Friday, October 3, 2008
How Many Buttons Can They Push...? (And, a meme to get my mind off them)
Let's see if the on-call gods can push every possible button until I die of exasperation.
Button #1: Beeper goes off as I'm driving to work.
I'm coming, y'all, what could possibly be the problem this early in the day?
I make the call-back. The nurse says, "It's about the first patient..."
Button #2: NPO violation
"...He drank coffee with cream and orange juice with pulp and came in chewing gum. What do you want to do?"
I want to turn the car around, crawl back into bed with my loving spouse, and sleep and sleep until my call weekend is over.
"Bump him to the end of the line, please. Next?"
Button #3: Having to explain a clinical decision to uphold safety guidelines to a patient who has violated them.
"That counts?!" He says when I explain. Yup, it counts. That's why they tell you when you're the first patient of the day, please, sir, taking NOTHING. BY. MOUTH. before your surgery.
"But why?" he asks, as if I were an irrational despot about to exile him from fair Verona. So I go into my spiel about the risk of aspiration, increased gastric acidity and fluid volume, etc., etc. and how it's my job to protect his safety during the procedure, etc., etc., etc.
Button #4: Ignorant tactlessness.
The wife or girlfriend pipes up, "Is this the doctor who's going to be working on you?"
And the patient says, "Oh, no - this is just the anesthesiologist..."
That could be interpreted innocently. But he doesn't stop there. He explains. "...All she does is knock me out."
A plague on both your houses. Why don't you just call me "Missy," too, while you're at it?
Button #5: Poor listening and inconsistent discipline among folks who are supposed to be part of your medical team. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate a relaxed atmostphere and overall friendliness in the workplace, but that doesn't mean the O.R. can turn into a social gathering.
Button #6: Add-ons. Endless add-ons. Add-ons after the add-ons. Add-ons at other hospitals, even, that I can't possibly make because I'm stuck at THIS one.
Button #7: The "too tired" state. Finally home after yet another 13-hour day but too tired to enjoy the company of my loving family and dreading the infernal beeper going off again. Exhausted but in that awful "too tired to sleep" state, when your body feels like a truck ran over it but your mind is racing with all the buttons that got pushed today. At least there weren't any mendacious drug-seekers or bellicose aggressors (like a patient from this past week who practically assaulted one of my colleagues because, surprise surprise, she had made a clinical decision to keep him in the hospital based on our profession's safety guidelines...)
Here's what I'm gonna do to try to unwind and relax a little bit. I'm gonna play. I think adults should make play a priority. My game tonight will be a meme Patty from Oboeinsight has tagged me with: to share six personal things that readers might not necessarily know about me.
-I played Little Miss Muffet in a school pageant in kindergarten.
-Like Kathleen (see #76 on her list of 100 things), I secretly love Martha Stewart's skills and ideas but you'd NEVER believe it looking at my house...
-It bothers me when the roll of toilet paper is hung so the end of it comes out from UNDER the roll instead of over the top of the roll. Apparently this is a pet peeve I share with Lea Salonga.
-As a child when I really liked a movie I'd watch the video over and over and over and over again. One movie that got this kind of wear (so to speak) was The Red Shoes. I am STILL addicted to movie quoting and probably have a random movie quote for almost anything...
Hmm...TWO more? Thinking...thinking...
-I don't like to call up restaurants and place take-out orders. I have a mental block about making phone calls like that. I don't know why.
-Through Anali's blog I got inspired by this question from writer/blogger/photographer Karen Walrond: "What are some of the things you own that you think are pretty iconic representations of who you are?" I'd have to say, probably my Christmas music collection, my books, and a home-made candle my friend Sheila gave me that's decorated with a cross and an unfolded manuscript.
I don't know if I can tag six more people (Ramona? Oystein? Wanna play? Katy came up with TEN things - how'd you do that?!). I'll just send it out to anyone who might be reading this; consider yourselves all "tagged!"
And if any one has an "EASY BUTTON" out there for me, I'll take that over these other ones! :)