Thursday, September 2, 2010

Floor nurses, I salute you.

I'll be the first to admit that at times, I've been hard on floor nurses. I get mad when despite my extra efforts to get a patient settled before going to the floor, they still talk crazy to me in report. I want to pull my hair out when I have to repeat everything 4 times in report because they just aren't listening. I get irritated when they yell at me because they're getting slammed, or when they sit at the nurses station talking and stare at me while I transport a 300 pound patient on my own and then act like I'm a lazy bitch when I ask for help.
But when I think about it, I respect them a whole lot and I could never do the job they do. I was thinking about it today, when it 0530 this girl rolled in. Again. Whiny, screaming, ungrateful, non-compliant to the point that it almost seems out of spite and disdain- a giant middle finger to the entire medical profession. I walked out of another patient's room to find her flailing of the stretcher screaming. I swore out loud without even thinking about it. The foolishness of her last visit was naturally multiplied for this visit. She turned up the drama to a whole new level. Even though I had ended up with pretty wonderful patients for most of the night, 15 minutes in I was like," I am totally done with this shit and I need a drink. I kind of hate this job sometimes." As I was pushing her second dose of Dilaudid in an hour while she asked me for ice chips for the 20 thousandth time between screams of pain, I started thinking about the nurses on the floor.
This douchebag always gets admitted. Always. Those poor nurses show up at the beginning of their shift and have to take care of this idiot asshole through the whole thing. All of it. There's no end in sight. No one to call report to. No nice long breaks for ultrasounds or CTs. No. They have to put up with this crap for 12 hours straight. And then a lot of the times they have to come back to the same bullshit the next day. I really, really don't think I could ever do that. I would take the bed down the elevator and push it out into the parking lot if I had to deal with that crap for my whole shift. I'm serious. At the best, I would call in every time I knew I was coming back to that crap the next day. And I can't even imagine the dreaded moment when you get report and recognize a name and realize, oh shit. This night is going to be the worst. If I was a floor nurse, I would probably not have a license and/or be in jail for punching someone's face.
So floor nurses, I salute you. For all you do, but especially for not punching people like I would. Sincerely, Hood Nurse


  1. It seems that lately there has been a lot of hate directed toward floor nurses on the blogosphere. So, thank you.

    This is probably one of the worst things about working the floor. If the patient is especially bad, we switch off so that no one nurse has to deal with that person the entire time.

    It has also been my experience that douchebags run in packs. What you experienced above multiplies when their enabling family comes to micromanage their care. Bonus points if they never leave.

    I don't know how many times I've explained to families the difference between scheduled and prn pain meds while the patient is snoring away - during the same shift.

  2. Ain't that the truth? Thats why I stay in ER.

  3. The frequent flyer drug addicts are a pain in the ass. I still don't understand why the hospital caters to them.