Friday, February 17, 2012

A Day in the ER

A day in the ER:

Patient arrives via ambulance, ESI level 2

Pt:    Can I get a blanket? And some coffee? Maybe something to eat too, I haven't eaten all day.
RN: You can't eat or drink anything until the Doctor sees you. I'll get you a blanket after I do a few <hundred> things to get you in the process of seeing the Doc.
Pt:     What are you damn nurses good for if you can't bring me food?
<Yes, I'm not good for anything, I'm just a ER waitress.>

PT's family member: Blah, blah, blah.....this is such a long wait time, we're tired of waiting, blah blah.
RN:  I'm sorry for the wait, but the ER has had an incredible surge in patients at this time. The Doctor will be with you as soon as he can. Can I get you something to drink?
PT's family member: Yes, I want a cup of coffee. Where can I get it?
RN: We have it in a locked room, I can quickly get one for you.
PT's family member: I need a medium cup.  I need you to froth the cream before adding the coffee, then...
RN: We have creamer packets, how many do you want and I'll -
RN: You can get your coffee in the cafeteria, it's down that hall.

PT: Are you my doctor?
RN: No, I'm your nurse. Woul-
PT: Well, you look like a doctor. You sound like a doctor.
RN: I am your nurse. So Mr. Soandso, would y-
PT: But I think you're a smart girl, I'm going to tell your boss to promote you to doctor.
RN: Thank you, but it doesn't work that way. I'm a nurse. So, I need you to-
PT: If you're smart then you shouldn't stay a nurse - that would be a waste......

Patient in the room ESI level 3:
RN: Hi, I'm your nurse and -
PT: Can I get a warm blanket and something to drink? How long do I have to be here?

Patient in room ESI level 4:
RN: Hi Mr. So and so, I'm -
PT: You're my nurse? Go get me a drink and a blanket.

Patient in room arrives via ambulance:
RN: Let's get you into a gown first, so we can-
PT: Are you a lesbian? Are trying to look at my tits?
<What? no blanket and drink?>

While on the phone trying to transfer a patient back to the resident's facility, a crying woman comes in informing me that my patient pulled everything out and eloped. The facility on the phone is telling me that it is my job to find a ride home for the patient, the charge nurse tells me I have a new chest pain in my room and nothing has been done - I better get in there to meet the protocol times and the security guard asks me to watch my dementia patient because she keeps leaving her room.

I couldn't find my happy place during this shift. It made me regret not going to law school..

Friday, February 3, 2012


I've had a stressful past 2 weeks which I don't feel like talking about right now, so I think I'll reminisce a little.

I heard about the recent new hires at the department where I once worked and discovered that their interview process is a shadow of what I had to go through to get the same job.

To get a position as an officer at this Department of Public Safety, a potential candidate had to do the following:

>Fill out a 30 page packet which took a long time to fill out. Information had to include the past 20 years of history (which at the time meant going back to grade school information).

>Once called to start the process (it took 9 months - I actually forgot about the application), a candidate had to go take a written exam consisting of general knowledge, math, critical thinking and mechanical aptitude. The exam took approximately 5 hours to take.

>If you passed, a phone call confirmed it and invited you to take the next eliminator - the physical fitness test. It was a long "workout" which was timed combining both firefighting and police requirements.
    ~I forgot how long the time requirements were, but the test was exhausting and performed without rest
             Ready, get set, GO! Pick up a hotel pack (weight = approximately 70 lbs), run up 3 flights of stairs,
             drop the pack. Run to the edge of the building and pull up 2 sections of hose (approx. 40lbs) by a
              rope 3 stories. Pick up hose, lift over railing, touch the floor, and the lift over the railing again and
              lower to ground in a controlled manner. Run back to the hotel pack, and run down 3 flights of
              stairs with it.

            Run to the other side of the building, climb a ladder 3 stories, touch the top and back to the ground.
            Run back around to the other side, chop a piece of wood with an axe.
            Run inside the building where there is a hose rack with 10 sections of 2 1/2" hose on the top section.
            Take each section down, stack neatly and then return them back to their original place.
            Run outside the tower to an area where you have to run 50 ft with various boxes and weights, then
            drag a charged 2 1/2" hose the 50 ft. Drag a 180 lb manikin.
            Now you ran to the police obstacle course area. Jump/climb over various heights of chain link
            fences, crawl through some tunnels, balance on beams and perform some sprints.
            Next, get into a patrol car - huh, I forgot what the hell I did in there - weird. Then you jump out
            and hold a training 9mm gun in firing position for 2 minutes. (This doesn't sound difficult, but after
            everything, you feel like a rubber band).
            Now you drop the gun and run half a mile.

That's the end of the physical fitness test.

>If you passed that, then you get a phone call for a medical physical and a written psychological test to see how much you hate your mother and such.
>If you pass that, then you have an appointment with a psychologist to see how much you hate your mother again.

>If you pass that, you have to wait for your background investigation to be completed. They had people visit my relatives, neighbors, friends from school - back to elementary school. Amazing.

>If you pass that, then you meet with your case investigator who asks you about everything they found out and to explain any bad thing you could have done in the past.

>If you pass that, then you are invited to have be interviewed. An interview consists of 6 senior officers of both the fire and police department. It is not a pleasant experience. They use every means possible to piss you off and play psychological games. One was "the good cop", one was the "bad cop", one asked the goofiest and strangest questions, another was the agitator.
    I was seated at a round table with all the interviewers looking at me. The started pleasantly, then one by one started asking questions. The strange guy kept asking about decapitations and described gruesome scenerios with questions. The "good cop" asked a couple of questions, was all smiles and listened to me intently. The "bad cop" asked questions with a scowl on his face, swirled around in his chair while I was talking to him, etc. I was surprised by his actions at the time. The agitator told me he saw some of my grades in college and thought I was stupid. He asked, "Are you f*cking stupid or plain lazy?" "I'm not hiring a dumbass." WHAT???!! 
Any answer to his question he called me "stupid" or "dumbass". He clearly was trying to piss me off. Situational questions, shoot/ don't shoot questions, personal questions..... The finale was the question, "Who here will vote for you being part of our "family" and who here will vote against you and why."

I walked in there looking professional in my suit and left sweaty and plainly shocked. I was lead to an office where I was offered the position.

I have never before had an "interview process" like that and probably never will again.

The officer candidates now have it easy. They no longer interview that way and I think it's a shame. It clearly eliminated those that would succumb to easy stress in the job. One guy, who actually made it to the interview part, exploded and yelled at the interviewers and stormed out of the building. I don't know what they called him. LOL.