Friday, June 14, 2013

just trying to keep up

I am in the middle of hell week - five 12 hour shifts in 7 days.  The thing is I have 2 more days to go this weekend.  The first three sucked.  Monday we saw 60 more patients than normal.  That is 30% more than a normal day.  Did we have get staff to cope with it? Of course not, you fool you. Those are the days you feel like you have been run over by a truck.

What happen to the days when ERs took care of broken legs, appys, lacerations?  Those days seem to be gone replaced by patients who have multiple chronic problems and now they are in with a new one. Our patients are so heavy, so old these days.  They require so much care and, I guess, so many tests.  It is commonplace to see people in their late 80's and into the 90's.  It is also common to spend thousands of dollars in hospital admissions keeping them alive, when all they really want to do is die.

A typical shift brings a 98 year old decreased LOC who is intubated, on drips going to ICU.  In the next bed is someone from another country who is in isolation for possible TB.  Next bed over is a depressed combative drunk.  Next to them a heroin overdose.  Running between them are exhausted nurses trying to keep up.


jimbo26 said...

It's how the NHS is becoming in the UK . ( Someone in their infinite wisdom decided it is much better to close Accident and Emergency ( A&E ) units and hospitals but fogetting the patients then have to go to another hospital increasing workload for nurses . They are also deciding to ration people going to their local surgery and can only have so many visits per year ) .

Big Sky RN said...

What bugs me is how we drug our elderly population. Why should seniors be on umteen medications? These required medication recs are killing me and probably the pt. too! Also intubating a 98 yo is plain WRONG!