I have been to the dark side of the moon and back. Took a gig with home hospice and found a new calling. That lasted six months until gas prices started to creep up. My husband gave me a quick reality check and I resigned. It was literally one of the hardest things I ever did. Leaving those patients and families who depended on me was like cutting out my own heart. But it put floor nursing into perspective. Being able to leave the floor and the hospital and leave all those patients in the care of someone else, knowing that there is a 99.9% chance no one is going to call you for anything, is a wonderful feeling. Now I am doing a travel nurse gig close enough to home I can drive back and forth daily. The pay is good enough that I still make more than I was even with gas prices. And of course I still carry the ol'ball and chain of...oh what does she call it...The European Vacation Hospital.
Thanks for the birthday wishes. Thanks for reading.
Patient satisfaction has been the focus for so long. We did hourly rounding and signed off each hour. We have been adequately staffed for the most part, understaffed at times, rarely ever overstaffed.
I started the above entry over a week ago. Since then the situation has become a hospital wide crisis. Now, being a new nurse places me at a disadvantage. This is the first hospital that I have worked at and I was hoping it would be a long term venture. But the current climate makes me nervous and a recent job offer with a neighboring hospital seems attractive to say the least. I do not know if being over budget and unable to properly staff your hospital is a common problem among the hospital population or if this is an isolated event. Should we not hault construction on the multi-building projects that are in progress? Why should the nurses and their patients suffer for management's inability to plan and budget. I know that I am not able to see the big picture or all that it incorporates. I have tunnel vision and I am aware of that. But, when layoff rumors persist, it is hard not to think of what that in tales.
As one nurse told me, "Self preservation is the bottom line." The grass may not be greener on the other side, but at least there is grass. The patch of grass where I am standing seems to be getting smaller.
Wow, I didn't realize how nice it was to actually take my three days off without calling in to see if I was needed. I feel quite refreshed. It really sucks when you come to work and get floated to who knows where to take care of who knows what. (For example: I was floated to the ortho floor (I work urology) and on the ortho floor I took care of a cholecystectomy patient. Where is the sense in that?) I have a feeling that the philosophy is that a nurse is a nurse. In a vague and simplistic way that may be true. For the most part we are capable professional individuals who will, in the end, adapt and over come.
Here it is 12:45am and I am at work. (Can you tell?) I won't stay long. The powers that are monitoring the computors might hunt me down like the slacker I am and cut off my fingers or something. But I thought it appropriate to enter an entry on behalf of my encouraging co-worker and fellow "night-ranger". (yeah, I'm talking to you Quietdarkness)
I enjoy my sleep. My husband believes I enjoy it more than I should. I can't seem to find a happy medium lately. Either I sleep too much or not enough. It really doesn't matter because at around two in the morning when I am charting my eyes close all on their own. It really has me second guessing this "night-nurse" gig. But I journey on through the night. Trying everything from coffee to over the counter energy supplements. Not the healthiest options but when you are desperate and peoples health and well being depend on you... what are you going to do but anything that might work, even if it is temporary.
It is summer and the warmth feels so good to my beyond white sun deprived skin. How I long to spend hours in its light, awake with the rest of the world, with the normal people. But my pillow calls my name and the night needs my attention. One day in the distant future I will lay on a beach in the tropical sunshine enjoying the day as it was intended. Then I will sleep beneath the moon and stars while someone else worries about intake and output and clotted catheters and post op gas pains in the middle of the night. Till then I will be nursing in the dark.