Rooted in bright realness.
January 27th, 2023
I woke up before 9 AM on my day off with my cat Ginger cuddling beneath me. Yesterday, work felt busy yet satisfying and I enjoyed the familiar feeling of commiserating with other nurses and nursing assistances while we suffered through a day caring for verbally abusive patients with dementia. Sometimes all you can do is laugh, when you're called a "b** a** c**" while offering a blanket.
Today I'm wearing yellow, it's sunny and warm and I rode my bike to the cutest cafe in the neighborhood called Eyes Peeled. In the vastness that is LA, this coffee shop really does hold a certain coziness I wouldn't have expected while sipping--yes, you guessed right--an iced vanilla *oat* milk latte.
I feel present and bright.
I'm less irritated with the existence of oat milk lattes and sour dough toast with almond butter after working in what feels like LA's shittiest hospital.
Taking care of 4 patients in the same room.
Their butts getting sore from the need to turn.
As a tired CNA eats snacks at the nurses' station telling us that she has to take care of her grandbaby because her son needed to work. She leans forward pushing the vital signs machine down the hallway like her low back aches. Waiting until the day retirement kicks in.
Downstairs, the medical director greets people as they enter the elevator:
"Hi there!!! Welcome to work!", he exclaims with a grin hidden behind a mask fastened with one of those holders for a pair of glasses.
I had 6 patients but an LVN to pass medications. I met her in my first week when she administered my COVID booster--it bonded us in some way, how are you, baby? She said in a familiar way every time I ran into her, floating around this hospital.
I believe medicine is only as good as its nursing care. If the resident doctor doesn't have the time to notice the CNA pushing the vital sign machine down the hallway like her life depended on it, what do they notice?
On the other hand, doctors, especially the new ones, seem to survive through specialty. We all have to be able to compartmentalize -- to focus on our specific task and motivation in order to accomplish some overarching goal.
One day this week, while I was walking to one of the departments, a patient stopped me
thank you for taking care of us
I looked surprised I guess, so he continued,
you're the ones running this hospital. The nurses, not the doctors.
I smiled with gratitude. He wasn't exaggerating... in an era of hyper-specialization, I felt like a conduit of not only nursing care, but the entire cohesive picture of a patient's medical care.
--so can he get pain medicine? He says he takes vicodin at home, has for 20 years
--oh no, I don't know about that, our team was just consulted to manage blood sugar. But, let me ask my senior.
From there... as the RN, you're going to want to lay out a proper SBAR, recommending the specific intervention that's going to help your agitated patient get comfortable and meanwhile helping your CNA, pushing that vital sign machine down the hallway, get through her last 12-hour overtime shift this week.
On my day off, the sun shines on my back in this cafe, and I'm looking forward to tonight, when I'll head to the Weird Sister Records Launch Party at Highland Park's The Goldfish.
Rejuvenated hope for nursing profession related to cultivation of art and curiosity as evidenced by participation in activities and blog writing.
Risk for burn out as evidenced by working in an under-resourced hospital and moving to a new city.
Oat milk latte, dancing, cat cuddles, hipster art events, sleep, texting your Mom