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2/15/04  Sun  (0732):   It's National I Want Butterscotch Day; some butterscotch pudding would be tasty, or maybe oatmeal cookies with butterscotch chips in them, yummmmmm!

My horoscope:  You'll accidentally eat one of those fried szechuan chili peppers today and it will bring tears to your eyes. This will strike you as odd, given that you will be eating a ham sandwich at the time.

Okay, I guess it's time I brought things up to date, have no idea why I've procrastinated so much!  One good thing, after loading the new Internet Security I found I can turn off the "pop-up blocker" which means I can load this page and upload pics without turning off the internet security.  Previously, I had to disable it, connect to this site then enable it.  If I wanted to upload anything I had to turn it off again.  I always worried that while I was doing that someone would sneak in & screw up my computer again.  So now I don't have to worry, which means I really should be able to keep things up to date, new, fresh!

I started work, went to orientation classes for two days, then worked two day shifts, then was switched over to nights.  It is different, LOTS of paperwork.  A lot more work at nights too, I think we deserve more than the $4 extra!  We have 1-2 more pts than days.  We have to verify the MARs (Medication Administration Record) each night, which prints out at 0100.  There is a minimun of 7-8 pages, most people have 10, so multiply that by 5, means we have at least 50 pages to review & sign.  We don't have CCTs (Clinical Care Technician) at night which means at 0400, when the labels spit out, we have to draw our own lab work.  Now we usually do have two aides, but except for a couple, they don't do much except take vital signs twice; otherwise, you have to ask them to do things.  And answering bells, some take their sweet time, if they go at all.  I'm still too new to start stirring up the waters, but just wait!

The IV pumps are different, I don't like them.  They're Plum-something's.  You can't back-flush the piggybacks and the tubing is different.  Can't do as much with them as the one's at Tri-City, you can only put in volume to be infused & rate, none of the other neat stuff.

The medications are in the Pyxis, which is good as I didn't have to learn that.  They use Affinity for putting in orders & stuff, so that helped as I already knew that.  In fact, Jim (my preceptor) made a comment one night that I knew how to use it better than he did (hey, it's a computer, what can I say!)  The telemetry system is the same, so I know how to look up stuff & use the monitor.  The pagers we wear are for alerts only, I've discovered.  They vibrate when there's an alarm rhythm on your pt; if there's a lethal rhythm on any pt it alarms everyone's pager.  Except for one of my pts, who dropped into the 30's (I went in & woke her up & "fixed" it), all the alerts have been nothing serious.

Most of the night people are okay,  I believe there are only 2-3 regular staff, all the rest are travelers.  They have a lot of travelers at that hospital.  Which I guess is okay, in the summer when the census drops at least I'll have a job when they won't be hiring extra travelers.

I've already discovered one nurse I don't really care for, his nursing style that is.  He had a pt who kept pulling off his leads, had a PICC in the right upper arm, and a trach.  He (the nurse) got tired of going in & replacing the leads so he just took off the monitor.  That's a no-no, it's a telemetry floor, that's why they're there - to have their heart monitored.  Anyway, he's lucky he didn't walk in later & find a dead pt!  The guy pulled out his trach, the whole thing, balloon & all!  Luckily he had no problems breathing.  If he had, we wouldn't have received an alarm when his heart slowed down, or stopped as he was off the monitor.

January was a sad month.

On the 25th I had to put Vladimir to sleep.  He had perked up after going to the vet, then all of a sudden went downhill, wasn't eating or drinking & then could barely walk.  That was the 25th.

The week before Grampa had a massive stroke, and after discussions he was placed on hospice.  Dad went out for a few days to help.  Grampa died on the 28th.

A couple of days after the stroke Judy (Dad's sister) was at work and had problems breathing, she was admitted to the hospital for tests.  She was on a telemetry unit and was diagnosed with Afib at that time and a CT scan of her lungs showed what might be a nodule, that they're going to investigate more.  She was dischaged home and is doing okay.

Mildred (Granny's sister-in-law, Charlie's Aunt) fell and broke her hip while all this was going on.  Haven't heard recenlty how she's doing, but I guess I would have heard if there was bad news.
2/15/04  Sun  (2119):   Went over to Mom & Dad's for dinner.  Dad grilled hamburgers, except he only made one for each of us.  Now really, everyone knows how yummy home-made hamburgers are!  It was very delicious....oh, did I tell you it was humongus!  One was plenty!  Then there was a very tasty dessert to follow.  Came home as it's the next to the last episode of Sex & the City tonight and didn't want to miss any of it.  So here I am, trying to bring this webpage up to date and waiting for the program.
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