Sunday, July 19, 2009


When I first started as a medic for the FD, the ED was typified by "The Big Nurse". Think Julie London on the TV show Emergency, but maybe not so intelligent and more concerned with keeping her power than helping anyone out. I remember working with this one old coot who believed everyone was out to get pain meds. OK. many people are, but when a man comes in with a distended bladder and a urologist tells the nurse to give him 50 Demerol and 25 visteril because he is going to dilate the ureter with a file-a-form set (little probes that screw onto bigger probes) I was assisting the Doc and I knew the guy had not gotten his shot. The Doc did not know it, so he comes in and says all ready? Then he starts ramming these things up the mans penis and the guy just about levitates off the bed. Doc asks me, when he got the injection and I say it's not charted here. Well the Doc goes nuts and finds the nurse who makes up some story about not getting the order. I got to tell you, in all my years I came as close to passing out from psychogenic shock when he screwed the first filo-form prob in and the patient hit the ceiling. Anyway, the guy got the shot and the procedure went well. He voided copious amounts of urine and felt better really fast. I was a part-time EMT/ ER Tech and at the bottom of the pile. It wasn't my job to push the head nurse . I did do some investigation and found out that the patient had told the head nurse that he needed Demerol. Big mistake because. NO ONE EVER TELLS THE BIG NURSE WHAT'S GOING TO GO DOWN. Her chain of action revolves around her and no one else.
These days the head of the emergency department in a large hospital tends to act a lot nicer than Nurse Ratchet and delegates his or her responsibilities in a team effort. Also, I see a lot of nursing friends going into NP. and PA. roles. Still there is a great need for the solid caring RN who can take the punches from the families who use your department as a family clinic and the patient who comes in by EMS with general malaise and suddenly is surrounded be same 40 family members who could not drive the the patient in due to the fact there was no gas. It really is hard to take proper care of people when you know that you are being scammed from every corner, but they are out there and they do it day in and night out. I send big props out to Nurse Barry and the rest of the gang; Julie, Donna, Jay, Glen, David and so many others who used to come out to hear the band and let off some steam. You guys know what you do and how special you are. Give yourselves a kiss or take a pill or have a bit of whatever makes you a little crazy. Tell the judge I said it was OK.


soliera said...

glad you're still advocating for the vulnerable person, but give nurtzes a break, theyve seen a million stories in th naked city, too, and it's hard to swithc gears..

texino said...

I think I was trying to give the best Nurses I know a heap of praise there at the end. This piece needs needs more balance.