every day i come home confused, perplexed over what is appropriate and what isn’t in my department. i’m barking at my patients when i’m supposed to be clerking them. i’m stressed about their progress when i get home at night, worrying whether i have passed over whatever was necessary to the person on call. and yet i am tired enough at the end of the day to not want to bother anymore, to want to come home to conan o’brien telling the same 5 jokes over and over again.
maybe i’m still new in this department. but then again, it’s been 3 weeks. i’m doing my second call tomorrow. i’ve learned to trace results before 7am because the night shift…gopher (how else should one call a PPK?) would almost certainly NOT have collected the results of the afternoon bloods. i’ve learned to quietly steal blood culture bottles and povidone from the opposite ward. i take my patient’s temperature myself. i check their oxygen saturation myself, with the one and only pulse oximeter (to be shared amongst 40 patients!) in the ward. i’ve learned to keep my stapler loaded at all times, my carbon paper never leaves my sight, and there will always be a few crumpled medication charts in my pocket.
i try and do it all with a smile on my face but i know some things have suffered. people have suffered. and i can’t help but think that i would gladly endure the worst of scoldings, the busiest of calls, the most sleepless of nights…all in exchange for good nursing care, efficient gophers, people who can give a damn about my patients as much as or more than i do.
there’s only so much a night or two of bitching can heal the wounds i come home with. wounds not from getting scolded, but from having a bit of my soul killed by the confusion and uncertainty i endure every day. i just wanna be sure for once so i can do my job without feeling like a lost puppy.