Saturday, June 2, 2012

Emergency Department Charge Nurse Hitler Rant

Thank you to Those Emergency Blues for the most hilarious charge nurse rant on the planet.  See below or go to her link:

Friday, March 9, 2012

RIP Evelyn Gabbs

As a nurse reading the article there are numerous questions I have, and I think the CBC did not do justice by getting the full story out.

Essentially a long-term care resident, aged 95, was found to have symptoms of a stroke in her wheelchair.  After a delay, family was contacted and the resident was transferred to an acute care facility. Once assessed at the acute care facility, she was transferred back to the nursing home for palliative care, where the family stated she was not given proper care.   The family was quoted in saying that "they might have been able to help her...brought her back a little bit".  It was an emotionally charged article and many comments are very angry at the "abuse" and "lack of care" that nursing homes provide.

Was there a DNR/Do not transfer order?  Many long term care facilities have lengthy discussions with family regarding this, and it sounds like this may be the case for Mrs. Gabbs.  Typically only with consultation with family do those with the DNR/Do not transfer order get transferred to the hospital for acute care.  If this was the case, the LPN was working within the parameters/goals that the facility and the family had initially agreed upon.  In strokes speed is of the essence, so I don't know what happened to cause of the delay but perhaps the DNR/Do not transfer played a factor.  Perhaps consultation between the LPN and RN and possibly MD took some time and who knows what really happened prior to contacting family.  It also sounds like there was a delay in the family responding to the nursing home's repeated call.

As an Emergency nurse I care for many of those nursing home transfers, and some patients are quite sick, whereas other patients we oftentimes do not know why they were transferred.  Most that arrive do have the DNR form, but have transfer modifiers.  Please note that in Ontario all nursing home patients have a physician on call for any concerns (day or night), as well as an Registered Practical Nurse and a Registered Nurse to assess the patient.  Having not worked in a long term care facility (but having had rotations in one as a student), I'm not speaking to all nursing homes but typically there are distinct policies about who to contact about transfers if it's deemed needed.  Sometimes the wishes of the family override the policies, and at that point the ambulance is called.  The family would pick up the tab for the cost of the ride, as well as the transfer home. In Ontario, some of the cost of the ambulance is not covered by the government, and billed to the patient.  Intra-facility non-emergency transport is also covered by the family, or is billed to the family from the nursing home.

As for the palliative care, if there is no order for analgesia or it is deemed to not be needed, the LPN/RN would only give a moderate dose and would be titrated according to resoponse.  If the order is not satisfactory for the patient needs, then a call to the MD is needed.  If the MD does not order more analgesia or sedation, then it would be illegal for the RN/LPN to provide any further medication beyond the parameters set out by the physician.  Again, without the health care record right in front of me I cannot comment on what occurred after Mrs. Gabbs returned.  All we have is family reports of how their mother looked when she was dying- something that is never easy to see.  My condolences to the family, and I hope they get more answers for their questions, and some peace.

To go saying the nursing home is corrupt and only thinking about money is placing judgement without the full picture.  There are many long-term care facilities where the care is exemplary.  All the patients we receive are clean and looked medically cared for.  The emotional care is the responsibility of the family.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A new year, a new beginning

Happy belated new year to all that read this humble blog.

I worked New Years Eve, and it was surprisingly not too bad.   We kept waiting for things to get out of hand, but luckily they did not!  I hear that the next day it was brutal.

I've been asked to precept again this semester, this time full time.  I know what I'm getting into this time, and I hope it will be smooth sailing.

Every time I think I want to leave and do another job, something keeps bringing me back. We had a guy come in pretty sick and within 5 minutes I had assessed him, started a line, drew bloodwork, got vitals, ecg, and had the doc swing by for an assessment. All done by myself as any/all help seemed to be with other patients at the time.  I've been working in the area enough to anticipate what is coming, but its nice to hear a "good job", which the doctor provided.

What I have found is that I'm tired of certain people complaining about the department.  Yes, its hard work, yes it can be frustrating for certain things, but GET OVER IT OR DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.   Perhaps it's the "cool" thing to do, but it gets frustrating to work with those people.

Anyway, here's hoping to a great year!

Friday, December 2, 2011

I'm still here

Time goes by fast when you're having fun, or when you're burnt out and the last thing you want to think about is work when you are not working.

I fully admit it, for about 8 months there I was not happy about my job. I also, however, was not willing to leave it.  It's funny how that happens- you start in a place and you're proud to be there, and make it part of your identity. Then, the job/people change and move on, but you stay on because "it will get better". Well that 'getting better" moment has started to happen- to a point. We've hired more staff, they are young and eager to learn, but they are newbies to Emerg.  Which means the people who have been working there a while now have to make sure they aren't missing anything.  My role has changed from staff nurse to preceptor, and now a lot of times one of the more senior staff in the pod if not the department. For someone with less than 5 years on the job, that can be scary.

I've offered to take a student again for the next term, and I hope it's as good as the previous experience.  I've trained over 5 people to Emerg by now, and I hope I have contributed to their success in the ED.

Although I am not actively looking for a new job, I still keep looking on job postings, and one day perhaps I'll leave the ED.  For now, however, I"ll keep my "geriatric acute medicine" ward/ED.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My least favourite time of year

It's soon approaching.. the sun is high in the sky, the birds are chirping their summer song... and the newly fresh minted residents start their training.

Urrgh and I work July 1st! 

A not-so-happy Canada day to me!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Junior nurse... very interesting

So nursing bullying is in full swing.

A colleague who graduated one year before me told me that I, a 'junior staff member', couldn't dare correct or contradict them.  The colleague was making a sarcastic, inappropriate remark at a critical time in patient care.

I told them I dont apologize for advocating for patients, and 1 year more experience does not a "senior" nurse make.


Monday, February 28, 2011

Condolences, but time to let go.

Lately this turn of events has been in newspapers all over the province, and apparently in the USA as well.

My condolences for the family, but it's time to stop the poor baby's suffering.

miss-Elaine-ious RN