Noc Shift Nancy Kills Someone, Part 1

Wake UP! It's time for your shot!

Wake UP! It’s time for your shot!

Dearest reader, so much time has elapsed since my last entry, but I assure you it’s not because I don’t love you. I’m afraid that simple truth is that I am a terribly flawed, flaky person. As I have informed you in the past, my morals and decision making skills are dubious at best. You may wondering how many more missteps have I made in the past year since my last missive? You may be also be wondering how lovely Nurse Nancy has been doing as of late. Well, perhaps we should just progress in a chronological manner. Why jump to the end of the story, when the beginning is the most reasonable place to start? Lets just save the recent weirdness for for another time. Lets go farther back to 2009.

In my last entry, I promised to regale you with the recounting of one terrible incident of epinephrine induced cardiac arrest, pushed by the hands of yours truly.

I had been working med/surge at Rural Hospital for less than half a year. I hadn’t yet started to feel the confidence that comes with doing the job night-in and night-out for that magical one year. The general consensus among my more experienced peers was that it takes about 12 months to to finally feel comfortable with the job. The first four months can be the the worst.

I remember having near panic attacks when my 4 days off would come to and end and I’d have to saddle up once again to face God knows what. I think that was the terrifying part, not knowing what to expect. Not having an answer or fix for all the millions of little things that come up, like when the Tele-Tech calls, and you have no idea whether a minute long run of bigemeny seen in your total-knee is cause to wake the orthopedist, or your sundowners lady in 410 has ripped out the fresh IV you just started, making this the 5th time in two days, or when the aid assigned to your group, who has obviously taken way too much meth in the past and can’t seem to remember squat, tells you in her jerky chicken-like way that she let your morning colonoscopy have a fucking egg salad sandwich after you finally convinced them to drink a gallon of Golytely. – For the uninitiated civilians out there, Golytely is the rather ironic name for a pre-colonoscopy colon cleanser that causes literal torrents of watery diarrhea when taken as directed – , and then the charge informs you that, surprise, ER is sending you an 80 year old recluse with CHF and COPD who has severely infected diabetic foot ulcers, and you should call for report in about 15 minutes, as soon as they remove all the maggots from his festering wounds.

And all this shit is happening at once, and all I want to do is go home, take a Xanax, drink a glass of wine and drift off to Neverland with the best cat in the world snuggled up under my tits. Oh, do I sound like a cliché? Well fuck you. Clinches exist because they ring with truth.

But I can’t go home. I have to stay and fight. I have to stay and keep my patients safe. One of the things that I admire about Rural Hospital is the teamwork. I don’t know how I got so lucky to work with such a fine group of both new and seasoned nurses and aides (with some obvious exceptions) but I did. And when my nights fall apart like this, I know who has my back. That still only softens the corners of the jaggedy, inevitable new-nurse hell.

So it was around this time, early in my career, that I showed up to work one night and felt like crying when saw that I would have to rotate down to the ER. I wasn’t an ER nurse. I was barely even a med/surg nurse. I pulled an ER day during orientation, but nothing that would actually get me up to speed. It’s crazy down there. They give meds on the fly, the lobby is constantly crowded, I don’t even know where basic supplies are kept.

“Hey Max, why am I going down to ER tonight. I don’t know what I’m doing.”

“You’ll do fine. Our census is low and the ER had two sick calls.”, said Max.

“But I’ve never been down there other than for orientation. Isn’t there someone else.”

“Guess what?” Max paused, smiled slightly and raised his eyebrows, ” No…

No one else wanted it either so I drew your name out of a hat and you won!”, exclaimed max.

“Don’t sound so cheerful about it.”, I said.

“C’mon they’re going to be so thankful you came down. Besides, Bev told me it’s been a pretty mellow evening down there so far. You’ll be fine. They’re not gonna’ start pitching hard balls at you. You’ll most likely be doing tasks and stuff.”, reassured Max.

“Please don’t make me go.”, I begged.

“Which one of the other nurses who didn’t want to go downstairs should I tell to trade places with you?”, said Max.

I sighed a long sad sigh, and with a dramatic slump of my shoulders I turned my back on Max and started to make my way toward the elevators.

“Go get ’em, tiger!”, I heard max cheer.

. Not only would I “get ’em.” I was destined that night to “knock em dead.” Ok, I acknowledge: that was cheesy, and probably some bad writing to boot, but hey I’m just trying to tell a story here.

Sorry to end this so abruptly, it was torture writing even this much. Zinzo, has been on me. Hopefully I’ll be continuing this soon, which means most likely after Christmas. Hugs and kisses, especially if you’re Paul Rudd.