Monday, October 11, 2010

When PICU Nurses get bored!

I worked this weekend. Weekends (when well staffed) are notorious for being nice and quiet (dare I actually say that out loud!?) Less docs to bother you, less family to ask crazy questions and make weird demands....just less action going on.

And then there are the weekends where there is SO much less "action" that it just becomes painful!!!

Now lately, I have welcomed these days b/c I can rock out some major homework and get caught up!! But, yesterday was just not one of those days!! I was NOT feeling the homework!! I kept pulling up my paper that I was working on, blankly staring at it, and then closing it down...who wants to think about a 3 month old with reflux and what i'll order and why...all while working! Ugh!

There are just those days when I've had ENOUGH with the homework!! Too many papers, too many tests, blah- blah- blah!!

So, while my kiddos were napping (most of the day actually....I told you it was a quiet day!!) I was researching for our upcoming cruise (hey, a PICU nurse/grad student has to stay sane...and it was an incredible cheap deal we couldn't pass up on!!!)

But then about 5:45 pm came around, and all that quiet came crashing down. We were getting 7 admissions....and did not have that many nurses to take them all!! But, since EVERYONE was SO bored (17 nurses on, one charge nurse all sitting around, all day....yes the definition of "sitting around" in the PICU as a nurse is very different, but sitting around none the less!) we all were ready to get into the action.

Here's the problem. If I leave my bedspace, I have to find another nurse nearby that can watch my kids/their monitors. Near me were 2 other nurses....all who wanted in on the action also!! We had 2 kids coming up from the ED 5 month old trauma/full arrest, and a toddler in full septic shock (= really bad bloodstream infection, intubated, really low blood pressures, SICK!).

To decide who got to go admit the kid, there was a little "rock paper scissors/what I've done today game." I lost right away b/c someone called me out and said "You got to give your kid blow-by've actually done something." The other girl had an hour of action when her teenager was potentially gonna get intubated (but didn't). So that left our 3rd nurse, who had a pretty sick kid all day, but was super stable, so not really requiring nursing interventions! So she won out....she got to get in all the action.

It's amazing how we nurses thrive on the fast pace, the action, the adventure that goes on in the PICU. When it's not there, when it's a quiet day, you can just tell.... every nurse is no longer in his/her element. But don't's the PICU....the adventure always seems to find it's way back!! And that's why I LOVE it!!

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