The worst shift from hell is still not the hell our Veterans have or soon will endure.
Today was one of those days at work. I mean one of THOSE days.
Some phrases spoken during my shift:
“sicker than shit”
“sick as snot”
“circling the drain”
“you can’t be serious”
“can’t I just go pee?!”
“did anyone eat today”
“I swear… I was gone 3 MINUTES”
“wait.. you were working today? I haven’t seen you all day”
“what time is it. No really”
“do we even have a blood pressure?”
“I think we’re missing a zero on that readout”
“did you say POINT-9 (0.9), NOT 9 (9.0)?”
Lives were lost. Lives were saved. But I didn’t have to worry about my freedom. I didn’t have to worry about my safety. I got to live the dream today. Work a job I love, with people I love to work with in a place I love.
All of this is possible because brave souls put their lives on the line every single day to protect my freedom.
Thanks to countless Veteran’s and their sacrifices I got to complain today about how tired I am. I got to complain about not having the time to pee. I got to listen to my belly grumble a tad bit longer today.
All because I was busy doing my job.
All of which is minuscule compared to the hardship, heartache and heart strain my fellow Veterans have endured.
I hope you thanked a Veteran today.
It’s no secret. I don’t do very well working nights. I’m currently toughing it out after a twilight shift… and I had a thought.
… (yes.. I have them once in a while)
Shift work takes a toll on the body. It can cause some pretty significant disturbances in your every day life.
You body’s circadian rhythm is thrown off kilter and you don’t know if you’re coming or going.
Shift work sleep disorder:
- Excessive sleepiness when you need to be awake, alert, and productive
- Insomnia, or the inability to sleep when you need to. This can mean trouble falling asleep, or waking up before you’ve slept sufficiently.
- Sleep that feels unrefreshing or insufficient
- Difficulty concentrating
- Lack of energy
- Irritability or depression
- Difficulty with personal relationships
Now, remember, I work in the ICU. We see and treat acute delirium quite often. It’s one of the driving reasons for discharge as soon as possible.
While in the ICU, there is no differentiation between night and day. 3am workflow functions almost the same as 3pm workflow in the ICU. We operate in a 24 hour time schedule because of how sick patients can be. Couple that with rooms without windows and you can imagine how easily a patient can succumb to Delirium.
- An inability to stay focused on a topic or to switch topics
- Getting stuck on an idea rather than responding to questions or conversation
- Being easily distracted by unimportant things
- Being withdrawn, with little or no activity or little response to the environment
- Poor memory, particularly of recent events
- Disorientation, for example, not knowing where you are or who you are
- Difficulty speaking or recalling words
- Rambling or nonsense speech
- Trouble understanding speech
- Difficulty reading or writing
- Seeing things that don’t exist (hallucinations)
- Restlessness, agitation or combative behavior
- Calling out, moaning or making other sounds
- Being quiet and withdrawn — especially in older adults
- Slowed movement or lethargy
- Disturbed sleep habits
- Reversal of night-day sleep-wake cycle
Uhh… did you see what I did there?
Things that make you go hmmmm….
This time of the year is always a bit tougher than most working in the hospital. It’s the time of the year when everyone would rather be at home with their family instead of punching the clock at work.
I consider myself lucky this time of the year. I don’t actually mind working. Check out why here (follow the link):
Nursing over the holidays
Most nurses would probably tell you that working as a nurse during the holidays, quite frankly, stinks. Work takes you away from family during the most family-oriented time of the year. Most nurses don’t get to spend their holidays (in the traditional…
Continue reading “Working as a nurse & the holidays..”