Yesterday was twelve hours of trying my patience. Well, actually only about ten active hours of challenge. I apologize for any lack of context or terminology right now, I will gladly take questions at the end. Right now, I have to rant.
First, I'm doing Ortho in Pedi, a long walk from useful supplies. With a high maintenance surgeon. A traveler scrub with a grudge, who harasses me and then instructs me to "Relax, I'm just playin' with you!" A resident with a thick accent, who I really try to give the benefit of the doubt to the language barrier, who proves to be so dumb I wonder how he got past third grade, never mind med school. And me, I am no pedi nurse.
First case, a pleasant enough two year old, mom holds back tears until her child is under. I keep dad from backing into the sterile field, since the scrub has gone off for a smoke break instead of being in the room like he's expected to be. Getting everything plugged in sorted out, so the mini-c-arm is usable. All turns out fine.
Turnover, and the orderly has come in to get the send sheet for the next patient. Who has not checked into the hospital yet. I have mentioned this to her. She keeps reaching for the paper. I have to explain several times that I can't send for the next case yet, because the patient IS NOT HERE. I don't yell. I don't raise my voice. I just articulate very, very, clearly. She is still dubious, and makes sure I know to overhead page when I am ready to send. Three times.
Next case involves getting a prone Jackson bed in the room, a sprawling bit of equipment that can be x-rayed through everywhere. Cell saver RN has brought her machine, blood is being sent for, EEG monitoring is present, with a student. There will be x-ray. All fine, all good folks, just a lot of them for a small room.
We get started. Scrubgrump asks for a special instrument in another surgeon's specials. I delay in baffled exasperation. Thankfully the implant rep (up to eleven people, plus patient, in the room) points him to analogous bits in the set he already has. I feel my first truly murderous thought, the previous being merely to maim.
I run. And run. The running, the searching for supplies continues. The lack of staffing that has dumped me out of my area means I get last lunch. Hard for me who could eat two breakfasts and be fine until dinner, but I saw it coming, and I endure. Phone call after phone call for the attending anesthesiologist, who is never in the room when they call (the resident anesthesiologist is, proper care being given.) I get a garbled call, guy asking for what sounds like 'clerk' but since that makes no sense, I ask for several repititions. He asks where he has called.
"Operating room 18, surgery."
"Not the county courthouse?"
I break a short thumbnail into the quick, and get tape on it so it won't tear further. I do this while scrubgrump stands so close to me I can't properly open the door without contaminating his gown, and I can't get him to backthefuckup. I consider him to blame. I do not have a loaded scalpel.
Residumb's pager goes off while I am getting suture and seeing why the suction isn't working. I ignore it, until I can get to it.
"Would you check my pager?"
"As soon as I am done, yes." A few minutes, I have picked up the pager. And he says.
"Would you please check my pager?"
"That is what I am doing right now." And before I have a chance to push the green button.
"Could you read it out to me?" I take a moment to breathe, and read out the numbers displayed.
"What else does it say?"
"Nothing. Just the numbers."
"But, what does it say?"
I'm royally annoyed, it's not like I've never read off pagers of surgeons and residents before, and there are only the damn digits on his damn pager. And I've been dealing with his misdirected instructions all day. So I'm feeling a bit sarcastic.
"I only read numbers." I give the attending surgeon credit for chuckling.
Worse thing about dumb people, who don't know it? They cannot conceive of anyone smarter than they really are.
No, it all could have been worse. At three, I am blessed with a new scrub, who considers me a blessing. No blood needs to be given. We finish long enough before seven so I can get the room sorted, supplies returned, and still take a long break before going home. I restrained myself from killing anyone. So, it was a good day, by the definition of 'Any day when we all get out alive, is a Good Day.' A friend announces in the lounge that she is getting a cab home because it is raining and she does not have an umbrella.
I decide this is a wonderful idea, and will get me to D sooner.
He feeds me.
Labels: funny, surgery, work