Sunday, July 26, 2009

First Breakdown

Everyone told me it would happen...I'm not sure I believed them. Everything finally got to me yesterday at work and I broke down and teared up a little. I had five patients to start, with two who were demanding right off the bat and one who needed to be transferred to another room closer to the nurses' station. The transfer itself took awhile since the patient was pretty much non-weight bearing and was sitting in a chair, not in the that was quite the effort. Two families called about half an hour after I got there, and I hate when families call for updates right after I get report because at that point, I haven't even met the person (except to say "Hi, I'm Susan, I'll be your nurse tonight"...which, FYI, is still so weird to say) and don't really know what's going on quite yet. I was still behind, and I was told I was getting an admission, moving me up to six patients...which is about when I lost it. Luckily the other nurses weren't as crazed and someone else took the admission.

So that was fun. I was wayyyy behind until about 7pm, then I thought I'd be good. HAHHAH, not quite. I was reassessing one of my patients, and something just seemed...different than before. Blood sugar low? No. Grabbed some vital signs...whoaaaa! Something's not right. Put on some oxygen, called the doctor on call...who immediately came up. The patient went into new-found atrial fibrillation (thank you, EKG) and was then transferred to a monitored floor.

Soooo that was a good find on my part (nurses were'd you find that? "Something just seemed...different"), but the rest of the night was terrible. At the same time that the above event was happening, another not-really-with-it patient had a low blood sugar. Time for some dextrose! Blood sugar came up, life is good.

Another one of my patients was having a terrible time getting her pain controlled, so I finally called the doctor and got her pain medication switched. By the end of my shift, her pain was at a 0/10. Victory!

Overall, I felt like a good nurse and an absolutely terrible nurse all at the same time. Someone please tell me if I just totally violated HIPAA. (I always want to write "HIPPO"...oops?)

Anyway...running! I'm moving my schedule around so my long runs are minimal when my parents are here...They're arriving Friday night, so I'm hoping to do my long run on Friday before work. I'm doing the schedule shuffle, which basically means cutting out some rest days, which will be added in next week when my parents are here...good plan. This past Friday I headed out for four "recovery" miles. I did a new route, which apparently included a gigantic mile-long hill. Recovery certainly doesn't feel easy with giant hills thrown in, but I can't escape the hills, so I guess we'll make it work.

Friday, July 24
4.03 miles in 33:49, avg pace of 8:24

The Rocket Scientist came over Friday night (he was sleeping in his car until I finished work...I should get him a key for the house...), so we did a long run on Saturday morning. In a perfect world, I would be home by midnight and we'd be able to get up at a decent time, but I think I got home more around 12:45 and didn't get to bed until 2. Let's just say that we didn't exactly beat the heat for our long run on Saturday. By the time we woke up and finished getting sucked in by the Tour de France (did you see that mountain they had to climb?? I hurt just watching them), it was about 10:30 and in the high 80's.

Saturday, July 25
12.03 miles in 1:37:48, avg pace of 8:08

We passed few other runners on the trail...mostly bikers. We stopped at the water fountain along the way, and it's not until I step into the bathroom that I realize how drenched with sweat I am...what a lovely feeling! The run felt good until we had about 2.25 miles left to go, when I just felt...tired. We took a little stretch break and were back at it. It was the first time in a long time that I actually stopped in the middle of a run (water stops not included), so I was really feeling it. I love summer, but running in the heat isn't so fun.

Time to mentally prepare for work. Ugh.


  1. Sounds like a tough night but you did awesome!! Your good on HIPPA as long as you don't mention names and such! I'm not a fan of summer running either, just think how much nicer it will be in a few months!

  2. Awww Susan, what a rough night! But you sound like such a good and dependent, I'm sure you are doing a great job, and your patients are better off because of it!

  3. I can't tell you how many times I broke down and cried at my job. Its normal. You seem like a good nurse to me! You actually care and you actually try unlike others - who become totally jaded. I say the night is a success because you helped at least one patient out. That's more then most people can say about the their jobs. :)

  4. You may have had a rough night, but all your patients should be very happy they had you caring for them. Looks like you are well on your way to being an amazing nurse!

  5. Reading your blog, I think that I would have lost it on the first day. And you still seem to have pulled off the evening's event as a great nurse, someone who is caring and efficient. You still get props from me!

  6. Aww, what a rough day. Good for you for making it through. :o)

    (And yes, get that boy a key!

  7. Tough day at work, but a nice run for sure. Soon you'll be on old pro and feel like you've been doing it forever.

  8. Sounds like you handled yourself beautifully - you picked up on a lot of issues quickly.

    Family members have been okay when I ask them to call back in an hour or two after I've had the chance to assess their loved one.

  9. oh my god! AWESOME job at work :) You totallllly deserve a breakdown girl! I would have brokedown mid patients haha but I guess that's why you're a nurse and I'm not haha.

    glad youre getting good runs in too :)

  10. Aww stress at the hospital is never fun :( It's hard when you're still feeling "new" - I've been there! (Not as a Nurse, but still, you don't want to be the person in charge of the Diets! haha)

    speeeeedy 12 miler, way to go on that!!! :)

  11. You sound like a good nurse to me! Work gets to us all sometimes, but overall, we do the best we can and that is what shows! :) I would love to have you as MY nurse!

    I always laugh when I am running and have to stop to use the bathroom then realize I am DRENCHED in sweat and can barely pull my shorts down! Ha! Fall running... 50 degree days... I dream of you... but only in regards to running!

  12. Sounds like a super tough day. I would have been totally overwhelmed, too. I'm glad that the other nurses were able to help you out and that everything worked out ok.

    Awesome job on the runs! I hate running in the heat, too. It makes me much much slower. Glad the Rocket Scientist could come over and visit!

  13. I would have broke down too! I had a few of those in my internship. That setting is just so tough, but as you get used to it it will get better :) wow, great runs! You rock! the heat gets to me by the end really bad and I can't wait till it cools down a bit here.

  14. Yikes sounds like you had all kinds of stuff going on at work. Don't worry about breaking down. It happens. And p.s. I'm pretty sure you didn't violate HIPPA lol.

  15. It sounds like you're doing a wonderful job. I would have broken down a long time ago.