11.14.2010

Can I rant for a minute (or 20)?

Seriously, are people honestly dumb and oblivious, or do I just attract that kind of population? Come on, guys! At work, to get into the CCU (critical care unit) you have to be buzzed in. There is a phone that rings at two nurses stations. One is for rooms 1-8 and the other 9-16. Once approved, the door clicks-your signal that it's unlocked. You do need to pull on it to go through it. It's not automatic and will NOT open for you. Once you go through the door, there is a sign right in front of you telling you that rooms 1-8 are to the left and 9-16 to the right. Granted, it says "<-- 3c1-3c8, 3c9-3c16 --->" so I can see how that would be confusing, since all the rooms are not listed. I mean, who's to say where 3c3 would be. I guess you could just pick one, or try to think (gasp!) logically that room 3c2 would be close to 3c1...or maybe not. But let's say that you go right, looking for room 3c4. Ok, look at the first room you come to. See the room number right at eye level next to the door, 3c9?? No? What about the one right above the doorway? Great. Now, go to the next one. If it goes down, you're getting closer. If it goes up, turn around and go the other way. Oh, look room 3c8, and now room 3c7. Think that if you keep going, you might run into 3c4? Hmm, somehow, I don't think you were any good at those questions "Look at the pattern 'A B C A B _' and fill in the blank. But, if you must ask for directions, try to explain which room you're looking for. I mean, I don't know who you are. I have no clue what relation you are to which ill person. If you tell me, "I'm looking for my sister-in-law's mama's boyfriend's son" I will look at you blankly and wish I could tell you he jumped out the window. So you give me the person's name, just make sure you give him the last name. I don't really know them by Jimmy or Amanda. I barely remember their last name (I really don't want to get personal with them, beacsue some don't have good outcomes). Or, you could just tell me which room. And, to make it even more fun, mix the letters up. Or, add in a few extra ones. 8-3c and 3-8c and 3bc6 and 7cc3 make me want to cry. But I can't put the blame solely on the ignorant masses. We have information desks who's job is to--get this!-- tell people which room they're looking for. So, theoretically, when Ms Distant-friend wants to be nosy and see how Ms ChestPain is doing, the information desk's job is to hand them a sticker and say "Ms ChestPain is in room 3c4" (3cc4 would have been acceptable, too). If the visitors forget this, which is totally understandable on the journey up the elevator shaft, they could look on the sticker. It says which room AND which floor, AND they're color coded!! So, if you get off on the 3rd floor and try to get into room 4cc5, I will NOT let you in, no matter what floor you think this is. Yes, I will make you walk the long trek back to the elevator to go up one more floor. Yes, you will have to pick up the phone up there too.
One more thing. This is super important! We have restrictions on visitors AND visiting hours. They are posted on the sign that says "Please read before entering CCU." I'm just going to hit the most important ones.
  • NO visitors allowed until 8am and between 6pm and 8pm, and after 9/10pm (that's pretty vague, but I tell people 9pm, so the sick ones can sleep.) I do make an exception if momma is jumping out of bed and you can keep her in bed, or if daddy is *this close* to dying. I'm not heartless!
  • NO food or drink. Yeah, you really want to pick up some of these bugs we keep here. MRSA in your mouth, anyone?
  • NO kids under 12. Kids are germy. We have many compromised bodies back here. They don't need extra germy.
  • Only two visitors at a time. We do have reasons. First, when all 6 of you are here, there is no room for me, and I can promise you that what I'm doing is more important that what you are. Second, if auntie were to spiral down, you 6 would be taking up too much room that our code cart could not fit and she might die. Third, these room are small and close. Yes, granddaddy might not be critical, but the one next door is, and all your rambutioning is distressing him. Fourth, it's easier for me to deal with you two at a time. That's my honest reasoning. I don't want to, nor have to, explain myself to your whole family. My job is for the body in the bed and wife/husband/SO.
I am not afraid to enter a room and enforce said rules. I have done this on many occasions. I don't care who you are or who your family is. On that sign that you were supposed to read, it says that nursing staff have the right and ability to change the rules if needed. If there are two people in the room, and I deem it best (for my sanity and grammie's) that you leave now, you'd better leave.

I've had visitors bang on our entry door when they couldn't figure out how to open it. Not just knock, like full fisted banging. When he passed by, I asked him (very politely!) "Sir, please do not bang on the door. I don't want it broken or you hurt." I thought it was appropriate, I guess I was wrong, because he glared at me and said "I AIN'T GONNA BREAK YOUR DOOR!!" Well, excuse me, but if YOU do, YOU don't end up paying for it. I DO, in lost bonus and budget cuts. And if I tell you that we are closed for visitors due to daily rounds (docs, pharmacy, nutrition, RN have a powwow), don't threaten me. I KNOW FOR A FACT that your daddy is not leaving in 5 minutes to go down for his test. His nurse is in rounds and will be for 5 more mins, plus, transportation isn't that timely! (Side note, he didn't go down for 3 more hours!) Yup, all the same disrespectful visitor. Sad though, his dad came back a few days later, ended up going to OR had a major complication and died. But, that still doesn't excuse his son's/grandson's behavior (not sure which he was).

I deserve as much respect as you do. Just because I'm getting paid to wipe that butt doesn't mean that you can treat us like scum. You want us to respect you, respect us. Thanks.


Just to clarify, not every visitor is like this, but the bad ones over-shadow the good ones. The good ones bring us fudge and cookies and home-baked goodies :D

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