September 21, 2005, 7:54 pm

Singin’ The Time Clock Blues…

Oh, this is weird. I tried to load this as large as possible so the caption is legible. This is an ad for an amphetamine, of all things. Look at the caption on the top….”and there’s a BRIGHT SIDE for your patients, too!” Does this mean the ad was targeted for nurses? Sluggish at work? Just thinking about the surgical ward make you tired? Pop a Dexamyl and have energy to spare! Look at the nurse on the right, she looks like she is belting out an aria from “The Barber of Seville”. The poor patient looks like he’s still under anesthesia. I thought it was for post-op patients. Then I read the header. Hyped-up nurses. Pardon me while I remove my jaw from the keyboard…….Hell of a way to pull a double shift.

My hospital is starting a time clock system. Punch in and out. I like paper time cards. There is something about punching in and out on a clock that makes me, as a professional, feel rather insulted.
Like Fred Flintstone, I’ll slide down the back of a dinosaur at the end of the shift yelling “Yabba dabba dooooooo!” That’s what punching in has always reminded me of. The beginning of the Flintstones. I bring this up because it means that I have to go in early tomorrow when I am already doing a twelve hour shift. We have to be trained to use the machine. Now, any time clock that takes an entire hour to learn how to use is already bad news. I can swipe my badge as well as anyone, what in heaven’s name takes a full hour to learn? I guess I’ll find out tomorrow. The bright side is I got a new ID badge with a new picture. In the last one I had a fat face and lopsided short hair. This one shows me with a fat face and symmetrical, longer hair. Two out of three ain’t bad.

Why on earth I decided to do three twelve-hour-shifts in a row is beyond me. I always want to “help out” and it never sounds bad six weeks in advance. I work 3p – 3a, which means all I will be doing starting at 1230 tomorrow is work-sleep-work-sleep-work-sleep. I should be 110 pounds. But somehow I always manage to fit food into the schedule.

I guess I have the most flexible schedule because I don’t have small kids, or maybe I don’t have a life and I don’t realize it, but it always seems I am helping someone out by doing extra on short notice, but when I want to get a day off at short notice, there aren’t too many takers. There are some nurses who absolutely will not vary from their posted schedule or ever pick up a night shift. And there is something about being asked to work 3p-3a that makes some nurses get the freakin’ vapors just thinking about it!

Ah, I’m just whinin’. I actually get everything I ask for if I ask for it in advance. Of course, there are some things that are NOT negotiable. The night of a Journey concert, for instance.
I am SO there and I don’t care if you have to dig up Florence to cover for me. You know, little things like that…..

Speaking of concerts, allow me to divert from the ER for a moment. I am taking my 15-year-old daughter to a rock concert with me. We are going to see Rob Thomas in November. This was a GREAT sacrifice on my part because everything I do embarrasses her and I’m sure this concert will be no exception. I don’t go crazy at concerts or anything but I did have to lay down some ground rules. She cannot tell me to: sit, stop singing, stop dancing or stop drooling. I’m joking about drooling. She has agreed. We shall see.

There are many fascinating topics surrounding the world of emergency nursing and in the next post I might actually talk about them. For some reason, it is after 0300 and I am finding myself quite articulate and witty. Not a good sign. Time for bed……thank god I don’t have to punch in for that!

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2 Comments

  • kenju
    kenju

    September 23, 2005 at 12:12 pm

    Kim, this is so funny. Your mention of drugs and rock music made me think of something. My boss hired a new designer 3 weeks ago, and she was telling us about how she is excited to be going soon to the Rolling Stones concert near here. Last Thurs., she fell and broke one leg in 3 places (compound, complex fractures) and sprained the other one. The swelling is still so bad they have not been able to do the inevitable surgery, and she will not be able to go to the concert (which was supposed to be her birthday present). I feel so sorry for her!


  • Heather
    Heather

    September 24, 2005 at 7:08 pm

    We have the time clocks that we have to swipe our badge into and then we actually have to place our finger on a touchpad to verify that we are actually the one clocking in!


About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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