A Nurse With Attitude

Where Dark Cynical Humor, Nursing Issues, and Politics Seem to Merge

9-11-2012 (WTC Anniversary)

   As I’ve said before,  I firmly believe that there are crazy people everywhere.  I don’t want to defame the healthcare industry ,  but it seems that we have a disproportionate number  of crazies in health care.   OK…  I can’t quantify my numbers,  but it’s just that it seems to me that we have a disproportionate number here in my department.  That said, we had a large number of staff who have called in sick today because it was the anniversary for the 9/11 attack.  I was talking to my head conspiracist nurse yesterday. (sick today)  And he feels  that this may be an omen or “sign” of something bad that might happen today.  Or maybe a  group of Arab terrorists,  that can’t seem to get the funding,  or testicular fortitude to get a ticket from the crappiest airline company in the world (American Airlines) and fly a plane into the biggest  building they can find, yet again.  My coworkers seem to believe this,  and the Arab terrorist’s second choice of creating havoc for the American infidels is to attack our little hospital nestled quietly in the heart of Portland Oregon.  So with this epic fear notably entrenched, people call in sick in droves to wait out this special day in the safety of their home.

I did come to work today. However,  I don’t claim totally immune to the craziness that seems to breed in the operating room environment.  I have a touch of OCD myself.  In order to partially satisfy my obsessive issues,  I get to work a little early.  I use this time to get my room set up, check my instruments, draw my medications, and have everything fully prepared for the day.  When 0700 gets here, I’ve had my first coffee and I am fully prepared to embrace the day with no surprises.  This morning was a little different.  I was scheduled to work in my usual outpatient area.  However, I was told the day before, that if I was needed, I was to go to the inpatient  side and report to  work as they regularly have  a rash of sick calls.  I did this and proceeded to set up my room.  When I was ready for anesthesia to bring the patient back,   I got a call from the outpatient side saying, they too had had a bunch of sick calls and “I should come back right away.” Once the charge nurse from inpatient side worked it out with the outpatient side, I eventually went back.  I had to rush to get my new room set up and running before the 0730 deadline.

Needless to say, despite the mix up, the entire day went well.  And guess what, nothing flew into this building.   As it turns out,  the “bad omen day” thing was almost a total loss.   I said “almost” because nothing flew into the building,  I did see a “fly in the building”.  It was a standard housefly and it was trapped behind the plastic covering of the florescent fixture.  But a housefly in an operating room suite is a very bad thing.  Fortunately, it stayed behind the plastic covering where I couldn’t get at it and kill it.  The patient was safe and there was no danger of infection.  However, the surgeon would periodically stop everything and stare at it.  This went on throughout the whole day.  Yes there are crazy people in healthcare.

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