What Happens A Year Later

Life has a funny way of slipping away from you before your eyes and without you even realizing it. Perhaps for those who have 9-5 jobs and have a certain “rhythm” to life, or routine I should say, time might seem like it’s not going anywhere. With the craziness and furthest from “routine” of a life I have, time seems to fly. I’ve noticed I have no real concept of what time it is, or which day it is–excluding days I work and the time it is while I’m at work. I, like many other people in my profession, have the tendancy to get into work and ask, “Hold on, what’s the date today? And it’s Monday?”

Most of the time, the response is, “I think it’s Monday. You don’t know the date?”

And my (our) response is, “Hun, all I know is I’m supposed to be working tonight.”

Time seems to slip away from you

Your days mesh into one big blob of days (yes, my vocabulary is quite extensive, isn’t it?), weeks into months, and before you know it, it’s the middle of June. Working nights and running on a continuous empty tank does not help. My running on empty first alarmed me last Friday night when I showed upto work and my confused coworkers looked at me saying, “What are you doing here?”

“I’m working.”

“Mol, you’re not on the schedule.”

“Ohh, that sucks. Okay. I’m going. Bye!”

Don’t worry, it’s happened to other people…I think.

Monday, after working two nights in a row, I slept on-off throughout the day. I think the running on empty finally got to me, and the fact work has been insane. It seems I’ve been the one receiving insane assignments and have been the “code/rapid response person” more often than I’ve wanted. (That means, you go to all the code blues and rapid responses throughout the hospital.) Just a FYI, an ICU nurse needs to go to each code, because they are ACLS certified, so they are the only ones allowed to push the medications in a code situation. And, the last few times I’ve been “code/ rapid response person, nights at work have been nuts. I had a code and we coded  a patient– shocked her, gave epi, etc etc, and by the time I brought her to the ICU, she was PEA. Less than ten minutes later, a rapid response was called and the patient I brought up was fine. But, I brought him up at 0630, and still had to do things for the two other patients I had–excluding getting my PEA lady ready for the family to come in and see her. (Another FYI, PEA is pulseless electrical activity, meaning the heart is not actually working, but there is electrical activity that shows up on the monitor).

Insane.

As many are aware, I’m somewhat quiet. And people at work have picked up on that little fact (well, they should after me working there a year). But my inner ICU nurse voice, and frustration at the stupidity of some other nurses, actually made me raise my voice at someone during the code. I did not yell. But I swore, which I never do, except for when riding or running.

The doctor ordered Amiodarone.

“Can someone draw me some Amiodarone?” I was almost yelling. I felt someone put in a syringe and a small vial into my hand. I looked at it.

“This is f-ing Narcan. Is this lady detoxing? No! Give me the Amiodarone. The f-ing brown vial. No. no. Move, let me see.” I pushed the nurse out of the way and looked for the Amiodarone.

Okay, I felt bad, because I think I scared the other nurse. But he was giving me the wrong medications. And, I sounded mean, which I’m really not. It was just an emergent situation. And, I found my inner ICU voice.

When I went back to the floor and told the other nurses, they laughed and said, “Awww, our little Molly is a true ICU nurse when she swears and pushes people away in codes!”

I started this job a year ago in June….Around this time actually. And the things I know now compared to when I first started amazes me. The drips, the diagnoses, the treatments…My knowledge of medicine and nursing has expanded tremendously. I’m not sure it’s what I want to do forever, but it certainly has opened up my opportunities for the future.

 

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June 2011
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