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I feel like complaining a little about work

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I just finished one of the worst rotations at work I have had in a very long time, and it may be the sleep deprivation talking but I would like to share with someone who isn't knee deep in the blood and feces with me. Some background; I am an orthopedic technologist at a level 1 trauma center, meaning I do the bone stuff and all the trauma stuff, in addition to the regular ER things. Last week we had a bad trauma, in short the kid died. Wasn't really a kid, individual was grown enough that this particular life was taken solely by stupidity (wear your damn seatbelt) but for some reason, this one trauma, out of so many, managed to hit the whole of the night shift crew hard. The trauma nurse that night, a very dear friend to me, took this one personal for some reason, every now and then a loss will hit home. She has been tore up for days about it, and to top it off she cought her man in bed with another woman when she came home from work a few days later. Having my nurses, and my friends in distress gets me more than any death ever has. I guess it's part of the whole high stress environment team thing where high stress brings those who endure it together closer. So I've had that on my mind and it's keeping me up half the day while I should sound asleep. Other than that my hospital is critically short staffed. The patient I previously mentioned, required me to run 2 rapid infusion machines, something so far above my pay grade I shouldn't never do. I have been responsable for 10 patients, plus all the ortho patients, and trauma all last week. That is not fun. My pay is about half the national average for my job title, with no hope of that improving, but I get by fine, just not as fine as I want, but who makes as much as they want. This week I have had more poo on me than I ever have before. Now, blood, I've been covered in that so many times this week I now have a full wordrobe worth of "scrubs of shame" from this week. Blood is fine, but when you get done cleaning memaw and 2 hours later you finally sit down and see a poo streak on your knee that you can't figure out how it got there, it's just annoying. In the 6 years I have worked in health care, there is one single bodily fluid I have not at least had on my shoes, and it's not the one you think/hope it is. Getting contaminated is part of the job, but seriously, 3 changes of scrubs in one day is too much. The psych patients this rotation have been off the damn chain. I'm guessing that there is a bad batch of meth floating around East Tennessee right now and I get to deal with the aftermath. To top the meth problem off, my favorite doctor is spending the month in Utah. He likes to deal with potentially violent patients with a bit of etomidate and rocuronium (the stuff doctors use to intubeate/put on a ventilator) and that makes perfect sense. We can't help these people untill they come down and are able to talk to the psych people. I fancy my self a professional meth head wrangler, but these people have been a bit much lately. It's dangerous and it's only a matter of time before one of my nurses get hurt. 6'4" meth head vs 5'1" nurse isn't a pretty picture and that worries me. I personally have never had much issue with the meth heads, I guess I'm just scary looking, but they have never tried to fight me. The ones that will not hesitate to swing at me are dementia patients and we have had alot of those lately too. Most of the time it's funny in the safest way possible. A few months back we had one we put in the safety mittens, think cotton boxing gloves. This patient hated me because I agreed to be the one to blame for all the stuff we did. It works well to give dementia patients someone to channel their anger at, it lets the nurses work and the worst I usually get is told how mean I am. But this one, with her mittens on, wanted to fight and stared to beat me in the face, this patient weighed in at maybe 80lb and with the mittens those punches were adorable. I was told, while I was being beat, that I "should act more like a lady" I straightened my moustache and told her I tried that once, and my wife made me take off her dress. The EMS guys loved that one. To sum up my rant, people suck, and being sick or hurt or just plain scared bring out the worst in people, and that is usually how I meet them. Every day I encounter some one on the first, last, best and worst day of their lives, and as much as it sucks, I'll do it again and again untill some poor bastard gets to put my fat ass in the cooler like I have with so many others. It's a weird, poop covered circle of life I live in, but as much as I tend to hate it, I love what I do.
 
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As a fellow healthcare worker I can relate to many of the things in your post. Not many people have the balls/fortitude/patience to do what you do, especially in the ED/trauma areas, and especially with the psych patients.

I currently oversee an outpatient psych/behavioral health clinic but majority of of our clients are stable. Still some have more acute issues but it's pretty rare. Also as an addictions counselor and previous director of a detox, can definitely agree that co-occurring clients are some of the most difficult.

Hardest part for any healthcare worker is to process all that junk and then leave it at work, especially if you are working extra, outside your realm, short staffed, etc. It sounds like you and your staff there have tolerated a lot there but eventually it can all boil over. Just try and take it one day/moment/patient at a time, and don't forget to take care of yourself between patients or shifts!

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Cigary43

Just Another Ashhole
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And I think my day can be horrible when the k cup in my Keurig gets twisted up and won't make a cup of coffee...

Bless you for making the rest of us look like whiny lil bitches who don't know what the hard work in life really is.
 
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@Trenton
I certainly can relate to how you feel. I’m not in healthcare but this is my 23rd year as a police officer and I was also a volunteer firefighter/emt for a long time. It is difficult when you almost always see people at their worst. It certainly takes its toll on you. My son is about to finish college and decided to go to nursing school for his RN. He recently took a part time job at an area hospital in the psych ward babysitting patients on the graveyard shift. He’s only been there a month and at times coming home looking like he’s been in a combat zone so my hats off to the both of you. Thank you for what you do. The hard work you guys in the medical field isn’t always glamorous but you make a huge difference in people’s life so keep fighting the good fight.
It helps me when I can pick out even the smallest of good in an otherwise crappy day to get up and do it again the next day. Like these three little ladies I got to meet the other day. The sunlight is always there, we just have to look for it sometime.
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First think you for an you do! I couldn't imagine working in Trauma like you do. Seen plenty of bad stuff and deal with many psych patients but don't have to try to put them back together like you do.

If it helps rant here as much as you like.

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Mr. Nice

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I know how you feel...
This entire nation is at the breaking point for understaffed and overworked hospitals. With reimbursement from insurance becoming less and less, the hardest workers are the ones who feel the pain the most. Being at mostly teaching institutions the past 10 years has really opened my eyes. What was that famous saying from the shaolin temple ? 'Cash rules everything around me.....CREAM...get the money...'?

What helps me is the camaraderie I share amongst the people who share the same feelings I have after the thankless, blood spattered, emotionally abused days and nights...
Also a really sick and twisted sense of humor helps a whole bunch.
 
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I really want to thank you guys for your support. Having an outlet to vent is one of the best things I have found to destress when things get rough, that and a good midnight smoke.
 
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I can feel for you being in healthcare on that side of the bed for 14 years. And I've had my share of those days/nights of scrub changes, the psych patients and so forth. I could probably sit down with you for hours and talk nothing but the things I've seen that'll forever be etched in my memory- good and bad. Add being a volunteer firefighter for the past 15 years too. But sadly, needed to give that up just to survive here in "NO" York and keep working. So I guess you can say, I've been on both sides. I too fear for my co workers and their well being especially if they need to properly apprehend a patient regardless of where they are....

One thing I've learned, don't be afraid to speak up to someone and talk about it. The good outcomes and the bad.
 
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