May 28, 2010
A Superstitious Bunch We Are
I think that all L&D nurses are superstitious. Maybe in other aspects of our lives outside of the hospital we aren't, but when it comes to uttering the "Q" word, or some other blasphemy, the labor gods answer with a hearty "What, quiet, you say? We'll fix that for you right now!" Or have a good hair night and you'll end up in the OR. For example, lets say you have a patient or two, laboring, or a stable pre-term labor, resting, FHR is beautifully reactive and nice progress is being made with the labor patient. But just let someone say "Boy, that's a nice strip" or "Man, we aren't busy, are we?" and watch out! About 30 minutes later, ER will call with 5 laboring patients, one a grand multip needing a repeat c/s and tubal, one of your patients with a beautiful strip will suddenly have a nasty deceleration out of no where, your preterm patient starts contracting and everyone who is laboring delivers at once. That's why we never say the "Q" word. Anyway, this was why I knew I was in for it last night. I was having a good hair night. The 3-11 nurse gave me report on my staged induction patient. Typically, these patients will get a cervical ripening agent, like cytotec or cervidil, and rest most of the night. The evening RN said "She'll be an easy patient for you. Her baby looks fabulous, the couple is very sweet and excited. It'll be a quiet night for you". Uh oh. You just jinxed it. So I go in check on my patient and she is indeed very pleasant, resting, not needing a thing, said she wanted to sleep and would call if she needed anything. OK, so a couple hours later, her baby starts having decels - the late kind. They resolve with appropriate interventions, only to return shortly, her previously nice clear fluid is bloody and baby takes a dip to the 60's for a few minutes - not appropriate behavior for 2 cm. Doc was called, he decided that delivery needed to be now, by c/s. So it's on with the OR cap (thus bye-bye good hair!), and back for a c/s. Nice delivery as far as c-sections go. I did feel like I was moving in slow motion for some reason though. I almost forgot to do a "Time Out" (a patient safety thing where we verify right patient, right procedure, right equipment) and I NEVER forget to do that. But I did remember, no worries. Then we couldn't find a lap sponge for a minute but found it under a towel, one doc tossed a bloody lap sponge in the bucket, but missed and it landed on my shoe, then we couldn't get the darn recovery cart to raise the head of the bed high enough for breastfeeding, so we were creative with pillows. Just minor irritations that had nothing to do with the patient, but made me feel inept for a bit. Anyway, I get her recovered, moved to post-partum and sigh a sigh of relief for a good outcome, happy patient and I'm a happy nurse. While I was back in the OR, the unit filled every labor room! Then, ER calls, another patient, in labor, repeat c/s. It's getting close to end of shift, and I go in to help with the IV start. I'm pretty good with IV's: I'm typically the one who can get it if no one else can. What happens? I blow not 1, but 2 freaking great veins! And my blood work I drew off? Clotted. Quite frustrating, probably wouldn't have been quite as irritating to me (and I'm sure the patient was even more frustrated with me) if I wasn't a hormonal pregnant woman. But, the shift ended, I got my charting done by 8a.m. and went home with crazy hair and slept. So, like I was saying, we are a bit superstitious. Now don't go reading too much into this that I'm complaining, don't like my job, or read any negativity into this post. It's not there, but sometimes it's hard to get tone into a post. I like busy, I love deliveries, I love the unexpected and don't mind mussing my hair with an OR cap, but had that evening shift RN not said the "Q" word, who knows how the night might have gone! One dayshift nurse said I could help my patients out by not brushing my hair before coming in! :) Hope everyone has a great weekend!