Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Its official: I'm going insane

OK its official.  I am going insane...

Every year we have to go through a "which frickin' waste basket do you put the moutain of waste we generate doing patient care?" education session.   Is it that red one, the pink polka dotted one, or the evil BLACK one? As of now, there are 8, count 'em 8, different plastic garbage containers with various names.  

I am sorry, perhaps I am a complete moron, but I can't keep track of what goes where. Its too much for my feeble little brain to comprehend...or maybe it is INSANITY to think we can remember.  Ya think?

Well, I'm doing the education online and actually reading it...not skipping to the end hoping to pass the test.  I come across a piece of information I had not known, may have skipped, subconsciously blocked out in an effort not to spontaneously combust:  The little chloraprep thingies we use to clean skin before IV insertion are considered HAZARDOUS WASTE.  OK...let me get this straight...the thing that I use 20 times a shift is hazardous waste.

Those little 1 1/2" x 1/2" cylinder thingies are hazardous waste...meaning they have to be put in a ziplock bag and into the EVIL BLACK plastic container that are only in certain areas of the ER?  You are kidding right? So I need to hold this EVIL cylinder, which by the way I have just applied to the patients skin, two feet in front of me as I go to search for a ziplock bag and then place it in the EVIL BLACK plastic container?

Now, take the amount of nurses who work in a day x amount of IVs they start and you will have many ziplocked EVIL cylinders to be disposed of.  We are gonna need a way bigger EVIL BLACK container.
In other words, it ain't gonna happen.

Here's the thing about all of this: The disposable system is very complex but its okay for us to waste narcotics galore down the sink, into the sewer, whose contents go to the water plant to be "purified" and straight into your kitchen...


Doc Rugrat said...

As a doc doing in-house night coverage, I am glad I was never subjected to this. I contented myself with putting sharps in the sharps box and everything else in the regular trash. And if one of the admins wanted to know who threw something in the trash, I owned up to it. Like you said, when you're pouring narcotics down the regular drain who cares what (non-sharp) waste goes in the regular can?

Aesop said...

Proving yet again that the best use of most mandatory training is to burn it before reading.

jimbo26 said...

Ah , good ol' " consultants " who have no idea how things work .

Sara said...

At bigger hospital, where I did most of my clinicals, we had regular trash, sharps, and the black box, where I told my classmates to put anything you didn't want fishies to get in contact with.

At itty-bit hospital, where I just finished my preceptorship, I was shocked to find they had only trash or sharps.

Maybe you need to move to my area of the planet!