Friday, September 30, 2011

Love hurts ...but not THAT much

I'm not sure that getting sliced by a lady friend qualifies as an act of love but your mind starts to invent elaborate stories when your patient's been attacked with a butterfly knife by a member of the opposite sex. 
I don't know about you, but back in my day, if a love interest double crossed me or a friend, our first instinct was not to go on a stabbing rampage. Kids these days...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Spleen in the Spotlight

So I've only been on the floor now for a month or so and there's a huge learning curve, people! ...But sometimes I forget or just don't know things that I might be expected to. I am supposedly a NURSE after all which I guess means I should come complete with encyclopedic knowledge of the human body upon graduation (not really). Anyway, over maybe the past week and a half we've had not one but two patients involved in similar freak tripping accidents in which they have fallen onto a chair, stool, box or some other object landing directly onto their spleens and causing a splenic laceration (or splenic "lac" if you're cool). This got me thinking... where the hell is the spleen again and, uh, what does it do exactly?

The spleen is part of your immune system and is located on your left side. Old red blood cells are filtered out in the spleen, and platelet and white blood cell storage also occurs there. Extra blood is stored in the spleen and its removal can make a person more susceptible to infection.
I read in wikipedia that "spleen" is a Greek word and that the Greeks considered kind and considerate people "good spleened."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Save the Drama fo yo Trauma (Nurse)

Injuries sustained in exploding meth labs... discharging patients directly to the police... patients leaving the floor to shoot speed balls and/or have sex... it's all in a weeks work!
One of the more entertaining interactions I had recently was with a patient who came in testing positive for a controlled substance following an accident. The patient asked me for pain meds to which I replied that I could bring in some Tylenol (the narcotic pain med that was ordered wasn't due yet). The patient responded in the affirmative adding that they didn't want any of "that hard stuff".

Friday, September 9, 2011

Night Shift

I took care of a patient last night who reminded me of the character "Petunia" from Futurama. I imagine her as leading a similar lifestyle out in the non-hospital world but who knows...
This morning as I was helping her get cleaned up for the day I asked if we'd gotten her...., her...
"Coochie?" She replied.
"Yeah, coochie."

Monday, September 5, 2011


I saw my first code the other day. Codes are called over the hospital intercom system so that people from different areas of the hospital can respond, and a nurse on my floor was one of the people who responded that day. As she was running out the door my preceptor yelled for her to take me with her.
When we got to the other unit the patient was on the floor. I couldn't see much because the room filled up with about 40 people in a matter of seconds. During a code there are different "jobs" that people do: there is the person who runs the code (normally a physician or NP, I believe, because they give the orders for administering drugs), a nurse who prepares/administers the drugs from the crash cart, a recorder who writes down everything that's being done and the effect (if any) the actions have on the patient, people taking turns performing chest compressions and administering breaths to the patient, and probably a bunch of other people who do other things I'm forgetting about. Oh and there are about 20 other people in the room who just want to see what's going on but who are not actually doing anything at all (and they eventually get yelled at to leave the room).
The code went on for 15 minutes -which seemed like an eternity to me- and I mostly hid outside the room trying to stay out of the way. The patient was in PEA and nothing they did was having any effect. Towards the end, the nurse who brought me with her motioned for me to come into the room. She had been working as the "recorder". Shortly after I went in, the attending physician entered the room and gave a signal for everyone to stop. The time of death was announced and the nurse from my floor put a check in the box next to the word "expired" in the "outcome of code" section on the sheet used for recording.