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This is my inside voice

March 28, 2008

After 7+ years of virtual unemployment (well, not getting paid for the work I do…) I now work outside my home in a hospital. I am a nurse associate (glorified CNA) and work 12 hour shifts at a world renowned hospital on their surgical floor which means I take care of people who have just had some type of surgery.

It is an insanely busy floor and I might have up to 12-14 patients to care for on a given day. I don’t know if I really want that many patients but I am giving it a try. This is the hospital I most want to work at when I graduate nursing school in December and I would have a better segue into nursing there if I am already an employee there. I worked 2 day shifts in a row this week (yea spring break!) and did not see my children or husband for 2 days. Literally. My feet are throbbing and my back hurts in strange places.

I saw some cool stuff…all kinds of drains and IV’s and I did a lot of procedure stuff like d/c IV’s and empty JP and Hemovacs. I gave a 88 year old Guatemalan amputee a back massage and although she did not speak English it was easy to understand how grateful she was. Her daughter hugged me goodbye when my shift was over. I gave a man who had major neck surgery a shower (well, he did it himself but I was there to help with the details). He walked the halls and everytime he saw me he smiled and said thank you for the shower and scalp rub/shampoo. It is pretty powerful to do something very basic and easy for someone and see how appreciative and grateful they are. Truly, it is the little things that make such a difference to patients.

I was documenting stuff in the computer and heard a patient, not mine, yelling for a NURRRRSSSEEEE! NNNNUUUURRRRSSSEEE!!!!!!!!!!!

I look around, her call light is not on and no one is going in to her. I go to her and her IV is dripping blood everywhere and she is panicky and crying. I am not permitted to touch IV’s except to take them out and so I go to the hall to see if anyone is there. No one is except another Tech so I ask her to get the nurse. No one comes. I see the Charge Nurse and ask her to come in with me. It is not a big deal, just messy and the IV is salvaged and fixed. The woman is hard of hearing or deaf and SHOUTS EVERYTHING. Her voice is either really fucking loud or SUPER FUCKING LOUD. And she has some kind of an accent and is very funny. As she lays there shaking and being very upset she says, um, shouts in her inside voice, “I AM SUCH A PAIN IN ZEE ASS! ZO ZORRY FOR ZIS!” It is hard not to laugh and she is so sweet. I take her hand and try to get her to breathe with me but she just makes “HOOOOOOO!” noises instead of exhaling but I make her laugh and hold her hand while the nurse fixes her IV. After it is all over she says, “I AM ZUCH A BOZZER TO YOU. BUT I CAN’T MOZE VERY WELL AND IT HURTS. ZO ZORRY.” It is a little disconserting to be shouted at all the time but you get use to it quickly and I actually like it. Especially when she swears REALLY LOUDLY.

I really like my job but I wish the uniform were a bit more flattering. Really, scrubs suck. I can’t wait to be a psych nurse because they don’t wear scrubs. And most psych patients don’t use inside voices either.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 28, 2008 3:16 pm

    yay for work!

    we’re getting there too…

  2. caroline permalink
    March 30, 2008 2:50 am

    wow you are so awesome.
    that’s all i can say for now because i am so dumbstruck by your awesomeness.

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