Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Odds & Ends

I finished up my evening shift training this week, and it's official: I like 2nd shift better. Not having to wake up at 5am is a big plus, as is only having one meal (dinner) during the shift. The sundowning residents are a drawback. The biggest reason is the coworkers, though. The eve shift coworkers are much more laid back and helpful - day shift coworkers have (99% of the time) been helpful with me (probably because I'm new) but with one another? Not always. Plus one showed up with a disgusting infected finger and was about to go out on the floor to work until we all basically tackled her and got the charge nurse to look at it and send her to a clinic STAT. Ew. No common sense on that coworker, that's for sure.

Tip for the common sense impaired: if any part of your body is swollen and infected, and especially if it's leaking pus, GO HOME AND GO TO THE DOCTOR. Infection can spread to your bloodstream and kill you.

Moving on.

Funniest conversation I had with a resident this week:

Lady (freshly out of the shower, seated safely on dry chair & towel): Can you dry my back?

Me: Sure, here we go.

Coworker pops in, hands me a med cup full of ointment: This is her ointment from the nurse, can you put it on when you do her pericare?

Me: Sure, where?

Coworker: (makes incomprehensible hand gestures)

Me: Bottom or vagina?

Coworker: vagina.

Me: okay thanks.

Lady: Are you gonna put that on my vagina?

Me: Yes Ma'm, I am.

Lady: Do you know what you're doing?

Me: Yes Ma'm, I have my gloves on so I won't give you any germs, and I do know how to do this.

Lady: Well... all right then. Wait a minute. Are you married? (giving me the suspicious stink-eye)

Me (heroically not laughing): Yes Ms. Smith, I'm married. I promise this will not be a personal thrill for me, I just want you to stay healthy, and this is my job. Okay?

Lady (relived): Oh all right then.

I swear, I never know what these people are going to come up with. And what was up with my coworker's crazy gestures? I'm going to do that to her next time I see her. In no world is what she did a gesture for vagina. Maybe "pick up a lobster this way" or "the elves heads are shaped this way" but not "vagina not hiney".

Coolest medical phenomenon I saw this week: Raynaud's phenomenon. It's not harmful or painful or anything, just a startling color change in extremeties when someone is exposed to temperature change. Such as getting out of a warm shower. One of my resident's fingers looked a lot like this photo from wikipedia (the bananafingers not the blue ones). Charge nurse checked and confirmed that was all it was, and they were back to normal very quickly. I'd heard about Raynaud's on a podcast but hadn't seen it in person before, so that was cool.

Other than that, I'm doing my state-required training for the last 3 days of the week, so that'll be boring but maybe useful, and definitely not too tough. Which is good since I burned up my throat with an unfortunate burrito-from-taco-truck choice yesterday and it's still sore, so it's nice not to have to speak EXTRA LOUD for anyone for a bit. Sidenote - wish I could handle spicy food better.

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