If you read my "Venting" blog, you know that work wasn't so great on Sunday, and I was feeling maybe a little more than slightly discouraged.
Monday morning when I got up to go to work, I was determined that it would be a new day. I had some really good prayer time in the car on the way to work.
When I got to work, not only did we have a unit clerk, but we also had four nurses and an assistant nurse manager. Yay for not being short-staffed! This meant that I would have five patients instead of six, and they were the same patients I had had on Sunday, which was also nice. I like to get to know my patients, and all of my patients had been good despite having lots of stuff going on.
I guess I'll start with how God answered my prayers. I prayed first of all that I would have a good attitude no matter what, even if I was falling behind. Amazingly, I felt really peaceful all day long and was quite cheery. I also prayed again that I would be able to be a blessing to at least one person. It was really cool how God answered that prayer.
There was one patient I had who was supposed to have a test done where we draw his blood, then give him some medicine and draw his blood again in 30 minutes. It was supposed to have been done on the night shift, but it got missed because for some reason the lab computers still had him listed as being in the ER, despite the fact that he had been on our floor for over 24 hours. What this meant is that all of his lab slips printed out in the ER and not on our floor, so no one ended up drawing his labs. I managed to get the mess straightened out and he was able to be discharged that afternoon. When I was giving him his discharge papers, his wife thanked me for all that I had done and told me that I had been one of the best nurses they've had.
Another of my patients had some of his family around, and his wife and daughter kept asking me a lot of questions. So I got to spend lots of time talking to them. When I was about to leave to give report for the next shift, his wife said to me, "Thank you so much. You've been such a good nurse."
Close to 5 pm I got a new patient that transferred from another hospital. He was such a sweet old man, but he was horribly confused. I asked him if he knew where he was and his response was: "Well of course. I'm just sittin' up here on top of the mountain." I asked him if he knew what year it was and he said, "Yes, well, it's sometime after 7." I clarified that I was wondering if he knew what year it was, not what time it was, and he replied that it was "773." Again, he was pleasantly confused.
His daughter came a bit after he arrived on our floor, and she was a flurried mess. I felt so much for her. She explained that she really didn't trust the people at the other hospital and had been trying to get him transferred to ours for a long time. As I got together his medications and asked her some more questions, I realized that the other hospital had really not taken good care of him at all and things were a mess. She kept saying to me, "Please, you guys fix him. I know you can help him." When I was getting ready to leave, I got to talk to her some more, and she thanked me for everything I had done.
It was just really nice that I had three out of six patients that day who appreciated what I'd done (whether it was big or small) and that took the time to thank me. It was neat that God helped me to feel like I'd made a difference.
Work was still insane. I had five patients to start with. Things went crazy around 4 pm when we had to have an unexpected bedside procedure, and then I got discharge orders on 3 of the 4 patients I had left (one had been discharged earlier in the day), and a new patient came around 5 pm. Unfortunately, none of my discharges were simple, they all had issues that really needed a case manager to work on, but since she had already gone home, the assistant nurse manager worked on doing all of the discharges (apparently we attempted to send half the floor home, I think there was a total of something like 11 discharges on a 21 bed floor). She jokingly said to me, "Kristin, next time I work with you, I'm going to make the case manager stay until you leave."
Anyway, I ended up getting out of work an hour late because I was trying to catch up on charting, and I stayed to help Mitch finish discharging one of the patients. But despite all of that, I felt good. I was exhausted, but I was happy and didn't get frustrated or discouraged.
God is good.
There is one more thing that I'm not sure if I'm going to write more about later. The unexpected bedside procedure. I'm actually kind of worried about what happened, and I just pray that nothing bad happens to my patient. Anyway, I may write about it later. I just don't know. It was more than slightly disconcerting.