June 29, 2011

Childbirth Education

I mentioned that I've been pretty burned out lately, and I was thinking that I need something different to change things up. Either that or a long vacation. Not from patient care. That is what gets me through my shifts. It's the other B.S. that goes on. Anyway, one of the doctors is looking for a new office nurse and I thought "Hey, talk about timing. I'm getting frustrated to the point where I understand why nurses leave the bedside and go to offices and here's an opportunity". It's one I didn't make, though. I couldn't actually leave l&d, I'd miss it too much. I realized that I just need to do something different, maybe 1 day a week doing NST's and whatnot in an office, just to have one day of work where I'm not waking someone up, or arguing with someone to come in. Then one night this past weekend, the nurse who is in charge of all the childbirth education classes the hospital has asked if I would be willing to teach next year. My initial reactions was no, but the more I thought about it, the more I decided that I would do it. She was getting ready to work on next year's class schedule and a couple people who are currently teaching aren't going to next year. The timing is perfect. The commitment isn't too time consuming, just one night a week for 4 week classes. Plus it wouldn't be until next year that I would start teaching. Already, my attitude is a bit better. She said here in the next couple weeks, she'd chat with me about what I want to do. She needs someone to teach the typical childbirth education class and someone to teach the smaller c-section awareness class. I'm excited about this. This is just what I needed at just the right time.

June 19, 2011

Burn Out

I'm getting burned out. I'm in desperate need of a vacation, or something. I used to wonder why nurses would leave L&D for offices or Monday-Friday dayshift jobs, but I think I've figured it out. Here's a quick list of things I'm tired of:

1. Working so short-staffed that we are all just running from the moment we clock in to the moment we leave. The worst part is feeling like you can't give good care because you have too many patients and not enough nurses.

2. Arguing with physicians to get them to come in. Don't get me wrong, most of the docs I work with are great. But some aren't. Yes, I want you on the way to the hospital when you have a multip present at 8-9 cm and wants to deliver in the tub. And yes, I would like you to come see my preterm patient who has quite a bit blood running down both of her legs.

3. Scolding by physicians. Really? Do you have to yell at me if a patient comes in ready to rock and she vomits and her baby delivers before you got there? I didn't do it on purpose. And on the flip side, please don't yell at me if you have to wait 15-20 minutes until the patient delivers. Or getting my arse chewed because I've called too many times...not for ignorant reasons, but because patients come in. I HAVE to call and tell you that you have a patient that is here and in labor. It's not an option to have one of your children tell me that you are occupied and without a phone (you are on-call for several other physicians) and unless it's an emergency, that you will call back in an hour (because you are taking a nap).

4. Lack of sleep. I'm so tired of being tired. Night shift is wearing me down right now. My body wants to go to sleep every night and not have to switch from sleeping during the day on some days and at night.

5. Unpleasant coworkers. Yes, I know they are everywhere, but the morale is so bad right now. I had someone flip out because another nurse got pulled from post-partum to labor and a stool softener got missed in the process. Really? It's a stool softener, not a big deal if it's an hour late.

I know that all comes with the territory, but sometimes, it just gets you down. I will say that it helped immensely to have an awesome delivery last night. She had a pretty horrible birth experience with her first, but after she was holding her new baby, she kept saying how thankful she was that her labor with this baby was so much better of an experience. So that's why I keep going back...for those patients who need someone to advocate for them, someone to help them have the birth and healthy baby that they want, someone to argue with their doc to come in to see them, someone to work in the middle of the night, someone to do what's right for the patient so they can have a healthy baby. I'll get out of this funk here soon.

June 13, 2011


We are in to the full swing of summer, and let me tell you, it is crazy up in here! Not only are we busy here at home with baseball games, bible school and just the daily stuff, but it has been crazy at work, too! Last weekend was one of the busiest nights I've ever worked. Maybe not the busiest, but pretty dog-gone close. It was one of those nights where it started off quiet...then all chaos broke loose when multiple patients came up at a time...and all of them were active labor. It was just nuts! And of course, we work short-staffed on weekends and nights because, well, don't you know that everyone sleeps at night? And just try calling people in on a weekend night too, see how many people will answer their phones, let alone come in. I actually ended up working a double shift Sunday night into Monday. It was the first time I've worked that many hours and when I got into the van to drive home from work, I didn't feel too bad. I called my SIL to talk to someone to help keep me awake, just in case, but about a mile or two from home, she had to let me go. Then out of no where I was in my driveway. I have absolutely no memory of how I got home. I've spaced out driving before, when I'm going somewhere I go to on a regular basis, like work, but this was different. This wasn't just a spaced out. This is memory gone, like I was almost asleep, under anesthesia or just teleported from one spot to the other. It really freaked me out and still does. Thank goodness I got home ok.

Around here, it's just been the usual summer stuff, except this year we have 2 kids playing baseball, so twice as many games, twice as many assigned concession stand dates. This past Saturday, Clara had a game at noon and I had to work concession. Fine, except Husband was working. Thankfully, Clara's game was at a park just outside of town and I was able to watch Jacob and Isaiah play on the equipment while I worked. Caleb had a good time in one of my wraps up on my back. It was funny watching people's reactions when they realized he was there. For awhile, he was banging his toy keyring on my back making noise. He did fall asleep eventually. At 4:00, Jacob had a game so I carted all 4 kids out again. Clara and Isaiah ran around, played with some other kids and at one point, Caleb was being squirmy, trying to climb all over me. This one mom was there watching her nephew and she had one kid who looked to be about 3 years old. He was being a typical defiant 3 year old, and she was trying to get him to behave. I really wasn't paying much attention, because 3 year olds act up from time to time, but when she finally sent him to sit with his uncle, she looked at me with Caleb and said "See what you have to look forward to?". I just smiled. At 6:00pm, I usually head to work, but Husband had just gotten to the field to relieve me so I could run home, grab my lunch and breastpump and head out the door, barely making it on time. I know, I know, when all 4 are older and in stuff it will be even busier. I will say we are getting better at time management and figuring out how to get this kid here when the other one has to be somewhere else. We're learning, slowly, but we're learning!