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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Good co-workers make our job easier

Sorry for the rant in my last post, but it really is the truth. I received some much needed empathy from my RT blogger friends, and I suspected as much. I imagine some of you guys work equally as hard probably on a regular basis.

One person smpathised with me and wrote that it's nice to be around fellow RTs when you have busy nights like this. She said, "There is something comforting about walking past another RT in the same hell and muttering 'Kill me now' under your breath. That smile or quick laugh makes everything okay."

I do miss that being the lone night shift RT at Shoreline. I have to give so much credit to my co-worker Jane Sage who works the 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. shift. Even though she was as burned out as me, she stayed until 11 p.m. every night this past weekend, even though she had to be back to work at her regular time the next day. Having her there was literally a stress saver.

And as Dee Brown walks into the RT Cave in the morning and observes me playing a game on the Internet and smiles instead of complaining that I didn't start all the QIDs or do any of the morning EKGs, I feel joy. We are a team. We RTs stick together in our frustration when we have hell nights.

Yet, while I work the bulk of my hours as the lone RT, I know that I have many wonderful RNs here at Shoreline to say "shoot me." We are equally busy. While I walk the 20 miles on my own, the RNs may be caught in a pile of poop provided by just one patient. Those nights can be equally hellish.

One really great thing about working at a small town hospital, and I think one of the reasons I've stuck with this particular hospital as long as I have, is that the RNs have a certain degree of empathy for us RTs when we are busy -- and vise versal.

There have been two ocassions I walked down to ER this past weekend alone and dropped a handful of Duoneb amps on the counter and said, "You guys are on your own." While I might have been blunt, they had empathy for me and did not complain.

There were several occasions when the ER nurses did my EKGs without as much as a grunt. And there was one time I was in ER and a nurse did my EKG just to be nice. She knew it was my fourth swamped night in a row.

I smiled and said, "This is the happiest I've been all weekend. You ER nurses are the best."

Of course if I were in the unit it would be, "You CCU nurses are the best." You know what I mean. You have to be political.

And politicalness is important when you are the lone shift RT, because when the nurses like you, they can make your job a heck of a lot easier than if they didn't -- and vice versal I suppose. However, I pride myself in knowing that I get along with all people. It's better that way.

One of my co-workers who recently resigned used to buy pizza every Saturday night of his weekend on. Once I asked him why he did this, and smiled and said, "If I make a mistake I want to have many friends to back me up."

Last night the nurses organized a pot luck, and all I had the energy to bring was a bag of chips. And my co-worker and I were so burned out we ate the whole bag while giving report.

However, the nurses weren't going to let me skip out on the midnight meal. Midnight meals are cool; a big stress reliever. Even while I had only a moment to munch, the aura of the moment, the hanging out with my co-workers in the lunch room, was all the comfort an RT needs.

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