…has kept me from storytelling. I’m in graduate school full time in a Doctor of Nursing Practice program. I’m also still working pretty much full time. So betwixt the two of those…well sometimes I don’t even have time to pee. But maybe there’s still hope for this little thing. I’m toying with the idea of just writing smaller posts. A paragraph maybe. Because the stories are still happening (claw arms, “what channel is HBO?”, the thing that looked like a purple grapefruit, “there’s a Skittle in my poop”, organic vegan celiac menu) I have a few additional sources of rich content as well, thanks to my fellow students. There’s always that one with all the questions…
I use that word a lot, every day. And not in a genuine, inquiring sort of way.
I use it in an annoyed, “of course this would happen right now” sort of way. No upward inflection at the end of the word that indicates a question. Simply monotone, almost as though it were punctuated with a period. “Really.” The equivalent of slapping my palm to my forehead.
My nurses aide – “amostlyseriousnurse, Mr. J just pulled out his NG tube as I was standing there”
The nurse on my end of the unit – “amostlyseriousnurse, it’s 1.5 hours into my shift and I’m going for a coffee break. Can you watch my group? I have someone’s PCA that’s about to run out and will need to be changed, someone coming back from CT who needs 4 people to transfer and I just put someone else on the bedpan. Oh, and my nurse’s aide is also going on break.”
The doctor I wouldn’t trust to cut my toenails – “amostlyseriousnurse, do you have Mrs. X? I’m not seeing any respirations, can you come verify?”
The phlebotomist – “amostlyseriousnurse, Mr. P is refusing to have his blood drawn.”
The lady who delivers the meal trays – “amostlyseriousnurse, I have a tray for the reverse flow isolation room that you just left.
I just need a sign hanging around my neck that says, “Really” and I’ll do the palm to forehead.
Every hospital probably has their own “code” lingo. Code blue, code 4, code Adam, code brown. It’s usually an overhead page heard round the hospital that alerts particular team members of an urgent situation. Like someone choking on a big bite of cafeteria Philly Cheesesteak (“Code blue, cafeteria!), or someone tripped and fell & couldn’t get up as they were walking up to admitting (Code MET valet parking) or someone was found pulseless/apneic in their hospital bed and needed resuscitation (Code 4, 8East) .
My personal favorite is the code strong, which is our overhead code call for security “show of force”. Show of force is basically several security officers showing up to the scene and trying to intimidate with their sheer numbers…usually two to three in these parts. Really intimidating. Typically, its the patient coming down off their high or sobering up and wondering where the fu*k they are and starting a fight with the first person they see. Sometimes its the sweet little old man who’s post op from a prostate resection who goes delirious from anesthesia & suddenly acquires superhuman strength & demonic possession and rises out of bed a la Linda Blair intent on “getting out of this damn hotel & back to the fish hatchery!!” (yeah buddy, you’re not the first or the last person to think this place is a hotel, and that I am a waitress). Then the sideshow really begins. Within about 5 minutes of calling a code strong, our ragtag bunch of security personnel with their flashlights and 8lb jangly key rings hanging from their belts show up. The security team usually consists of the the 5’1″ token woman, the 64 year old close-to-retirement-osteoporosis-limper and the overweight early 20’s first job huffing/puffing as he gets to the room. They all show up, a royal circus ensues, and you just pray that nobody gets their fingers broken or their tubes yanked out.
My personal favorite , as of late, is “Code strong, Urology clinic”. We stand around, after getting a good chuckle, tossing around possible scenarios that would require a security show of force in a urology clinic.
Surely it’s a man. With a penis. Who doesn’t want anything or anyone coming near it with anything resembling a hose, needle or knife.
If you had a paper cut, would you ask for a slice of lemon to rub on it?
If you had just burned your mouth on scalding pizza cheese, would you quickly grab a swig of hot coffee?
If you had a fresh blister from a new pair of heels, would you put them back on right after it popped and exposed the raw skin?
If your butt smells like something crawled up there and died, would you fart on an elevator?
Then why would you order chicken strips right after you’ve just asked me for a dose of phenergan to take away your ‘nausea’?
Oh yeah…because you’re not really nauseated. And because phenergan makes you feel good. And I must look like I graduated from nursing school this morning before shift change.