OK its official. I am overwhelmed. I have been an ER nurse for 25 years. If your arm was dangling by a thread from your shoulder, I would calmly take you back to the stab room. If you unexpectantly go into v fib, I would have the patches on so fast, your head would spin even though you are dead. In other words, I have seen a lot of stuff and can remain calm under lots of stress.
However, I am getting to the point of no return with the amount of information and job requirements there are these days.
I work in a large inner city ER in a hospital which does all kinds of fancy-dancy shit: LVADS, ECMO, CRT, interventional radiology, robotic surgery. You name the complicated medical condition and we probably do it. My point? Our ER is filled with complicated chronically ill patients on a daily basis. These patients are not your ankle sprains, lacerations, appys. They are people who are quadriplegics on dialysis with complicated heart histories. Those patients make up a good proportion of our patients.
The other population we serve is the neighborhood hood rat element. They use us as a clinic. They bring their dysfunctional lives into the ER with them. We serve a large immigrant population. We see many, many mental health patients.
In other words, our ER population is heavy duty. So we are already running around like banshees trying to keep it under control.
Now add to that the 20 emails I get daily about different changes to policies, procedures. Add to that the 10-15 education classes I am supposed to complete every quarter, preferably during my shift. Add on being preparing for various organizations that come every couple of months to certify the hospital in one thing or another: LVAD, magnet, bariatric care, stroke management, chest pain, etc. Add on to that a new drug dispensing system that has been put in place in the last month. Add on to that BLS, ACLS, PALS, TNCC. Add on to that the ebola scare and preparing for that. Add on to that JCAHO, CMS, Department of Health visits. Add on to that monthly staff meeting, quarterly charge nurse meetings.
How much more can nurses take, seriously? In all of this ridiculous frenzy of information and certification, interaction with the patient seems to be the last thing on anybodys mind. The patients have become products on an assembly line of corporate medicine. The human element of todays corporate medicine, the nurse, has no time to talk, empathize with, care for, the patient. They are too busy trying to keep up with all the certification/regulatory bullshit.