Friday, December 19, 2008

Yeah I Want A Break, But Not From You

I'm sure I'm not alone in rarely getting more than my 30 minute lunch break and maybe one of my 15 minute breaks.  We are supposed to get three 15 minute breaks and two 30 minute lunch breaks according to the union contract, but I've never done it and I don't know anyone who has.

That said, I love it when the float nurse comes up to me and says, "hey Braden, do you want a break?".

At least, most of the time I love it.

There are some float nurses that I really don't want covering me for a break.  One time in particular, I was swamped with things to do.  It seemed like each patient had a perpetual list of three tasks needing to be done and no matter how hard I worked I couldn't catch up.  I had been going nonstop for several hours and was starving of starvatious starvation.  The charge nurse came up to me and said "I'll give you a break if you want."  Boy did I want.

30 minutes later I came back out, hoping that I would at least find myself no further behind.  But this was a charge nurse with many years of experience and skill under her belt.  Maybe I'd find that she had made real progress on my patients.

I went to the nurses' station, but she was nowhere to be found, so I grabbed the first chart to see what was done.  Nothing.  Oh well, she's probably been busy on the second room.  Here's the rack, there's the chart... and: nothing.  Third chart: nothing.  That's right, I left for thirty minutes and put my faith in this nurse to cover me and more importantly to cover my patients, and I come back to find that absolutely nothing at all has been done.  No meds, no procedures, no vital signs, no walk by the room and wave.  Nothing.

If I wanted to abandon my patients for 30 minutes, I could have just left a couple hours ago and enjoyed lunch back when I was hungry rather than waiting until the ravenous bugblatter beasts of traal invaded my stomach and commenced an internal devouring.

I know that 30 minutes isn't a lot of time to do everything that needs doing, and I expect to come back from break to find that there are still things to do, but please, if you go through the motions of listening to report and what needs to be done for each patient, at least try to tackle a couple of those things.


Ker said...

The ravenous bugblatter beasts of traal? Or should "traal" be capitalized? Is it a planet?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Chris said...

Yes Traal is a planet. The ravenous bugblatter beasts are so stupid that if you encounter one you place a towel over your head. The beast reasons that if you can't see it then it can't see you.

- The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Don't Panic!