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Great Weekend at Work

Posted Sep 14 2008 3:15pm

Saturday night was so much fun. For one, I had the "President" whom I've talked about before, a frequent flyer who really believes he's the President of the United States and told us that he ran on a platform of "world peace and a BMW for everyone." Hey, he's got my vote. I have no problem calling him Mr. President. Well, except when he takes off his oxygen mask, lays there until we find him blue and satting in the 50's (which takes about 30 seconds), and then it takes three people holding him down to get it back on. Then I get a little perturbed and he's not quite so charming to me.

But all in all, most of the night he was easy to deal with. At one point he did get perturbed with me so of course he yelled and cussed at me like he always does. Well, come on, I'm the one who gets to cuss and I only do it for fun. :-) So anyway, I told him that he was giving the Presidency a bad name and that if he didn't treat me with respect I wouldn't vote for him next time. It worked. He was lovely the rest of the night so I went out of my way to get his snacks and drinks the rest of the night.

Also, it was relatively slow, or I should say, it slowed down as the wee hours approached which made for much laughter and mayhem in the tech room between Jones, Brian, and I, along with a couple of the travelers that we adore. Robert--love ya, man! You're one of us. We all giggled like sixteen year olds from about 2am on.

You know, not being independently wealthy, we all have to work but isn't it great when you can do a job you love, hang out with people you adore, feel like you make a positive difference to the people you're "serving", and get a paycheck for it? And on top of that I get to come home and write. I am so blessed.

So for those of you who know us, Jones and I have decided to write a cookbook and then get a Food Network Show called "Two Drunks in a Kitchen". Appropriate, don't you think? Most of the respiratory class will have walk-ons, of course. Then it can be "A Class of Drunks in the Kitchen". Our first book will be titled "Slammin' the Sacramental Wine and other Holiday Traditions".

Back to work, Sunday night was not so swift. I was on Assess & Treat and we were hopping. Apparently there was a conspiracy by the patients in every and in only every wing I happened to be on all night long to de-sat with abandon. What's up with that? It wasn't until 5am that I finally got through one A&T without being interrupted by my beeper or at least two nurses saying "Can you come look at my patient? He/She's just not breathing right."

I started carrying ABG kits and non-rebreathers with me. Geez!

Towards the end, though, I did finally get one A&T set up with no interruptions which helped get my OCD back on an even keel so then I could smile again when the last couple of patients came through.

One was a COPD'er in a huge exacerbation and high anxiety. It hurt me just to watch this man try to breathe. We had a shitty gas on him from the ER so when they shipped him upstairs I asked the nurse to call the pulmo for a BiPap order while he was calling for a med order while I got the patient on a NRB and tried to verbally calm him down. This is another thing I love aobut my job. Our pulmos are GREAT doctors and they trust us. It's very inspiring and makes me work even harder for them because they make us feel like we're all a big team with them quarterbacking. That's the way it should be but there are docs in the hospital who act like we're the enemy when we ask for specific orders or make suggestions and that is just such a waste of everyone's time. So when Michael called the pulmo his response was "OF COURSE, they can BiPap. Tell the RT to do whatever needs to be done and I'll be in in a couple of hours." That's what I'm talking about. All I want is to do my job to the best of my ability and if they let us, we can make their lives easier.

The guy loved the BiPap, like most COPDers do, because he could finally feel like he was getting air. He held my hand and thanked me for helping him. I don't expect anyone to thank me for doing my job but when it happens, I'm very moved. There are a lot of very nice people in this world and I love that my life crosses paths with some of them.

I ended up with a few more A&T's so I had to turn my guy over to another RT after we got him settled in on what I thought were the most advantageous settings for him and I asked Meredith to pull a gas in an hour and adjust the BiPap.

In the meantime I ran upstairs to A&T a guy who had decided to...um...recreationally clean out the medicine cabinet and went too far. Almost too far for us to get him back to dry land, so to speak. But was this person humbled? Grateful to be alive? Grateful to the people in the ER who saved his hiney? Nope. After being warned by the RN about his attitude, I walked in the room and and before I could say a word he asked me hatefully "What the hell are you doing here? I didn't ask for anything." Then he commanded me to remove the continuous pulse ox probe because "I don't like it. It's stupid. I don't know why they put this fucking thing on." In my best mommy tone I told him "Nope. Gonna stay on. And on top of it, we'll start breathing treatments in an hour to get your lungs back on track. Why don't you try to catch a little more shut eye?" And with that I walked out of the room. What a jerk.

After I got caught up with A&T, I ran into Meredith who had a big grin on her face and said "You're gonna love this!" and handed me the gas on our COPDer (not a retainer, by the way). Hehehehehe...7.40 now with the rest just as perfect...and on top of that Work of Breathing=nil. She said the guy was sleeping like a baby. Well, gee, the anti-anxiety med had something to do with that but I was grinning about the gas too. Hey, we all get lucky once in a while and that guy got to stay on exactly those settings.

Perfect ending for the night!

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