Saturday in CinCity

The word of the day at work yesterday was "Roadtrip," minus the Fritos, Mountain Dew, and celebrity magazines to read out loud in the car. A "roadtrip" in hospital lingo is to move a patient off the unit to another site generally for testing purposes. In an ICU it is for testing that cannot be done with portable equipment being moved into the patient's room, so we're talking CT scans, MRI scans, any kind of angiography, etc.

In an ICU a roadtrip is a bit like camping. You pile up everything in the room and anything in the unit that you will need or could possibly need if all hell broke loose and pack it onto your bed. When you arrive at your destination you unpack it all, move things around--like the patient onto the CT table--tidy up your transport vehicle-in this case the bed, sit for a hot minute, repack your patient and all your earthly belongings back onto the bed, move the bed and said belongings back to the patient's room, unpack, put away, reconnect to all the electrical shenanigans in the room, stabilize the patient, and try to make the patient and bed look tidy.

Yesterday I had five roadtrips--four of my own and one I offered to take down because the nurse was busy and before I knew how much the day would suck. Let me also add here that ICU beds are heavy. They are equipped with magical parts that redistribute air to the mattress based on the postioning of the patient, they have weighing capabilities, they have motors attached to them. The motor is attached so that the beds can be "self-forward moving" like a fancy schmancy vacuum cleaner and theoretically require only one person transport. Right.

Unless it's the last roadtrip of your shift and you work in Neurodramaville where this magical motor frequently loses battery power, then freezes in a locked wheel position.
Kinda like pushing a really heavy sleeper sofa. Up. A. Hill. So, I NEVER use the motor. CT TechMan however tells me I'm not doing it correctly. That I only have 2 turns. That it will be fine.

No, it freakin' wasn't fine. Bed loses power at the end of the long, empty hall at 6:30 on a Friday evening. I'm pushing a dead bed. There's no one around. There's no electrical plugs in the hallway, my personal cell phone can't work in the XRay department and the crappy "banana phone" the hospital provides lost its charge about 10 hours ago. And I really need to get my patient back to the Mother Ship.

So I'm pushing this obstreperous bed with all my might until an older gentleman, a visitor, tries to help me. Like he doesn't look as though he needs the bed and a little oxygen himself. A transporter comes along with a wheelchair for his next assignment, takes pity on me and we drag and push this bed onto the elevator back to the land of bad brains.

So why re-hash all this?

One is for posterity. In days to come I will read this and chuckle softly. Like,"Ha-Ha. Remember the day I pulled out my back muscles and I could barely get out of bed and it hurt really, really bad? Good times, man."

Another is to explain why I'm eating Advil like they're TicTacs and refuse to get three feet away from my heating pad. It also provides a back story for how I have over the years developed the skill sets which allow me to swear like a Somalian pirate.

Mostly though I wanted to explain why I am lounging about in bed perusing the easy to read sections of TIME magazine, specifically Joel Stein's Song of Myself and his highly developed opinions on narcissism and answering the forty questions on the Narcissism Personality Inventory.

Strangely, I scored only a 12, and seven of those were in the Authority subset. To be clear, I am a bossy pants, however not in a superior, exhibitionistic, exploitative, vain, and entitled way. More in a "because I said so, don't argue with me" kind of way. It obviously has no effect on motors or beds. I bet a damn narcissist could make the damn bed move.


  1. Wonderful, fascinating;
    I've been the one being pushed many a time; so that's what it looks like from your end.

    Sorry about your back, I'll try and lose some weight before next time.a

  2. It's a really good thing that you do.

    And I'm a bossy pants myself so of course I don't think that's a bad thing.

  3. I'll have to stop bitching about my job having read this (I won't though, will I?) Verification word butchema.

  4. Butchema...I'm laughing now:>) let's make that the word of the day tomorrow and infuse it into the vocabulary.
    Friko, not to worry. What's a few kgs. among friends:>)I can't imagine what it looks like from your end with all the equipment and duffle bags and linens on the bed. A roving flea market.

  5. Funny and sad too. How did you manage to push so many 'trips'? Isn't there a limit?

  6. OMG...I'm holding my sides now, and coughing. A lot of coughing. (Goes along with the freakin' bronchitis that I thought was "just a cold" but I'm sure you know all about that!) OMG, Distracted, I'll never look at a nurse pushing one of those humveds without wanting to do the Minnesota-nice thing and help. I can see your spot in heaven right's got a king-size Temperpedic bed, all the heating pads, Advil, and good reads you could ever want. Your bossees, er, patients, are very luck to have you!

  7. I wish you lots of relaxation and a quick recovery from your excessive patient bed pushing, dearest Distracted.

    I failed that test. I only got 9 but three of them were "exploitative," so perhaps, rather than being a narcissist I am a sociopath!!! I just said I "could" make anyone believe anything and that I "could" talk my way out of anything--I didn't say I would!!!

    The shame...

  8. I suspect you have to be bossy to advocate for those in your care. Many years ago, in one of my former lives, I used to work in Peds. Pushing beds with kids in traction to the play or teen room or outside was a daily thing. I completely forgot about those wheels, and the messed up back that went with them.
    Hope you feel better .

  9. Hope you feel better soon. Thanks for the link; saw a couple of clips after I read the article that were interesting. Was hoping to take the quiz myself; pretty sure teachers score similarly to nurses, aren't you?

  10. I am delaying taking the test , so surely I'm not...

    Hope your back feels better. What about ice?

  11. We always called them field trips. And honey, pushing one of those beds is how I injured my back-I didn't herniate L5 to S1 until I was walking the Breast Cancer 3 Day, but the initial insult was from pushing/moving/turning a bariatric bed with a bari patient from ICU to CT twice in one day. Even though I had help, those beds are impossible. Start making your inner Diva demand more help at work!!! Wanna see my MRI?

    Interestingly, the above patient (who should have died, but had great care so didn't) sued us for back injury. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! She said we didn't position her body that was as wide as it was tall properly. Go figure.

  12. Weird! The little girl in that picture looks just like my cousin!

  13. You know, in retrospect, my comment seems insensitive. The fact is, I herniated 2 discs in my back caring for a patient who turned around and sued us for about the same thing. I felt bitter at the deposition. Very.

  14. Here's hoping your back gets better soon. Isn't it wierd how mankind is always 'improving' an invention to make it better, easier, more efficient; only to find it completely mucked up! There's a saying over here which I love, it goes; "what's de point in fixin it if t'was workin when t'was broke"
    I have just recieved a creative blogger award and have chosen this blog to be one of the ones I pass it on to. Come on round and collect, if you like... don't feel obliged though, cheers!

  15. "And I really need to get my patient back to the Mother Ship."
    I laughed so hard at that.

    But am really sorry you hurt yourself. You gave a nice plug for Advil.............

  16. You have a great blog here! Really fun and smart...I'll be following! Love that Oscar Wilde quote up there...I may have to put it on my quote list...;) thanks...

  17. So sorry about your back and I do think you should consider a combination of ice and heat, independently of course. But, you should know this, I'm not a damn nurse but I've got a really bad back!

  18. I'm so glad I found you and your blog today! I enjoyed your writing very much. I think you have a marvelous way with words Hope your back feels better... got to check out that Time magazine piece

  19. And here I was thinking it is only the patients who are suffering in ICU... Sorry about your back and thank you for the great work you guys do.

  20. Thanks for all your comments and your suggestions.
    I'm moving around getting groceries and washing dishes, etc. and sitting in between. I work tomorrow, so it had best get better:>)

  21. I certainly hope you intended this to be somewhat humorous. It was fantastic. I love hearing about your day.

  22. Girl - I know how you feel. I'm one of those people who needs injections into the spine to be able to move without screaming.

    Horrible isn't it? What a life!

    (I scroll down and snicker because my word verification is - stride. Go figure.)


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