Monday, March 7, 2016

On perfecting the art of hiding

When I am working in the biggest pod in my department, the one shared by three nurses, the nurse/patient ratio is generally less clear-cut.  A nurse could have a single trauma or STEMI patient and be bogged down, or five psych hold patients who are being watched by techs….which would mostly be an easy assignment.   Or two drunks who are sleeping.  Or three stable chest pain rule-outs but with nightmare families.   Or one soul-sucker (now in  restraints)  throwing chairs against the wall and threatening to slice off our heads with a sword.  Whatever.  The point is that some days you are the dog, some days the hydrant.  And when it is your turn to be the hydrant, you hope your teammates will remember what it was like and pitch in accordingly.

As ER staffing is a cyclical thing, we currently have  a lot of Freshman ER nurses.  I am mostly impressed with how quickly many of them have assimilated on the off-shift hours.  They jump in where needed, ask great questions, and in general are a hard working  bunch.  But of course, there is always that one.  Newish ER Nurse has moved up the food chain to sophomore-headed-into-junior-year level in terms of experience and how long she has worked there.  Yet, during the times when it is truly crazy, Newish Nurse remains seated.  Or in hiding.  Not getting the teamwork thing.

She has been renamed "Lazy Nurse"

She can generally be counted on to have the lightest assignment regardless of what is going on in the department.  Among her evasive maneuvers for keeping her work load light:

Never taking an ambulance patch and just taking responsibility for it it.  She just walks in the other direction.

She absolutely rides the medics and techs like a cheap ponies: IV starts, EKG's, transports, vital signs.  She gets them to do it all.

She never, ever volunteers for the next patient when it is her turn.  She remains silent when, as a group we are asked, "Who's up?"

There is always a selection of snack items and beverages in her work area which keeps her very busy.

Hiding in the med room.  On her cell phone.

Once the night medic was managing a septic patient all by herself until I jumped in to help her.  Not that she wasn't doing a great job, but where the fuck was the patient's nurse?  Lazy Nurse.  Nobody knows.  Having a nice chat with someone, or preparing a meal in the break room.

Lazy Nurse's laziness has not gone unnoticed.

Auntie, the clinical leader on shift, has started to keep score and actively seeks her out when she is "missing".  She has vowed that it would be "a very long time" before Newish ER Nurse would be having the triage assignment (which, by the way, is my second home) when many of the sophomore-junior nurses with at least a year in the department have progressed to being assigned there if is an experienced nurse to help out.  "She is just not motivated enough, not fast enough, and there would be a line out the door and down the block.   Disaster.  Nope".

Auntie is gunning for Lazy Nurse.  Shudder.  I wouldn't want to be in her shoes.