Deep breath and…..

Ok. Blood culture, urine culture, lytes, CBC, rapid RSV for room 3. Has the baby in 2 peed yet? I still need to do his urine dip, and why won’t his line flush? He still needs his Rocephin, has it been thirty minutes yet? I’ll call the pharmacist again after I take care of 3. The doctor is in room 1, so hopefully I have a few minutes before I have orders. But that baby is really retracting and her oxygen sats are 94%, so I should take care of her before I worry about the baby in 2. Crap. Why is the mother for 3 standing in the hall waving me over? Ok, blood culture, urine culture, lytes, blanket, Gatorade, CBC, rapid RSV for 3. I’ll get my supplies together, what size IV should I use? 24 gage will probably work. Is the doctor writing orders on 1 now? Deep suctioning, rapid RSV for 1. But I still haven’t even started the workup on 3. Whose alarm is beeping? 1’s sats are now 92%, I’m not comfortable with that. Why aren’t there any neonatal nasal cannulas in this room? I’ll get the bag and mask ready just in case. Are her lips blue? No, just my panicked imagination. 86%, is this machine reading right? I’ll wake her up and see if that helps. I wish I could find a tech to help with the workup in 3, I should be done with that by now. Is there something in my shoe? I keep feeling a sharp stabbing pain in my foot. But I can’t sit down yet. I have to take care of this baby now. It’s been fifty minutes since 2’s vital signs. I’ll be with 1 and 3 for at least twenty minutes, so I have to get 2’s vitals first, but he’s stable, should I just wait for his Rocephin and be late on his vitals? Oh yeah, I still have to call the pharmacist…..

This is what my brain goes through in just a few minutes at work. Winter in a pediatric ER is like this nonstop. By the time I get home, I don’t want to think about patients or hospitals or anything work-related. Unfortunately, as soon as I fall asleep, I am suddenly overwhelmed with patients again. I wake up panicked because I’m late on vitals and giving meds. I remind myself that I am not at work for another four hours, then close my eyes and return to my demanding patients yet again. When my alarm goes off around 5, my brain feels ready for a break, not to begin another twelve hour shift. Am I overwhelmed? All the time. Am I on the verge of a breakdown? That’s a possibility. Do I love what I do? Absolutely.


19 thoughts on “Deep breath and…..

  1. Good gracious!  You are definitely busy–I figured that\’s why you weren\’t around.  They should be paying you overtime while you\’re sleeping–you\’re working that whole time!

  2. You speak the truth. 
    I am glad you love it, despite the sensory overload, even as you sleep.
    You were made to be a nurse.

  3. Whoa, and I have the nerve to complain about my day?????  I\’m glad to hear that you are loving your job, sounds fun!  And I agree with Austin\’s comment, you should get paid overtime for working while dreaming!!!

  4. Cudos for your progress! You sound like a Nurse with some experience under your belt. The fact that you are doubling back over everything after you have gone to sleep speaks volumes for your commitment. Sometimes it\’s hard stop the wheels in your mind from turning once the have gained momentum! Keep it up!

  5. Boy did I ever think of you over the past couple of weeks as Strep made its way around my house.  It\’s been ugly, but not nearly as bad as what you see on a daily basis!  So did you ever find out if something was in your shoe?  I\’m curious. 🙂

  6. oh katie! i totally get it, that mental list that as soon as as you cross a few things off of five more get added on. i know all about that o2 saturation thing too, the ones that hover on that line that you just know are gonna drop sooner or later. also-i personally feel if i take care of patients all night in my sleep someone had better be paying me in the morning!

  7.    _      _ /   \\  /    \\|     V      ||   URA   | \\    QT   /   \\       /       V
    Just passing out my virtual Valentine’s Day candy! Enjoy your day!
    😉 Michele

  8. I was so happy to see that you blogged! Yippie Skippy!
    All of that sounds about right! Waking up in the middle of the night thinking you forgot something or gave something wrong..or someone else meds instead of what they should have gotten! I would imagine it\’s worse for you..with seems that would hit home harder.
 sounds like your doing a fantastic job..I would trust you with my childs life in heart beat!!
    Happy Valentines Day!! You deserve a lot of love for what you do day in and day out!!!

  9. On a totally unrelated note, I just wanted to THANK YOU… I\’ve been reading for 6ish months but just started my RN program in January. I was giving myself a "peptalk" the other night by reading through your archives about when you first started. I found your entry where you talk about I\’ve been using it since, it\’s awesome! Thanks for the study help!!!!!

  10. Wow, I certainly got breatless reading this, much less to be in the actual situation daily!  Kudos to you my friend! 
    I visited your space via Tricia\’s space.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  11. holy smokes have i EVER missed my Katie fix…. I\’m glad that your loving what you do girl…. I can\’t WAIT to read what\’s been going on! My sister works in children\’s emerg… from time to time i hear some of the stories….very emotional. Miss you! :o)

  12. Glad to see you back.  I thought maybe you had deserted us now that you were an official ER nurse.   Sounds like you are loving your job.  Congrats!

  13. I use to work 12 hours shifts.  We were where all the cardiac cath patients were sent, it was nothing to have 10 on the floor at one time.  Being a nursing assistant I had other things to do to, besides vitals.  I would ask the nurse if she got the 1st hours worth of 15 minute vitals, I should be able to pick up the rest.  The 1st hour on duty I was getting vitals on everyone, passing ice, clean-ups.  I remember after a particular bad shift, I went home and went to bed, set my alarm cause I had to go back in and woke up to it going off, thinking it was the bathroom light and I had to get it.  LOL!

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