hospital frustrations

I have already told multiple nurses that my tract has formed for my gtube and hence can guarantee that it's in my stomach. Hence if they try and shoot air into me I will, make a formal complaint to the nurses union regarding their competency, and complain to the charge nurses as well to have them permanently removed off of my team. Funny, if I were to eat by mouth they wouldn't be spoon feeding me, yet almost all nurses feel that they have to do the equivalent when it comes to the meds. That or they sit staring at me for the few minutes that it takes to do all my meds. I am not sure what they think I might do, not take them and feel like crap? Totally frustrating.

Another two of my pet peeves are when they leave air in the med syringes, or when they if I don't catch them try and rocket flush meds and water into my stomach while I am sleeping. I told one nurse that it's like squeezing a pop bottle while someone is drinking from it. very un pleasant and a recipe for me puking which is what put me in here in the first place. Putting it that way she says, oh I wouldn't like that too much. Um ya think? Also some nurses insist on flushing with a full syringe before and after each med. That's fine if someone is on one or two pills and is probably the right answer. Me with 8+ meds in the morning... Well its intolerable volume on top of breakfast. Yet the nurses wince when I start doing med after med and only flush at the end. Its like they don't realize that I have a system that's been working for me for months.

The other frustrating thing is the picc line. Not all nurses are created equal in knowing how to care for one. I litterally had to put my hand over it while I debated with one nurse the order in which saline and hepalene must be used to hep lock the line. Piss ya off frustrating. Dressing is another story, the one nurse yesterday went to replace the sterile dressing with bare hands yesterday. I watched in disbelief as she pulled the materials out of the sterile package with her bare hands. Then for fun, i asked if she had any intention of using sterile technique or gloves. Her answer, well it just slows me down..... Yup new nurse please, this ones not touching me. I did write up a formal complaint on that one.

I guess that's the problem with a teaching hospital. The funny thing though is that the summer students or new grads tend to listen more than the old nurses. Older nurses that have been doing it wrong repeatedly and who have become cocky / superior attitude because they are always teaching are too stuck in their ways. I also embrace multiculturalism, but some nurses here have a tentative grasp of the English language. It makes me with my speech difficulties very difficult at communication with them. Not something I want to deal with when I am trying to explain the timing and dosages for my meds.

I basically have taught myself how to program the stupid IV pumps, so can deal with most issues myself. Air in line codes and such frustrate the hell out of me. Have a nurse see you pop open the IV pump to fix the tubing and it is freak out time. The ones that know me well just quietly watch, but the rotational nurses get excited and almost have a heart attack. My surgeon happened to see me do this the other day, and says to me. We gotta get you out of this hospital soon, before you take over a nurses job. :)

Right now the hospital is on emergency overflow status. Its the premier hospital for the northern Alberta, as well as a medivac hospital for the northwest territories and the surgery support hospital for the province of Saskatchewan. Basically an area more than double the size of Texas. Anyhow, when the hospital hits full status, its three people to a room, with the middle guy (me) on a stretcher. Trying to have a 6'3" guy sleep on a dinky stretcher is angry making. They put the guys in the middle if your not on oxygen or need suction. But it means that all the air, suction, iv, snoring and talking of two other guys fills the room all night long. Add to that a hard of hearing tv watching insomniac and I am starting to think that I might have just cause for murder. Well I think about it anyways. Also because we are the primary medivac hospital there is a heli landing on the roof 7 or 8 times a night. Two many years of search and rescue has taught me to jump awake when I hear a pager or the whomp whomp of the helo blades.

Lastly I get mad when they want to poke me for blood draws instead of using the picc. For some retarded reason the lab techs are not allowed to use the picc's. A nurse has to do the draws if off of a picc. Every time i am admitted to hospital, i have to retrain the techs to not bother waking me up at 4:00 am to do a blood draw, because i will send them packing if they didn't bring a nurse to draw off the picc. One smart one has finally realized that if she just forgets the supplies on my bed side table and then comes back in 15 minutes the blood draw will magically be done. :)

So I hope I get a bed soon, I am getting sleep deprived and a little punchy. I have honestly thought about trying to give myself mrsa so i get a private room...probably a bad idea, but one you think about when the next to you is puking on one side and on the other side the guy is whining lime they cut half his face off but in reality he has had a few stitches and concusion from a workplace accident.

Oh last thing is when they have me hooked up to a bp machine that takes pressures every 15 minutes. I pulled a few liw pressures like 82/41 the other day. But they take pressures every 15 minutes with the plan to wait until mid day the next day to talk to the dr about it. So why keep testing when your not doing anything to help positively change the pressure. Beats me. I finally took the bp cuff off and it was 7 hours before anyone noticed.

So maybe today i will get a proper bed. Really it doesn't take that much to cheer me up these days.

Btw, for those asking my ice cream and soft toilet paper party was a smashing success. I might try and organize a physio and wheelchair dance party for later this week. Everyone should be able to do a wheelchair conga line. :)

Report post

Things you can do

Support HNCA

Help the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance reach its goals and support people like yourself by making a donation today.

Donate to the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance

Discussion topics

More from HNCA

Community leaders