I am back, resurrected from the ashes to fly like the glorious phoenix I am. I was gone for a while, I flew into the sun. So there that explains my prolonged absence right? No? Well, I actually had an issue with finding time to blog it’s called a nursing career. So this wasn’t going to be a post about breastfeeding. That’s a topic I shall never touch because women actually become crazy, mouth foaming monsters, the lunacy that only the moon controls when it comes to formula vs. breastfeeding. I get it, oh my glob, immunity, nature, and shit. Should anyone feel the need to post here about how formula is more evil than Chucky the doll, please, kindly protest elsewhere. Maybe throw flaming bags of poo at the local Enfamil plant, but don’t vomit your insanity here. There is one thing that ain’t nobody got time for…THAT.
I’ve worked in a couple different fields of nursing now; home health care, long-term care, skilled nursing, and a clinic setting. You are basically going to document everything you do. This is probably so patients can’t sue you or can, if you’re terrible at doing everything you do. Depending of the level of care if a patient eats, sleeps, stares at you too long, or does absolutely anything, there’s paperwork for that. Useful, but redundant. Thanks to insurance, you pretty much get to document every intimate detail of your day. Some places might have fancy pants electronic charting. I’ve yet to experience this mythical unicorn of documentation. I’ve been delighted to use paper charts. Which are only more awesome when several other employees who also document everything about the patient needs to use this chart. So at any given time when you think you might squeeze a juicy tidbit about how Patient Jane Doe assaulted staff screaming that she’s being murdered when you’re trying to coax her into wearing pants that do not have poop in them. She elects to wear the poop pants but that’s probably neglect so don’t let her and be sure to chart that. You end up doing more paperwork than a CPA on April 14th. If you think not taking care of patients within a facility such as a clinic leaves you exempt. It doesn’t. Which leads to lesson 2.
You get to call insurance companies. A lot. The clinic I worked for required that I call insurance companies for prior authorizations on medication. Which means that insurance companies who are wretched, wretched bastards don’t want to cover medications. Not ever. So you get to make a phone call to initiate the authorization, then they usually say, “Well, okay, I’m sorry that I’m not sorry you just wasted your time, we will authorize this now.” Then they laugh, extended maniacal laughter as lightening strikes. Or, they want to up their jerk factor. They decide not to authorize this, transfer you to a nurse who you have to justify the medical necessity of the medication. Which means you have to know everything about the patient now. What medications they’ve tried for this condition and how it wasn’t therapeutic, the date they started and stopped it, the non medication therapy they’ve tried, and which Christmas movie do they think defines the spirit of Christmas. Christ. That doesn’t get you anywhere because then it’s submitted for review, which takes 15 to 1,000,000,000 days, whatever. If it’s really expensive and heaven forbid hormone replacement therapy for women over 65, there will most likely still need to be an appeal filed. Then insurance will put a mouse in a maze. If the mouse finds the cheese within five minutes, it’s covered. If not so sorry for your hot flashes and vaginal atrophy Sally Sue Ellen, but it’s high risk and though you’re aware of that you just can’t have the medical care you want. Your unpleasant symptoms and declined quality of life are of no concern. Mostly because you pay for your insurance through the job you work, sucker. Which brings me to the next point.
Lesson # 3
Calling insurance companies is the reason why there are mental disabilities. I think that a psychologist would recognize a phenomenon called Automated Calling Psychosis. It’s probably temporary but I would guarantee that my cortisol levels are immeasurable. I call, I either give the info verbally for by pressing the key pad. I listen to music, usually awful, the same musical group that provides the soundtrack to feminine hygiene products and elderly life insurance benefits. This musical group, we’ll call, Vaginagina and the Towelettes, suck times infinity. I’m stuck listening to their latest hit, “Masking Odor and my Mother’s Funeral.” I just gave a wealth of demographics on Sally Sue her name, birth date, ID number, phone number, and favorite fucking finger foods at diner parties. Then a representative answers only to ask this again. The joke is on me though, this is the provider’s service line and now I need to call the specific to that particular need line. No, I can’t be transferred, I called the only number I’m provided but it’s not the right number, I have to hang up, call this number and listen to “Flower Petals on my Muff Interlude.” Someone will be happy to assist me after I give this information so much I could assume Sally Sue’s identity. I start to feel my sanity slip, and I hear voices, they tell me to harm myself. I start to have dissociate thoughts, I’m dead, I’ve actually been a terrible person, and this is my eternal punishment. I must have died hitting a pedestrian nun while cyber bullying children on Facebook. Only this can explain the vertigo inducing, repetitive cycle of nonsense I’m being subjected to. Well, let’s move on to the next lesson.
Lesson # 4
Nurses week is only celebrated by the E Cards that you are tagged in on Facebook by other nurses. Seriously, that’s the only time I’ve known it was nurse’s week. I get an alert, see a funny post about dicks and go, “Oh nurses week, that means nothing to anybody ever.” I understand it’s not to be observed and celebrated on a grandiose national level, but maybe at the, call me delusional, the healthcare facility that I work for? Ha, simpleton. Nurses week means there’s going to a lunch in the break room but good luck attending, nurses don’t get lunch because it’s lunchtime. If you have too many things that need immediate attention going on at once, so sorry for your luck, your hunger means nothing to the taco inhaling ladies of dietary services. No lunch for you. This would be the break room that nurses never get to utilize or choose not to because 15 minutes of not having human interaction is a legit break. Said nurse’s lunch is then eaten by all non nurse staff, because it’s records clerk week stupid.
Lesson # 5
You are a person who represents authority on medical knowledge unless the question is not rhetorical, then you are wrong. Meaning, you should know the exact cause of diseases that John Hopkins research has yet to identify. You are supposed to know every medication ever made, even the experimental ones, and know their actions, interactions, side effects, and probably chemical compound if you’re not an idiot. What you learned in nursing school is unequivocal to the massive, extensive knowledge of a Google user. People really like to research the most abstract website and test your knowledge on a symptom that can only happen to characters on Adventure Time. The hours you spent studying, testing, and passing the boards were in vain. There’s testing that asks if you know the difference between CPR and LOL cats. I don’t. Please don’t tell on me. A patient will ask you a question, okay, so you answer to the best of your ability. Then they ask if this would be affected differently on a train travelling 65 miles per hour southbound and another train travelling 55 miles northbound at which point will they get AIDS. Answer; who rides trains?!? What I mean is, I typically know a disease’s process, risk factors, symptoms, and maybe treatment in a more general sense. I’m not the doctor, those guys go to school longer and MUST know the difference between CPR and LOL cats. These are doctor questions, they know about the trains…and how they’ll give you AIDS. So what if I do know enough to be informative? I’ve dealt with so much COPD, heart failure and diabetes that I can answer quite a few questions. It doesn’t matter, because if it’s not what the patient wants to hear, it’s also wrong. Google can prove it. ” I consulted Dr. Boobs on Yahoo Answers, my diabetes is the kind where it’s okay to eat chocolate cake for lunch, is that nursing license from some kind of gypsy scam? Go get butter, I wash cake down with butter.” My ineptitude would call that non-compliance, but I’m probably going to try to get casserole from the break room during nurse’s week. Answer: Go ride a train and get AIDS, nurse.
Lesson # 6
You know every doctor, clinic, and hospital everywhere and you have a mental database of directions, phone numbers and Yelp ratings of each. I’m sorry I don’t know where Dr. Proctor’s Proctology Clinic is located in Anal, Indiana. Because, use Google, that’s why. You proved yourself proficient in doing so when you dispelled all the doctor’s advise and mine about why you do in fact need to take blood pressure medication when your blood pressure is normal. Perhaps that means the medication is working? The device you utilized to feed every anxiety with exciting new symptoms your neurosis hadn’t yet fathomed is the same device that contains Mapquest. So step.
Lesson # 7
It is worth every headache, all the ridiculous overtime, and distended bladders in the world. While there are days you find feces on your uniform and have not a clue how it happened, there are also days you know how and where you got the feces on your uniform. There are opportunities to do wonderful things, that the patient or their family appreciates, maybe never forget. You never forget. Witnessing the rehabilitation of someone bed bound being able to walk themselves to the vehicle waiting to take them home is a victory. You know you held their hand and encouraged them when they felt hopeless. When they thank you with a hug, it’s personal. and they mean it. Then there’s the patients who don’t go home. Either you rendered emergency care until the ambulance arrived or you took the time you didn’t have to spare to let the family member come to terms with ending care that keeps their loved one alive. You offer a shoulder, words or just silence while they bleed emotions so strong you cry in the car driving home because they need you to be strong. You try to comfort one patient whose lifestyle as they know it is over forever and immediately start working like it didn’t happen only to get called some inappropriate names because someone doesn’t have enough ice in their pitcher. You get the ice and understand that from their room this is frustrating and they probably asked several times. It’s not their fault today is short staffed. Every thing you do is because you believe in proper healthcare and you believe in compassion, respect, and humility. You fall short, lack knowledge, and reach out to other nurses for help. you learn though this cycle more or less goes on your whole career. You do it until you gain experience and help the new nurses when they break down because nursing has the ability to make you feel horribly inadequate at times when you know you’ve put everything inside you to providing the best care you can. Then you probably drink wine because that troll had the nerve to yell at you about her ice pitcher. She should Google manners.