Saturday, April 18, 2009
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.