Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Disappearing John's Seven Swans

On the seventh day of Christmas, your true love gave to you, seven swans a swimmin'. Where are you going to keep them?

Whew, there's no room at the inn at Disappearing John's house right now! Over Thanksgiving my Daughter, her boyfriend and my grandson moved in with us, along with their pets. For those keeping score, that's four adults, two teenagers, a baby, two large dogs, two cats, a bird, a snake and about a dozen fish, all in a tiny 3 bedroom house… I'm afraid the swans are a-headed for the zoo!

Q.1 When did you decide you wanted to be a nurse?

September, 2001. It is a story I have told a few times on the blog, but I watched the planes fly into the towers, and realized life was too short to hate what you do. I actually had gone to school for pre-med right after high school, so I realized something in the medical field interested me. It took a few weeks to figure out it was nursing, but I finally figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up!

Q.2 What's the best part of your job? The worst?

There are so many "best parts" it's hard to pick just one. I love the action, the pace, the adrenalin rush… Most of all, I work in a job where I get instant gratification almost daily. Someone comes in hurting, or in a crisis… I work with a team, do my job, and get to see the results of my work. It is an amazing thing to relieve someone's pain, and experience their relief.

The worst part is the raw emotion. You learn how to deal with your own emotions, but sometimes the raw emotion of others can be tough for me. It has been a rough month for infants for us; I've personally worked with two cases where infants have been found not breathing, and in both cases they did not survive. Seeing the grief of the families, especially with the recent birth of my grandson, made those really tough.

Q.3 Did you have another career before you became a nurse?

Nursing is really my fourth career. I was a airline caterer (remember when airplanes had food on board) right out of high school. I got to drive a cool truck that pulled up to the airplane, the whole back of the truck lifted up to the airplane, and I go to flirt with flight attendants!

I worked as a corporate trainer for a while, and really enjoyed that, but a chance to make more money brought me into retail management, where I stayed for years. I made great money, but really hated the work. Which brings us back to the present career…

Q.4 Is this really a true story?

A nurse caring for a woman from Kentucky asked, "So how's your breakfast this morning?" "It's very good, except for the Kentucky Jelly. I can't seem to get used to the taste," the patient replied. The nurse asked to see the jelly and the woman produced a foil packet labeled "KY Jelly."

Nope, for two reasons…

The common sense reason is that hospitals are very cheap! They constantly look for the best deals on products. We have tons of "petroleum-based jelly lubricant", but I have never seen a brand name product for a common item like that.

The other reason is the first time I heard that one, it was a blonde joke, not a hospital joke…

Q.5 A lot of people get to my site after googling things like "hot nurses". Y'all seem to have quite the reputation. Do patients ever hit on you?

Me personally, no. Unless you count little old ladies, and I flirt right back… Keep in mind I am a bald, still a little overweight grandpa (sorry to blow the whole "calendar" image.…) Now, a lot of cute, young girls do get into nursing. I work with several, and they do get hit on a lot. Patients hitting on nurses never works… Doctors, on the other hand, tend to have more luck…

Q.6 When did you first hear the expression "nurses eat their young"?

Nursing school. It has a real name, now. "Lateral violence". It does exist, although it is being addressed slowly…

Q.7 What's the most useless thing you have ever bought?

An "Inside the Egg Scrambler"… Simply worthless…

Q.8 If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

I don't know if it counts, but I think being able to stop or speed up time would be cool. Think like the movie "Click". Drop something, and be able to freeze everything (but me) for a second and catch it… When things are dragging, speed through the boring parts…

Q.9 Tell us about the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you on the job.

I was given a patient who's complaint was "post-op infection". That's all the triage tech told me… I walk into the room to find a young woman who had had some rather, shall we say "ambitious" breast augmentation. I mean, really, really big… As soon as I walked in the room, she opened her gown, to show me the wounds… It's rare when I am speechless… Needless to say, I ducked out of the room, and got a chaperone…

Q.10 What food do you absolutely hate and will never eat?

Brussel Sprouts…Does anyone really eat those things? [Sure they do. I love brussel sprouts ~ MA]

Q.11 What's the name of one movie that you watch over and over?

I'm not a huge movie buff. One of my all-time favorite movies was "Tora, Tora, Tora", but I haven't watched it in ages… I love "Airplane!", too. Recently, I really enjoyed "Dark Knight" and saw it at the movie theater 4 times…

Q.12 For the most part, nurses and doctors don't really bitch about each other in the medblogs. Is that because there is not that much to bitch about or are y'all just playing nice on your medblogs?

In the ED we do really work as a very close team… I have read some blogs that bitch and moan about each other, but that's not my style… I am lucky to work well with a group of good docs, who treat us as the professional nurses we are…

Q.13 What do your co-workers do that really irritate you?

The ones that work harder at avoiding work than they do working drive me nuts… We have one nurse who feels it is below them to take their patients to CT scan… I have seen them walk three laps around the unit to find a tech to push their patient to CT scan… which is 50 feet away… They walked 5 times as far to avoid pushing the gurney..

Q.14 Tell me the craziest thing you have ever seen at one of those wild hospital Christmas parties I'm always hearing about.

I'm afraid I'm kind of boring… There is video around somewhere of me doing the Macarena and the Electric slide from several years ago from another profession. It was one of those parties where the servers kept replacing the drinks before you finished them, so I had no idea how much I drank… Evidently enough to get me doing the Electric Slide…

Holiday Quickfire Questions.


a. reindeer - I can't remember her name… Rudolph's girlfriend growing up in Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer… Sweet, cute voice, understanding… my dream girl at the time… [I think that would be Clarice ~ MA]

b. cookie – Nestle Toll House Cookies… I love to make them… Has anyone ever gotten the full 5 dozen out of the recipe? I always eat too much raw dough. [Me too! ~MA]

c. carol – Does "Grandma got run over by a reindeer" count?

d. holiday television show - It's not Christmas without "It's a Wonderful Life"

e. activity – Eating – Sad but true, I still have emotional ties to food

Thank you for being my seventh day of Christmas, Disappearing John!


Anonymous said...

Oh, Man! I love my abs in that picture!!!

Thanks, MA! It was a lot of fun...

And thanks for remembering Clarice's name... that was bugging me for a while

Anonymous said...

These interviews are great! I love reading them :)