I know, because I wear it.
Or a reasonable facsimile thereof.
But this is a photo of a miniature, collectible nursing shoe.
Yes, apparently people actually collect miniature nursing shoes.
Why on earth someone would want to do that is beyond me. Way beyond me.
But it comes complete with a box and a collector’s card!
Now if I read correctly, because I wear this shoe I am youthful, sleek, trendy and cool.
I am Miss Popularity at work.
And ten of my co-workers just choked on their coffee…
I have worked with some pretty cool doctors in my time.
In fact, the majority of doctors I have worked with have been nice guys and gals. There is something about the emergency department that lends itself to collegial relationships, although I found the same comeraderie when I worked critical care.
And nothing beats the feeling of having of knowing a particular primary doctor trusts you implicitly, a trust usually earned after years of working with their patients.
The doctors who are the best to work with have an understanding of nurses and nursing and a respect for what nurses actually do. They won’t verbalize it, but a nurse can sense it.
The converse is also true, by the way. A nurse with an understanding of the practice of medicine a respect for doctors will be the best collaborator in the care of their patients.
Now, having said all that, there are a few things I’d like to ask every emergency physician.
I have worked exclusively ER for the last 16 years and I have run across these issues in every single ER I’ve worked in.
The examples given below are composites of many incidents over the last 16 years.
I do believe these issues are ubiquitous to every emergency department.
- Please clear your sharps off the mayo stand.
- It’s a good thing I’m always careful when dealing with any dirty tray, because I have learned from experience to trust no one but myself when it comes to sharps disposal. Still, it was a bit of a shock finding the blood filled syringe with the uncovered needle that was hiding under the disposable tray.
- I do believe that disposing of your own sharps has been standard operating procedure for the last twenty five years now, no matter how busy the department is.
- While I am duly innoculated against Hepatitis B, I don’t have that luxury when it comes to HIV. Let me put this delicately, had I been stuck by that particular needle, my life as I knew it would have ended. Be more careful.
- Please let me push the drugs
- It’s my job.
- While I can appreciate the willingness to facilitate the procedure, did you not notice that the saline lock cap had dislodged and that the patient was bleeding back through the opening?
- You had to have seen it, it was an 18 gauge needle and you stood at the bedside for five minutes.
- While I would not have expected you to change the patient’s bed or wash all the blood off the patient, I would have expected you to tell me what happened so that I could mitigate the result.
- Instead, I had a huge bloody mess to clean and the patient required a restart of their IV. I would have caught the dislodgement immediately, because maintainence of the IV is my job and a priority in patient care.
- IF YOU MAKE A MESS, EITHER CLEAN IT YOURSELF OR TELL THE NURSE IN A TIMELY MANNER. An apology for causing the loss of an IV site would have been nice, too.
- Please don’t bogart my nursing notes
- I can appreciate the fact that you find the nursing notes indispensible. I’ve worked with doctors who could not have cared less if I had written haiku all over the front of them, so your appreciation of my documentation is admirable.
- Your willingness to take my notes from me at any time, regardless of how critical my patient is or how imperative it is for me to chart-as-I-go is NOT admirable.
- You are able to dictate your notes. I am not.
- I’m sure you can imagine the frustration if I just walked up to you and took your documentation page anytime I felt I needed it.
- The pressure to complete increasing amounts of paperwork makes it imperative that I have access to my required paperwork when I need it. Your inability to understand that shows a lack of respect for my responsibilities.
- A nice compromise would be for you to ask if you can borrow the notes to make a copy and then return them immediately to me. Hell, I’d be happy to take five seconds and make a copy for you next time.
- Allow me to do my job in triage
- When a family comes in with five children because they were all involved in a MVA and they all want to be seen, I must do a full triage on every single one of those patients, including documenting the mechanism of injury.
- I apologize for the fact that it takes me 45 minutes to triage the entire family. That is a little over six minutes per person, including two infants and all the required documentation.
- I understand you are antsy to get busy on this motely group, but
I am working as hard and as diligently as I can.
- Sending in the ER tech and one of my colleagues to hover over my shoulder is not appreciated, nor helpful.
- Had I been able to send the triaged ones back with one parent, I would have. In between the parents not wanting to separate and three kids needing to go potty, I could not get a single child back!
- Your sense of urgency does not negate my responsibilities at the triage desk. All your “hurry-up, I’m ready to see the patient” attitude does is
- Show a lack of respect for my responsibilities as a triage nurse and by extension, I feel disrespected which…
- …Causes feelings of resentment that I will spend the better part of the next hour trying to overcome.
- Allowing me to complete the triage/registration process allows me to present the patients in an orderly fashion and with all “i”s dotted ant “t”s crossed.
- While that may not matter to you in the slightest, I’m required to do it.
- When all is said and done, you will find your job a lot easier if you let me do my job. Trust me.
- Please don’t take report from the paramedics until a nurse is at the bedside.
- It really is important that the nurse hear the report and not fair to the paramedics to have to repeat it, and they will be repeating it if a nurse doesn’t hear it.
Okay, I’ll be honest.
I feel better having written this post.
My blood pressure is back within normal limits.
I can face my next shift with enthusiasm.
I may even turn over my nurse’s notes with a smile the next time I’m asked.
Or at least make the doctor a copy.
I really am attached to those notes…….