photo from a few years ago during a "call weekend"
It was a l-o-n-g weekend of "call" at the hospital, I was there more than I was at home.
It all started with Friday I worked my regular 8 hour shift but ended up staying
4 1/2 hours over time with call cases.
Friday overnight was quiet, got to sleep all night, I was thankful for that.
Saturday, I was back in the saddle again at 7:30am and went home at 4:30pm, only to return a few hours later for an emergency case. UGH! Again I was able to sleep through the night Saturday,
undisturbed, I was thankful for that.
Sunday we were in at 7:30am, and left about 1:30pm. I got home, did a few things around the house and just sat down to catch up in the newspaper and my phone rang.... In to work I go again.
Back home in time for supper and a quiet evening with Rick.
Sunday night I went to bed hopeful for another good night sleep, My hopes were dashed...
Monday morning at 4:30am (2 1/2 hours before my call weekend ended) the phone rang, that familiar ring tone that tells me it's the resident calling me to tell me we "got an emergency case", ugh!
It would be my last case of the weekend...
On my way to the hospital I prayed for the Lord to give me strength, peace, compassion and the energy to get through one more case! I give myself a pat on the back, and a, "you got this girl",
but most of all I put myself aside, and remember the patient on the receiving end!
That human being that is scared, nervous and in pain....they really needed me.
I remind myself that I am there to serve, I am the gentle touch, the reassuring voice and
the "drug pusher", as some call me :)
An emergency case can be soooo challenging for the only nurse in the call team of 5.
There is much to do before the patient arrives in the chilled dark procedure room.
I have to look up pertinent information on the patient that can affect my care... vitals signs, heart rhythm, labs, patient history, have they eaten, what are there allergies. Is there blood hanging, is the patient co-operative, can they lay flat, can they be still. Age makes a difference.... call the nurse in the ICU to get a brief report, call the anesthesia resident to let them know I am there in case I need their help. Get my drugs ready, hang and IV bag, start up the anesthesia machine, Make sure I have suction, oxygen mask hooked up, monitor on. Get the consent form ready for the doctor along with orders I need signed. I'm not done yet....
The ambulance arrives with the patient (and his wife who rode along) I stop what I'm doing, take off my game face and smile.....
I'm the one who takes the patient's wife out of the procedure room after they kiss goodbye. We walk, my arm around her as she sobs, so scared for her husband, all my technical cares leave me for a minute, I comfort her as we walk side by side to the dark cold waiting area at 5am....not a soul to be seen, there we depart with a hug I reassure her that we will take good care of her husband... she thanks me, and I turn to get back to business... 2 hours later, the procedure ends, My co-workers are straggling in for the start of their regular work day, I'm glad to see them, I'm not alone anymore... at 7am my co-workers
take over for me in the recovery room, I'm thankful to be done with this long weekend.
Done with the dreaded"Call weekend" forever !
I say FOREVER because...
I have a new Job starting in October....NO MORE CALL SHIFTS, DAY HOURS, NO WEEKENDS, NO HOLIDAYS....
A fresh new start to what I think will be the end of my nursing career.
More to come on my new position in the near future :)