Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Vent

Quoting another ED nurse:

Ok,..was gonna try to stay out of this,.but I just can't help myself! I agree that this is a great place to vent. This is supposed to be a safe place to vent. A place to let out all my frustrations away from patients and co workers. A place to verbalize all those thoughts that I would NEVER, EVER say to someones face while at work! A place to voice my opinions to other health professionals who understand where I'm coming from.

I don't expect solutions to my frustrations. I don't expect someone to tell me how to fix everything and make my job a day at the park. It just makes me feel better to write it all down and get it out! It makes me feel better for someone who understands to say "yeah, I'm with you there!". If occasionally I learn something in the process of venting then good for me! If commenting to someone else's vent makes them chuckle or breathe a little easier that's great.

I've been a nurse for a long time and I do understand that those who aren't in the medical field don't always understand what I'm venting about. I've often whined about something to my husband (a non medical person) that seemed like an obvious situation to whine about and he looks at me like I'm crazy! I then have to go into more detail about my complaint and sometimes he will understand.

That's why I come here! I shouldn't have to explain to any of my fellow nurses how it makes me feel when a 22yr old tells me he has abd pain 14/10, can't keep anything down, while eating Cheeto's and coke, talking on his cell phone! There is no need to explain my initial thoughts when he then tells me he has no medical hx, takes no reg meds and is allergic to Tylenol, toradol, haldol, vistaril, naprosyn, ultram, and phenergan!

I come to this site because we are all in the same boat. We are all caring, compassionate, well educated, professionals who are trying to do the best we can for our pts. We get frustrated when, because of situations beyond our control, we can't do our jobs!

I would never, ever, tell a new Mom, who is worried about her 8mo olds 2hr temp of 102 that she is wasting my time and resources by coming to the ER instead of running to walmart to buy some tylenol! I would never, ever tell the man with back pain for "about 2yrs now, no one can figure out what's causing it" that he needs to loose 100lbs and find a family doc to take care of these "flair ups".

BUT,.when that same Mom comes up to the triage desk and complains that they have been waiting "almost an hour" and "people who came in after us have already gone back" and then gets nasty with me when I explain that the sickest pts go first, I'm gonna come to allnurses and VENT! I would so love to take that Mom by the hand, take her back to Rm 3 the 6yr old who was found in the bottom of the pool, then to Rm 5 the 18yr old unrestrained driver of a roll over MVI who was ejected, then to Rm 8 the 60yr old who suddenly couldn't speak and has a L sided facial droop, Rm 24 the 22yr old ruptured ectopic with a BP of 54/20 who is bleeding out faster than we can put it in and of course OR is full! I would so love to put everything in perspective for that Mom,..but alas,..I can't,..I won't.

I come to this site to vent to other nurses! To those that know exactly what I'm feeling. I don't vent to my neighbor or my hairdresser. I'm not directing my vent to any patient or family member. I'm here to talk to other like minded professionals!

If you have stumbled in to this site as a non medical person, just looking for an interesting read, or free medical advice you should be prepared for what you might see. Nursing can be a very unpleasant job at times. We see people at their worst. We see things on a regular bases that most people will never witness in their lives. We are expected to leave the room of a dead 3yr old and smile and ask Mrs Jones if "there's anything we can do for her, I have the time".

We are expected to understand that when the doc orders 100 of Morphine, he really meant Fentanyl. We understand why our pt with SOB really does need an 18g in the AC. We understand why a pt with abd pain must stay NPO. We know how to do our jobs and we do understand that non medical people don't understand!!

I find it insulting for a non medical person to make judgments on how I do a job that they couldn't do. I don't argue with my mechanic about the best way to fix my car. I don't argue with the electrician about how to fix my furnace. WHY WHY do people think it's ok to not only argue with us, but accuse us of being cold, and uncaring when we are doing a job that many people say they could never do?

I must stop,..if you are a non medical person and are offended by what is said on this nursing site,'s simple,...see that little red box with the white X in the top right corner of the screen? Click it!

You ROCK lady!