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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A night shift RT gets to work days

Well, I just thought I'd report here that work called and asked me if I would sacrifice part of my day off and work from 9-12 on DAYS. Being the nice guy I am, I said, "Definitely."

I'm telling you, that after working nights for 10 years, days is like a whole different world. You have doctors, suit coats (administrators), family members, and meals to work around. And that's not even the worse part.

The worst part, is when I got all my treatments done, and still had three hours to kill, I didn't know what to do with myself. I'm certainly not going to stock considering I'm doing a good thing just by my showing up.

So, I did the next best thing: I hoped it would get busy.

I would never do that on nights, considering if it gets slow on nights, I can hide out in the RT Cave, or I can sit in one of the waiting rooms and watch TV, or I can play on the Internet. Those really aren't options during the day.

Then, a neat thing happened. Within moments of my thinking this, I was called STAT to ER, where I spent the rest of my brief shift taking care of an 84-year-old lady.

The initial report was that she was coming in by ambulance, was a full arrest, but after epi she had a good heart rate. She had a history of brain aneurysms that she decided to not have anything done about, and she definitely did not want life support. According to her daughter, "She just wanted to bide her time."

Well, here time is up. CT showed massive intracranial bleeding.

It turned out to be good for her, though (in an ironic way), because she was doing something she loved to do when she died: shopping. She was at Lowes buying stuff for her beloved garden. And, her daughter reassured us, she lived a wonderful life.

After the doctor pulled the family aside, they made the right decision to extubate the patient and let her go with her maker. So I got to do another thing that I rarely get to do on nights: extubate.

And, the greatest irony of all, right after I shut off the Ventilator and was pulling out the ETT, a familiar song was playing on the overhead speakers: "Rock-a-bye-baby on the tree top, when the wind blows, the cradle will drop."

That's a song we hear every time a new baby is born at Shoreline. So the dry irony here, is while one was going out, another was coming in.

Not much, but that is the thought of the day.

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