OMG, we are headed to Brooklyn this weekend for a wedding and I have never, ever felt so happy to be going on vacation. We are leaving the kids behind and I’m going to have 36 hours of my own time with my husband. I had to finagle a Sunday off during hospital orientation which was awkward for me, but whatever, I hate hate asking for special accommodations, but it is what it is. I’m completely overwhelmed at the hospital each shift, I feel like throwing up as I pull out of the driveway, but I’m trying to be patient with myself and not internalize the complete feeling of incompetence that occupies about 40 hours of my week. It’s not really all the things I have to learn – like yesterday, I learned to program the PCA pump to dispense dilaudid intravenously and how to hang blood – all of these tasks on their own are fine and completely easy to master, it’s just the sheer volume of tasks that need to be done – I know myself and I have never, ever doubted my ability to learn quickly or my capacity for the tremendous amount of work I am capable of doing, especially in a finite amount of time (like 12 hours), but I can see now, even working at 100% capacity and efficiency, that it just isn’t enough time. Like for the dilaudid, you have to check vitals every hour for the first four hours. To hang blood, you have to sit with the patient for the first 15 min to check for any adverse reaction and then take vitals however often and it’s time sensitive, you have only a certain number of hours from leaving the blood bank to infuse the whole unit. And then both of these tasks you have to have another nurse come into the room and read back all the labels and expiration dates and enter their passwords and crosscheck. So you can imagine if you have 5 or 6 patients, two of which have PCA pumps and one person needs two units of blood on top of all the medications and one person needs to be cleared for surgery and another person needs insulin coverage on their meals and there is just a tremendous amount of documentation that needs to happen, I’m not sure exactly how it’s possible. Each discharge takes 15-20 minutes, each admission really takes 30 minutes to do it properly and yesterday, we did two of each. I could barely just keep track of who was in which room, let alone what they were in the hospital for. Also, even if I can control what I do, sometimes you have patients that are completely beside themselves and take up an extra 30 minutes – they need reassurance, calming down, or they just need to yell at someone and apparently that someone is you but in the process, they’ve pull or kinked their IVs which you need access to do the thing you need to do, then you have to call IV therapy to come in with their ultrasound machine to find a good vein. I think in about 3 weeks, I get to do this all on my own without my preceptor, ack. It’s going to be like being pushed into a freezing cold pool when you are standing around in street clothes and flip flops drinking a beer. It’s gonna be terrifying. Jeremy, as I leave for work, says – you aren’t nervous, you are excited! lol.
Since I’m working every other weekend and we lose that time together and those weekends Jeremy has Edda in tow for much of the time, he’s trying to figure out his own schedule around mine. He accrues vacation time more quickly than I do and we don’t go on vacation a lot, so he’s experimenting taking half days or full days off during the week. So yesterday on Friday, he worked from home half day and was on vacation for half the day and because he cut out the two hour daily commute, he did many of the things I usually do on a normal pre-nursing job weekday; work, get in a mid-day workout, go to the dry cleaners, go get windshield wiper fluid for the car and volunteer for the kids. Jeremy, with whom I’m going to celebrate 20 years of marriage in a few weeks, still surprises me sometimes. This is our sixth year of parking cars at the county fair for Vince’s boy scout troop. The grown ups mostly wave flags while standing in a single spot. For many, many years, I’ve done a little dance move at my favorite spot and I entertain myself and often I get a smile or two from the drivers who drive by. Every year, some other parents mention that they see me dancing out there and that they are looking forward to seeing that again in the coming year. I want to emphasis that it is just a little dance move and not a full fledged dance and that it is only dancing when compared with all the other middle aged parents I’m hanging out with. I don’t know what happened this year exactly, but Jeremy (I guess inspired by the kiki challenge / drake?) took it up a notch and created basically a whole dance routine and did it continuously at his shift where not only did he get smiles, but he got reactions like – “you go!” and “for Aretha!” And he’s wearing funky socks while doing it. And he’s basically got no rhythm. No, I take that back, he has the beat, he just can’t dance as goes the saying about white men. Who is this guy?
Thank you Eliana who came this week to watch after Edda and who’ll be coming on the weekends during the school year! Hooray! Our childcare is set for the coming fall.