To blog or not to blog, that is the question. Whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous somnolence…
You guess it, I worked nights last night. Now that it’s over, I can use “The Q Word” and say that it was relatively quiet. Enough so that I was able to write the rough draft of this post. Now we’ll see if what seemed so funny at 0400 holds up in the harsh glare of daylight….
An emergency department is made up of many personalities, the majority of them strong personalities. The meek, the mild and the timid do not gravitate to the emergency medicine milieu. There are some traits that you will see over and over in any ER and I’ve put together a list of just a few I have encountered over the years.
Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you….
- Seniority Sadie – this nurse was hired the day they broke ground for the hospital back in 1892 and she has never worked a single day anywhere else. She never misses a chance to let you know that if she wanted to she could get (fill in request here) ahead of you because she has seniority!
- Languid Lucy – Lucy has discovered that the faster you move, the more work you are given. Ergo, drag out your nursing care and you’ll get less patients. Lucy is so laid back she needs a recliner.
- Dumping Dora – Dora is responsible for rooming the patients and believes that you deserve them all, thereby denying the other two nurses (of which she is one) the pleasure of a patient located in the vicinity of their assignment.
- Freaking Freda – Everything is a crisis for poor Freda. God have mercy on her if she gets orders on two patients at once. A deep sigh will emanate from the very depth of her soul with each patient she is assigned. Freda is constantly bordering on carpal spasms secondary to hyperventilation.
- Passive-aggressive Pete – Pete is the type that will listen all night to your excitement about the new shift you’ve applied for and never say a word….And then he’ll go apply for the same position in the morning.
- Write-’em-up Wanda – Wanda is a quiet, observant soul. Wanda sees all. Wanda hears most. Wanda disapproves of some. Wanda says nothing. And then Wanda writes ’em all up and turns it into the manager.
- On The Dot Scott – Scott begins preparing for the shift change one hour ahead of time and meets the oncoming nurse at the door with his hat on and car keys in hand. He considers it overtime if he stays five minutes past the hour.
- Goody Glenda – Efficient, pleasant, happy, eager-to-help, always sees the good in everyone and every situation. You aren’t sure what you want to do most, work with her or slap her silly.
- Betty Burnout – Betty is tired of nursing and has nothing left to give. She walks the department as if she had a 5000 pound weight attached to her right foot. She’s so depressed she sucks the air out of the room. She can be seen desperately perusing the jobs section of the paper, looking for something that pays as well, but doesn’t require caring.
- Dr. Sam Sarcasm – spouts off with a sarcastic, often hostile comment every time you want to tell him about a patient or discuss a case.
- Nasty Nan – brusque and short-tempered, Nan treats the patients like they are an interruption in her shift instead of the reason for it. Antagonizes on contact.
- Pulitzer Petula – is obsessed with charting. Has pathologically legible handwriting. Will redo an entire nurses’ note instead of crossing out. Doesn’t want anyone else writing on her literary masterpieces. Must have the precise pen at all times.
- Naomi Know-It-All – Naomi is a nurse with an advanced degree who thinks she is the last word on all topics nursing.
Oh yes, I’m in the list. Meet Pulitzer Petunia, yours truly. I could write an entire month’s worth of posts on what was like to be Betty Burnout. There are times when I’ve been an On The Dot Scott and I’ve been teased about being a “Glenda” on occasion. I’ve never stayed anywhere long enough to be a Seniority Sadie. (Oh, and by the way I’ve never worked with a “Naomi Know-it-All”, that contribution came from a colleague who is on her way to her PhD and was afraid that would describe her someday).
Now, bear in mind that these are composites and any resemblance to coworkers, past or present is purely coincidental…..really!