Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Food, Beer, and Thirteen Hours of Sleep

Work hangover? Narrowly averted. Nothing that 13 hours of sleep couldn't fix. I came home from work Sunday night exhausted but Dennis made barbecue chicken and a salad, and there was beer. Awesome.

Work was a zoo over the weekend. And of course, we're never staffed well on the weekends. We had no nursing assistant to help us, we had no housekeeper during the day, and just barely enough nurses to keep up with the patient load. So we were also cleaning chairs as fast as we could to keep up with the onslaught of patients, and we weren't doing a very good job of keeping up. We had almost a record number of patients in one day on Saturday, and Sunday wasn't far behind.

I had people sitting in chairs in a corner behind the linen cart in the back room because every single chair and bed was occupied by patients who were there for long infusions. The people who came in for short infusions got squeezed in wherever we could find room. It was insane.

I called it my tropical paradise. We have an IV pole that's decorated with paper hibiscus flowers. I'd seat the most able-bodied patients in a chair back there behind the linen cart, next to the utility room, and they'd get their infusion on the tropical pole jammed in between all the crap we have piled back there. All we needed was a tanning bed, some fake palm trees, and margaritas served.

I wonder what would happen if the higher ups in management would come in on a weekend and see what it's like for the patients, squeezed in a little corner among broken equipment and old discarded office furniture. Actually they would probably only care that the patients were seeing the mess in the back room, and they wouldn't give a crap about how we nurses were running our asses off.

After two days of this, I was so tired, by the end of the day on Sunday every time a patient would ask me for something I'd be thinking, don't ask me for ONE MORE THING! But of course I smiled and gave them whatever they wanted.

The sucky thing about being a nurse is that the work kicks your butt so bad that after just two work days, you're so wasted that you can't even move your butt on your first day off. And you don't get compensated for that wasted day. If there's anything I hate, it's wasting a beautiful day being exhausted.

So I slept 10 hours Sunday night, straight through! Today I woke up to beautiful colors in the back yard, the bushes turned pink and orange over the weekend! I ran only 8 miles, my legs were dead and my brain was somewhere else. I also had errands to do, I did them first. Got the new coffee pot, at Target. This time I spent $30 on a programmable one. We'll see how long this one lasts.

I also added a night to my reservations for Oklahoma City, I want to get down there a day early and relax after my all day drive.

After my run I called it a day, ate, drank a beer, and crashed for 3 more hours! Tomorrow I need a serious speed workout, hopefully I'll be recovered. And then it's back to work Wednesday and Thursday, off for a 3 day weekend, then back to work next Monday and Tuesday, and then OKC!


giraffy said...

Holy bejesus. I could never be a nurse. That sounds exhausting.

Cedric Meyer said...

Greta post, great blog Alene!

Alene Gone Bad said...

Thanks Heather & Cedric. Heather, it IS exhausting. It's also insane. The profession of nursing is like a dinosaur left over from Florence Nightingale days. I'm surprised we don't have to carry kerosene lamps and give whiskey to patients and then chop off their limbs. Twelve hour shifts suck. The life. Out of me.