Sunday, September 07, 2008

Disraeli Nursing Gears

"Shrimpy shrimpy shrimpy! I think I need some help!" said Mona as she raced down the hall towards me at the nurses' station.

Actually I don't call it "the nurses' station" anymore. It's the "EBTN station," for "everybody but the nurses," because even if we weren't all in either the patients' rooms, or the medication room, the supply room, the other supply room, the linen room, the other other supply room, or just roaming in the hallways with bursting bladders and empty stomaches looking for anybody, just anybody, to help us pull up in bed that very large lady with the chest tubes; well, even then all the computer stations at the EBTN station would be occupied by residents, attending doctors, nurse practitioners, dieticians, therapists, and that woman who looks like Grace Slick and nobody knows what her job is.

"What's up, Moaner?" I asked. We all call her that. She's not a complainer and she doesn't really moan or anything; at least, not that we know of. One of the other nurses picks on her a little, and it just stuck. She used to mind, but now she's used to it.

"There's a visitor in room 6 and she's having labor pains."

Right, I thought, and I'm Queen Elizabeth. Pleased to meet you.

The floor secretary had answered the room's call light, and she was telling me that "they said she's having contractions."

"She can't do that," I said sarcastically, "This is a tele floor."

I took a deep breath and went down the hall. I expected Moaner to follow me, but she didn't. I guessed she figured she was done with that now that she'd told me. The woman was sitting on the couch in the patient's room, holding her belly and *moaning* in pain. She said that she was six months pregnant and that at four months she had some vaginal bleeding.

"They said I had a ruptured placenta," she told me.

"Bedrest?" I asked.

"For two weeks," she said.

The little word-balloon over my head was filled with those cartoon %#$@(*& thingies.

Mona came in. She had stopped to get some IV insertion stuff for the patient and had not gotten sidetracked. I called the secretary. She had already called transportation. The woman was in some distress but she was holding herself together really well, all things considered, and she wasn't bleeding.

I said to the woman "Well, I'll go boil water and tear up sheets," and she laughed a little, "And you just stay right here until we can get you to the right people. Don't go running out for coffee just yet."

I called the house manager to let her know what was going on. Then I gave trauma-maternity a call and the nurse I spoke with there was very nice about it all. She said to bring her down and they'd see her right away.

The transportation director herself brought up a stretcher and settled the woman in for her ride to trauma-maternity. The patient got a new IV site and Mona assured her that if we got word of anything from the nurses downstairs we'd let her know.

Later on when the shift was almost over and we were at the EBTN station charting, Mona said "And you know what? They're a lesbian couple."

"Who?" asked Rayanne, who was busy with other things when this all went down earlier, and then she asked "How?!"

Winnie said "Well, I can think of a couple of different ways."

"Don't you dare say it out loud!" said our secretary Gina, but it was too late and next thing you know we're discussing different ways of cooking turkey.

"I hope she's all right" said Mona, and we all chimed in on that. Our boss called maternity-trauma and found out that at that time it didn't look like they were going to admit the woman. Good news, that.

It wasn't going to happen.

"Strange brew, kill what's inside of you."


may said...

and i was thinking: you better start boing hat water now :)

anyway, more non-May-like language on this second one, but thought you will find it funny too. sorry you have to copy and paste, do it when you have time :)

may said...

"boiling that", not boing hat.

(when will i learn to edit before i hit that publish button?)

shrimplate said...

"Boing hat."

Actually that works pretty well for me. Thank you, may.