself "just 2 more nights" and then "just one more night" and then "tonight is my Friday".....

*Sorry this post is a little scattered; I'm exhausted and have to get up early tomorrow morning for the funeral. Forgive me!*


April said...

Cyndy...I truly admire you for all you do. I've given thought numerous times about going into nursing, but I don't know if I could handle it. Big kudos to you for a job well done!

Amy said...

I sure couldn't do what you do.

Thoughts and prayers with you at the funeral this morning :)

Diane said...

I couldn't do it. Though I did actually consider it a few years ago. Not sure what I was thinking. My mother-in-law was a third shift nurse on the psych floor for years. She retired a few years ago but boy, she has seen it all!

ChiTown Girl said...

I KNOW I couldn't do it. I can't even deal with my own child's vomit. I used to call the ex, even if it was the middle of the night, to come clean it up when Stud would get sick. Thank God he always came!

I'll be sending you prayers during this difficult time. Give Hunter a big hug for me.

Kat said...

You are amazing. I don't know if I could do the night shift and then try and get back into a normal swing the other 4 days. It sounds exhausting, and that is before you figure in the actual work with the patients! You rock! :)

(I still wanna be a nurse someday. I must be nuts.) ;)

Myya said...

Nurses are definitely the inner workings of the hospital. Having csections with all 3 kiddos I actually got to know my nurses as well if not better then my doctors. Anyone who complains about nurses they have had in their stays my response is always... huh really, I've always had great experiences, I think a lot of time it depends on the kind of patient you are. Wonder how many people I have offended that way. LOL Oh well...

From A Doctors Wife said...

Thanks for linking up with Medical Mondays. I don't know how you could ever adjust to shifts like that.. it makes me tired just thinking about it. That young girl probably has never had to clean her own bathroom either.

Your Doctor's Wife said...

When I've been in the hospital, I was blessed with awesome nurses. They can make or break your hospital experience. You are on the front line of medical care and work so hard!!! My mother worked in nursing her entire career and started on the night shift. Eventually, she move to swing and then days because she said it became to hard on her as she got older. I can't imagine working nights!
Thanks for linking up with us! Love seeing you on the grid!

Lisa Kothari said...

My husband has to do night shift several weeks each year and I certainly empathize with you - it's an extremely tough schedule.

Hang in there!

Found you through MM Blog Hop.

Ray Doc Wife

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I know I could not do what you do but am thankful that there are people like you who can. ((HUGS))

Mrs. Dr. Looze said...

Hi There! Thanks for stopping by my blog. What a fun blog you have. I know being a nurse is not easy...I hear how those residents and doctors speak to you ladies! ha. No but seriously...you guys have a lot of the brunt work (not unlike my PGY2 hubby right now) and its not easy. Kudos to you :)