ER crap

Posted in Thoughts and Reflections at 11:18 pm by admin

Unless you are employed in the field of health care, you don’t have a clue as to what goes on on my side of the bed. If you work in non-nursing direct patient care and interact with patents in the ER, you have an inkling of what goes on. If you have a family member who is an ER nurse, or physician, or physician assistant, or aide/tech, you might have a slight inkling of what we do. No, don’t think you can watch E.R. the television show, I think the season ends early in 2009, and have a feel for ER nursing. ONLY if you are an ER nurse do you know the crap, literally and figuratively, we are confronted with every day.

From C. diff (Clostridium Difficile) diarrhea to MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) in trach tubes (tracheostomy), decubitus ulcers so big I could put my head into them fulminating with staph (staphylococcus) infections to necrotic (black dead tissue) foot ulcers, blocked PEG (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy) feeding tubes with or without staph infections to foley catheters draining what looks like pineapple juice from UTI’s (urinary tract infections) caused by E. coli. (Escherichia coli) the bacteria in feces, we are confronted with a multitude of horrors every hour of every day of every year, and we meet these challenges with a mixture of revulsion, compassion, aggressive nursing care, encouragement, kind words and tender caresses on foreheads, arms and backs, all the while trying not to gag or vomit around our masks, as we sweat our asses off enshrouded in isolation gowns and gloves because we stand under high intensity lights that overtax the cooling capabilities of the air-conditioning system. Then we remove the outer isolation garments, wash and dry our hands and move on the the two millimeter splinter in the finger next door.


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