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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I have become a garbage sorter

Want to become a nurse? Part of your job will be to be a garbage sorter. There is an elaborate system for waste disposal in hospitals involving different colored receptacles. It will be your job as a nurse to know what goes where. You are expected to remember which drugs are hazardous and go in the evil black bin, which drugs and IVs, etc. can go in the blood colored red bin and which can go in the boring white sharps container. There will be a quiz later. If you can't pass it, you're fired.

We are told that if we don't dispose of things in the proper container, it costs the hospital hundreds of dollars a day to pay people to sort it (hey there are worse job than ours). This is supposed to make us feel bad and motivate us to sort it into the proper container. Not. Doesn't happen. Its crazy to expect us to do this.

Today we learned that all used IV bags must be placed in zip lock bags and then disposed of. Why? Who the hell knows..to make the ziploc people rich? What gets me about all this, is where all the meds we waste, IVs we waste go: right down into the city sewer system. It is a known fact that drugs have been found at very low levels in water systems. Don't worry about that, just remember to put your empty IV bag into a ziploc...

Is it just me, or does this job get bat shit crazier every day?

12 comments:

ArkieRN said...

Don't forget the yellow bins for chemotherapeutic agents.

Anonymous said...

Oh I hate the rainbow of bins... I see it as "make it easy and I will try.". I know where the things I use the most go. Like hell am I gonna run down to the dirty utility room (where the bins aren't but the 5 posters with instructions are) to take 5 min to find out that the thing I need to toss isn't on any list, or could be on multiple lists. For a hospital whose execs get bonuses but want to charge me 2K more for my crappy insurance AND freeze my salary for 3 years.

I try for the environment. I won't let trying take away from my patients.

Anonymous said...

I am going to school to become a nurse. My first choice, ER. Reading this blog makes me laugh a lot but then I read stuff like this and all I can say is Ewwww...

Rachedy said...

Took a pt to ICU one day and went to toss the bloody mess that was underneath them. Looked all over the room for the red bin but it was gone. ICU said they only have one red bin now at the other end of the unit. They also stated nobody is carrying bloody shit through the unit to dispose of said crap.

Rickles said...

Ran across your site this evening while doing research on nursing. Two words: YOU. ROCK. As someone who has been in the hospital four times this year for various ailments, I can tell you that the only thing that made my visits "pleasurable" were the wonderful nurses who actually, truly cared. And that's the impression I get of you. THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU. And this is from a born and bred New Yawka who has a Master's in Cynicism.

binkRN said...

So this year I actually tried to really pay attention to the multiple bin trash disposal stuff. I have complained that hell if I am going to get in trouble for throwing it in the wrong bin...but, after reviewing said material, I am still confused, so if the bottle is empty, it goes here, but if it has a smidgen left in it, it goes there...makes me want to lick an Ativan vial.

rnraquel said...

BinkRn...It confuses me too!

newnurseinthehood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
been there said...

Yes, every day brings new insanity. At my hospital, we got fined when someone came to the hospital with photos of biohazard thrown in with the regular trash. The solution? Make every trash bag be inspected by TWO RN's, who then put their names on the bag stating there is no biohazard. Needless to say, my manager said "aw hell no" and all garbage goes in biohazard bags now, even paper, plastic, etc. Stupidity at its best. Cause I got a second college degree, and passed the NCLEX to sort trash.......

been there said...

And I should probably add that this came right after being chastised as nursing staff at my hospital for using too much linen....yeah. Cause when you come to my department at the hospital, you want the same sheets as the last guy undergoing a colonoscopy. Sheesh.

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