Friday, October 8, 2010

What Does That Mean, Anyway?

People often talk about how nurses are doing "God's work". Most days I disagree.

I do not believe it is "God's work" to take verbal abuse from a 39 year old with back pain (chronic) who plays football (every Sunday) and shows up the following Monday (every week) with excruciating pain. Why were we getting verbal shit? The physician, having looked up the patent's last five visits prescribed possible chiropractic treatment, ice and heat, ibuprofen and to moderate his activity; it was suggested that perhaps playing tackle football was not in the patent's best interest. Further, the patient was told that the physician was reasonably sure that none of the Patriots presented to the ER on Monday after a game looking for Vicodin. The patient was, of course, outraged and demanded the name of the physician's boss so he could complain; and, since he didn't get any treatment (except for some common sense advice) had no plans to pay for the visit. Oh, and he left his free-care application in the room.

I sure don't feel like it is "God's work" to look up the number of Medicaid for an able bodied 18 year old female who didn't have insurance but was too old for Healthy Kids and not in school. She had presented for a lump and bleeding "down there"; turns out it was a friction injury. Naturally she insisted on having her skanky boyfriend present for the inevitable pelvic exam. Why do these young girls go for these bozo's? Blecch.

For that matter, it surely cannot be "God's work" to put up with morons who twist a toe, ankle or elbow, or break a fingernail and high-tail it to the ER without first attempting ice, elevation or ibuprofen. If you are walking on it, using it to hold your cell phone to text message the world that you are in the ER, or slugging down a gallon of iced coffee from Dunkin's, it most likely NOT fractured. Especially if this is your 5th or 6th visit for a silly complaint this year. It is disheartening that there is so little common sense in the world.

You cannot convince me that it is "God's work" to document 30 (THIRTY!!) allergies for one patient, relatively few of them actual allergies; the only things that were missing from the list were "clouds" and "dirt".

On the flip side, there are some instances when I feel that, while perhaps not "God's work", I can glean, ever so slightly, a sense of satisfaction or accomplishment. To be honest, it is precisely those instances that keep me doin' what I do; in a sea of rude, unappreciative, nasty, stupid, violent, threatening patients and family members that strain my sanity and keep my eyes in a continuous roll, I am occasionally able to use my experience and skill to achieve something positive.

I kinda have a tendency to hold on to those moments like a lifeline on those days that I want to slap the ears off someone.

(This is my 100th post by the way, and I wanted to keep it as upbeat as possible!)