Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pajama Fancy

Working in the PICU that I do, it's not uncommon to see parents come in late at night with the craziest things on! Or in some cases, a crazy little amount of things on!

Oh who am I kidding....these people come at any point of the day or night wearing these things!

We frequently get younger parents that live in sweatpants with words on the butt. It can be quite interesting seeing the things that are spelled out on the bums of some of these pants! And for whatever reason these butt word pants are always paired with a super skimpy, one size too small, spaghetti strap tank top! Nice!

Then there's the parents that come in wearing a dirty t-shirt and jeans with holes all over them...and not the stylish ones! And then they stay in this lovely outfit the entire stay. Even when that's a week! And even when we offer scrubs...because they stink! Gross!

But this week, we had a mom come in wearing pajamas like I have never seen. Maybe its because we don't see the "high society" people quite as often as I thought. Or maybe it's because most people have better sense than to wear this get-up to a PICU.

Either way, this mom was fully decked out in silk pajamas: silk pajama pants with a silk pajama tank lined with lace, and a floor length silk robe. All in a wonderful gold, blues and greens paisley pattern. Her hair was what I would call "perfectly coiffed" if I knew what the word "coiffed" meant. Oh, and instead of slipping on tennis shoes or flip flops like most people keep near the door, she put on her plush slippers.

Her entire pajama outfit probably cost more than what I spend in an entire year on my wardrobe. *Yes, I'm aware this is slightly cheating, since I mostly just thrift! But still!!!

I didn't even know people wore this stuff to bed! Or kept it handy enough so when their daughter has a medical emergency in the middle of the night they would be good to go! But this woman did...does!

And let me just tell you the looks that this mom got. From other patients, families, and even staff!

Now in all fairness, I'm sure there was some snickering when the patient came in at 3 am. But at 3pm when the mom was still wearing these beauties despite being brought a posh rolling bag of clothes, it was an all out snicker-fest!

And I have to say, I was one of them! I mean, really!?!? It made me want to bring her child's medications on a silver platter. Or pure gold. Or whatever the really fancy people get served on!

But I just brought them in my gloved hand like I normally do. Real classy, yes I'm aware.

Hey, what can I say...I'm a nurse. I'm here to serve! And the fact that my clientelle may range from having "Juicy" butt sweatpants to fancy schmancy silk is besides the point!

What I think the point is...or should be...is both the juicy and the silky keep us laughing. And really, at the end of a long 12 1/2 hours shift, what more could you ask for!?!?

Friday, November 25, 2011

What I will NOT be doing today

The day after thanksgiving holds many traditions for many people.

I would NOT be one of these people. In fact, there are more things that I will NOT be doing today than things I will actually be doing!

For example, I will not be doing this:
I wasn't lying when I said that I was going to eat my weight in all things potatoes yesterday! And my scale wouldn't even be able to say "Help"- standing on it today would probably squash the life out of it!

I will also not be one of these crazies:
I don't understand all you people out there that stand in line for hours, camping out for a camera...or a toy...or anything for that matter! But if you were up in the wee hours this morning being one of "those people" I hope you scored some great things!

And finally, I will not be making my house look like this:
Partly because I don't have a fireplace (oh so sad!). And partly because I don't like teddy bears...or stuffed animals for that matter (yes, what kind of kid nurse doesn't like these things!?).

But mostly because I think the day after thanksgiving should be reserved for sleeping in, drinking that extra cup of morning coffee, eating biscuits with tomato gravy (again, with zero regard for the scale!), staying in the pj's for a long time, playing games, and maybe taking a nice long walk in the sunshine.

With all of the things that I will NOT be doing today, this list seems like a perfect day to me!

What will you be doing...or NOT doing....today???

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Once again, this PICU nurse gets Thanksgiving off thanks to my "Year of Jubilee" which I think I have referenced in about 17 posts, so I won't bore you with it again!!!

There is seriously nothing better than not having to work on a holiday. Can I get a "what, what!?" from the other medical professionals out there!?

So this Thanksgiving, I will eat my weight in things that have the word "potato" in them, laugh with my family, drink some good wine, and just enjoy the time off while reflecting on the things that I am grateful for.

*Quality time with my family
*Extra snuggle time in the mornings with my man
*Nursing my hot cup of java in an oversized mug
*My mom's mashed potatoes....these are serious folks!
*Laughing HARD late into the night with my sister, hubby and brother in-law
*A great glass of cabernet
*My 2 incredible boot finds recently at the thrift store
*Comfy clothes
*Pretty earrings
*Best friends that you don't have to "try" with
*Great interval workouts
*Christmas music on the radio during long road trips to grammys
*A fall candle that makes my house smell SO yummy (thank you CL!!)
*Sparkling water

What are you grateful for this year!?

I hope you enjoy your holiday, with family, friends, laughter and good food this year! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Just another reason

As if I needed another reason to love my job, here's another!

It's not very often that we get to take care of kids that are "well" enough to do things like sit up in bed or talk to us or draw pictures.

But this little cutie was able to do all of the above....and HOW MUCH FUN!!!
And just in case it wasn't clear who the picher (ahem, picture) belongs to, this was also included on the back:
Awww, thank you super cute PICU patient! You make days like today just fly by. And it's days like today that make the days where we don't sit down at all, don't pee, and barely scarf down a snack seem just a bit more bearable.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Order Entry

When I was in grad school....

*wow- I say that like I've been done for 20 years. It's been 2 months people!

Anways, when I was in grad school, one of the things they teach you is how to enter orders into the computer system.

Some order entries simply require the click of a button because the order is already in the computer system as part of an "order set."

Other orders require the provider to actually type in what they want.

Which is where problems like this can happen:
Apparently this resident didn't read what he wrote. Or he read it and didn't think anything was wrong with it. Which is a much bigger problem!

Now for those non-medical people out there, "PO" essentially means "by mouth"...AKA: to eat or drink.

*Here is where my hubby is going back to the picture to re-read...and then get's it...and then scruntches up his face which makes me laugh. Every time! Love it!

Now that everyone is up to date....can we all say "EWWWWWWWWWWW!!!" Lets NOT make our patient drink their urine output as replacement!!

Thank you!

And to make matters funnier, the nurse taking care of this patient went to the resident and said, "You know, the patient is just NOT being cooperative. No matter what I do, I cannot get her to drink her urine output! Should I put an NG down to feed it to her?"

The resident didn't think it was funny.

But all the nurses did. And really that's all that matters!

Oh I love my job!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Ohhhh! 11 has always been my favorite number! I don't say "lucky" b/c I don't know that I've ever really won anything with 11 in it!

But it's definitely been my favorite. And it was my soccer # all the way until college.

So Happy 11-11-11 to you all!

I will be celebrating 80's style for a friends birthday. Because clearly a day like today requires a throwback to the 80's : ) It will be filled with crimpy hair, lots of makeup, off the shoulder shirts, and even leg warmers!
I think it's safe to say we all are hoping the 'stash is NEVER coming back!!! And I think it's also probably safe to say that it's a good thing it's 2011 b/c clearly I only have one picture face in the 80's!
Dance Central Baby!!

80's: "Like, this girl is like, totally awesome!"
11-11-11: My bestie....my BFF : )

So Happy 80's style 11/11/11 to you! How will you be celebrating this momentous day!?

Oh....not so momentous to everyone? Alright, well happy Friday anyways! Like Totally!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


SO many people the past few months have asked me what it feels like to be done with school!

In fact, I pretty much feel like every conversation at work starts with "Soooo....how's being done with school!?"

Which I don't mind, b/c I love being done! Like, REALLY love it!!!

It feels like freedom!! Which reminds me of this: Only I'm a nurse, not a warrior. And people would be concerned for my health if I painted my face blue...blue is NOT our favorite color in the PICU! And I'd probably get fired if I swung around a metal stick at the patients. But you get the point!

*On a total side note, I love how in this picture everyone is trying to be so manly and warrior-esque...except the smaller man in the lower right corner who's just smiling away! Apparently he didn't get the memo! He's more like "Look at me mom, I made the movie!" Ohh, or how sad if this IS his best manly warrior-esque face!

Wow- totally digressing!

Anyways, back to the "How does it feel to be done with school?" question. That is the easy one.

The question that ALWAYS follows is "So what are you going to do now?"

To which I want to reply:

-Nothing...I'm going to do nothing. And I like it!
-Umm, just stay in this PICU forever, b/c I love it!
-Go home and drink a glass a wine...and not think about what I am going to do!
-I have no idea!!!

So you can see the theme above. It's almost as if I pretend I don't need to/want to find a new job as a nurse practitioner, then I won't have to do it.

But someday, I will start looking.

Just not this week. Because really, I love where I am at. And because I won this. So who wants to be the newbie at a hospital and get stuck working ALL the holidays when I don't have to!?!?

Glad you agree with me!

So here's to some more procrastination (which goes against EVERYTHING I have EVER believed in up until this point in my life!). What have you been putting off lately!?

Awful vs Awesome

Last Friday I went to a Nursing Leadership conference on top of working my 3 shifts that week. Instead of just telling you about it, I've decided to do a breakdown of the awful and the awesome...because there were plenty of both!

Awful: Being in the car for an hour and a half to get there...and 2 1/2 hours to get home!
Awesome: Now knowing by heart every single word to Moves Like Jagger, Party Rock Anthem, and Rolling in the Deep because I heard them about 7 times each!

Awful: Making the weirdest, most awkward face as I was standing to be announced as the recipient of the Pinnacle Nurse Leader award from my institution...and holding it for the entire 6 minutes that other names were being read!
Awesome: The fact that I won the Pinnacle Nurse Leader award- score for putting something really good on my APN resume!

Awful: Steamed carrots for lunch...ugh, no matter how many times I try to like them, I just can't!
Awesome: The rest of the lunch- great salad and cheese platter, some really awesome yellow stuff that I want to call polenta but nobody really knew what it was, and chicken
REALLY Awesome: The dessert plate! Whoa mama this one was incredible!!
Awful: Having our table assigned to be in the back...by the nurses that are chatty. And the one's that are apparently hard of hearing b/c they kept saying "What did he say!?" And the ones that despite 2 reminders still did not put their phones on vibrate- no I don't want to "Get Jiggy With It" right now...maybe later.
Not quite Awful, but not Awesome either: The fact that the keynote speaker was a physician...at a NURSING leadership conference, really!?!?
Awesome: The fact that the physician giving the keynote speech kept saying he never could have done his job without his nursing and nurse practitioner colleagues. Yes this is OH.SO.TRUE! Brownie points for that!

Awful: Not getting paid for my 4 hours of drive time...yes, sorry, this again. It was dreadful!
Awesome: Getting paid for 4 hours of eating great food, getting an award, and listening to one speech.

Awful: Having an uber awkward introduction to the Chief Nursing Executive who I met/had conversations with the entire shuttle ride to the conference from our hospital...we sat right next to each other. Why neither of us didn't interrupt the person and say, "Yes, not only have we met, but we know what we had for dinner last night, our favorite vacation spots, and what our weekend plans are" is beyond me!
Awesome: Having the Chief Nursing Exec ask what my plans were in regards to finding an APN job, and her telling me she would make sure that I got a great job in an area that I want!

Awful: The fact that as much as I want to be a "nurturer," that word only applies to me in the PICU...because I kill every plant (and most animals, unfortunately) that find their way into my house.
Awesome: The fact that I won the gorgeous centerpiece- a beautiful stainless steel pot that matches our kitchen housing an orchid. Not that orchids are hard to keep alive or anything! Still, this was totally awesome! I almost jumped out of my chair fist pumping and screaming "Oh Yeah Baby!"...but luckily, refrained!

So there ya have it. That was the Nursing Leadership Conference in a nutshell...both the awful and the awesome!

What has been awful and awesome for you lately!?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Do I have a sign that reads....

"PLEASE TRIPLE ME EVERY TIME I WORK" plastered on my forehead!?

In bright red letters?

And in 7 different languages so ALL people can read it!?

I must, b/c two out of the 3 shifts that I worked this week I was tripled. And the third shift I had meetings, so it doesn't really count.

I know I mentioned being tripled on my Halloween post. But it happened again yesterday.

And being tripled on a Saturday in the PICU is never a good sign. In fact, you can pretty much sum up your entire day once you get that assignment.
I'm not going to rant. In fact, I'm going to keep this post short. So that I can savor every single minute of the fact that I'm NOT back at work today! Hallelujah!

But I will say that having the three patients I had yesterday meant that I did not eat until 4:15pm, did not pee until approximately 5:15 pm, and while I did drink about 100 oz of water, it was consumed between the hours of 4 and 7 pm.

Talk about peeing every 10 minutes. But I was SOO thirsty. From all my hard work.

So today, I will not think about work (anymore!) Instead, I will get my church on, and then come home and do absolutely nothing more than relax with my man. And eat some great food. Probably enough to make up for a lack of food yesterday : )

Relaxing + My Man + Great (and lot!) Food

Now that's a triple I can smile about!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Nursing Advice of the Week

I know that I said in this post that I don't generally give out advice regarding adults. But I want to take that back.

Are take-backs allowed!?

Umm, it's my blog so I'm saying yes. Who needs to follow the rules anyways!

So back to my advice. I suggest you listen to it carefully and take it to heart. If not followed precisely, you may find yourself in a PICU.

Well, ok, not a PICU....you're too old for that. But you would if you weren't an adult.

So here it goes:

If you find yourself at your gym after a great workout where you lifted weights until your muscles couldn't lift anymore and you incorporated cardio until you thought your heart would pop out of your chest, well first of all good for you. But second of all, if you are planning on taking a shower at said gym, take GREAT caution.

You see, when your muscles are fatigued, like really fatigued, they tend to shake. And shaking muscles do not tend to mix well with standing on one leg in a gym shower while trying to shave the other. With flip flops on. And a slippery (eww!) floor.

In fact, you may even slip in that (eww!) slippery shower! And on the way down, you may try to reach for the only thing available....the shower handle.

The shower handle that apparently isn't fixated onto the wall but controls the temperature of the water by turning about 60 degrees in either direction. And in the direction that you are currently falling it turns it bitterly cold.

As the handle didn't slow down your fall, you think perhaps the flimsy plastic shower curtain will. But nope, that will just rip out of the 2 rings that it was barely attached to on one side. At least you didn't rip it out entirely!

But this leaves you hitting your shin on the pseudo-4 inch step that separates the shower from the outside walkway (WHY do they have these anyways...the water still pours out of the shower into the hall drain!?).

And as your hands hit the floor (EWW!) you think, YUP that most definitely hurt!

But even worse, the woman in the next shower (who of course is like 70 and overweight and SO not afraid to show her neked body!) opens her shower curtain to make sure I was ok.

Well, I'm naked looking up at your nakedness. I'm also cold b/c there's frigid water pouring over me right now. My shin is banged up. And my whole body is shaking relentlessly from that blasted workout I just finished!

I've never been better! *Ahem* I mean, YOU have never been better!

Oh, but it does get better. As you quickly try to stand up again and get back into your shower stall (and hoping the elderly large naked woman will also do the same!), there is a very large, very disgusting BLACK hairball stuck to your left shoulder.

You may or may not have very not black hair. Perhaps very blonde hair!

This is clearly NOT your hair! Which will promptly initiate your gag reflex. Big time.

But the thought of the lady next door thinking that you've actually hit your head really hard and are now vomiting (which would require medical attention!) makes it go away as quickly as it came!

So you finish the shower and make your way out of that gym with one bruised shin and one majorly sore, shaking body. Which is obviously not fun!

So there's my nursing advice for the day. Don't work out so hard you can't stop the muscle convulsions should you need to balance on one leg while shaving the other in the stall of a gym shower which will lead you to fall and mess yourself up in more ways than one!

This story- which CLEARLY has never happened to me! And most definitely NOT this week!- should be your fair warning to keep you out of the PICU.

Or the adult version of the same.

And if there were an embarrassment ICU, well, it would keep you out of there as well!

But if you do find yourself there, you can pop your head in and say hi to me : )

What have you done to warrant an admission to embarrassment ICU? Please don't leave me here alone!

***If you want to try this amazing workout that caused this debacle (which she would not condone I'm sure...this is ALL on me!), you can check it out here. This woman is NO joke. She's a nurse too, and she'll kick your booty!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Even the best of them need a bit of WD-40!

I'm pretty sure if you've read this blog for any amount of time that it is clear I love my job.

I LOVE my job!

One of the reasons is that when people come together in the PICU we work like a well oiled machine. Our team of PICU doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and nursing assistants just know our role and responsibility and make things happen. It's quite magical : )

Sometimes though, this "well oiled machine" needs a bit of WD-40!

I was reading another nursing blog the other day (you can check it out here) and her post reminded me of times that just make you think, seriously!?

Exhibit A (yes, you can call me Magnum, R.N. today!): Respiratory therapist is doing a breathing treatment in the patients room. She apparently calls out for the nurse (that's me) twice. Loudly. So loudly in fact that a physician walking by asks if everything is ok. When she says "No, I just need the nurse" the physician walks into another patient room where I was doing something important. I'm told the therapist really needs me next door. Upon rushing in there, she tells me "The patient has a poopy diaper. I mean REALLY poopy!!"

SERIOUSLY!?!? You take me away from doing legit patient stuff to TELL me there is a poopy diaper!? Since when am I the only one qualified to change poopy diapers. Last time I check there is all of the diaper stuff at the end of the bed.

And nowhere in my job description does it spell out that I am a diaper changing champion (though I am that good!). Thanks for letting me know. As soon as I'm done making sure the kid next door is breathing appropriately, I'll get right on that poopy diaper!

Exhibit B: Anesthesia brings my patient in from the OR. In order to get them out of the room the quickest, we have to take a temp and tell them what it is. Then they leave, which is nice...really folks, there's only so much space in these patient rooms! Upon taking the temp, I state that it's 35.4C- well gee, there's a surprise. A patient coming from the OR is cold!

The anesthesiologist says, "Wow, this patient needs warming!" Thanks! Good thing you got your big doctor degree, b/c I would never have figured that one out with only my nursing degree!

So I tell him "The warming blankets are right outside the room to the left. Right next to the sink. In the metal warming cabinet." I also threw in "Or we have warming lamps in our equipment room" for good measure, but figured he wouldn't have a clue how to meander over there.

After a few minutes while I'm still getting the patient settled, the anesthesiologist who disappeared for a bit comes back in the room. He looks at the patient and says "Why is this patient not being warmed!?"

To which I say, "Umm, I gave you perfectly good directions to find the warming blankets. Everyone in the room currently has hands on the patient and is actively involved in care. When you walked out I thought you were getting the blankets."

He walked out of the room looking a bit sheepish.

Two minutes later, a near-by nurse walked into our room carrying a big bundle of warming blankets. I looked at her dumbfounded! Apparently Mr Anesthesiologist went into the hall and told the nurse that I was in need of blankets. He never came back in!


Exhibit C: A resident walks into a patient room (oh wow- this could take about 100 different directions, and have equally as many punchlines!). Anyways, the resident walks into the room VERY early in the morning to do her assessment. She un-swaddles the baby that I just got back to sleep after master-swaddling, rocking, and "shushing" back to sleep. The baby of course cries. Scratch that...he screams! And with that, the resident completes her exam and she walks out.

It's then that she tells me, "Umm, your baby is crying. A lot."

Ya Think!?!?

Upon entering the room the patient is flailing around in the crib. With his diaper hanging on by one velcro snap. He is definitely not bundled, and the blanket whereabouts are even yet to be determined! What in the world did this resident DO during the exam!?

And yet, instead of following the motto of Leaving Things As You Find Them (or Better, as my mom always taught me. Or maybe that was Girl Scouts. Either way, its important!) the resident just walks away.

Thanks! Because I didn't seriously just spend 18 minutes trying to get this kid quiet and back to sleep. And because you didn't just ramshackle his entire world in a matter of 2 minutes which will now take approximately 47 minutes to pull back together!

*Unfortunately this resident story could be told in about 25 different ways probably by every nurse that ever lived, replacing the word "resident" with "fellow" "attending" or any doctor for that matter! I have about 30 of my own!


But every great machine needs greased every once and while, right? Certainly, the PICU is no exception.

Once that WD-40 is sprayed on, things begin to move a lot smoother. So is true with the PICU....give us a good dose of nursing calling it like it is and coordinating optimal patient care (b/c really that is the oil in the PICU), and we can go right back into our routine!

What a fine "machine" we are : )