Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Whirlwind discharges and admissions

Yesterday was like a whirlwind. I was on the morning shift taking the team far from the nurses station. Ward manger (NO) was in-charge, SN J and I were taking teams. Our usual admin staff had another admin staff to assist her. 2 staff from the adjoining wards joined us, SSN F and SN M. They were assigned to be runners for SN J and my team respectively.

I started with 9 patients. For various reasons, the night staff SSN A did not dispense the morning round of medications to 7 of them during her shift. Thus my morning started with a rush to complete outstanding doses of morning medications, on top of following the consultants on their rounds. Add to that, 3 of the 5 patients for discharge had their morning dose of medications outstanding and 2 of them had to receive IV antibiotics before discharge.

Just when I thought I could breath a little, 4 new admissions arrived to take over the single rooms emptied by the discharges. My runner SN M was new to our ward routine and was stuck with the daily bathing/sponging of the in-patients. She could only help with 1 admission assessment. Even the housekeepers were fazed by the whirlwind discharges and admissions, and forgot to refill the complimentary tissue pack and toiletries supplies for some rooms. Add to that 3 of the 4 admissions needed IV cannulations (one came with IV in-situ due to transfer from another hospital), and all of them needed IV drip or antibiotics. SN J had 9 patients (no discharges or admissions). She only assisted with the IV cannulations of 2 cases.

In short, it was chaos. I was originally call-backed to do double shift. Fortunately for me, unfortunately for SN M, SN M owed time and thus had to take-over the afternoon shift. I stayed till 5 pm helping her to clear as much items as possible.

I feel sorry for SN M. She was from the same nursing course as me, 1 cohort before mine. SN M had not been fortunate enough to be posted to the discipline of her choice (O&G) and ended up in a Medical/Surgical ward. That Med/Surg ward that she was posted to had a reputation of being unfriendly to newcomers. After about a year, she joined the adjacent ward when it opened. Since that ward is not always open, she was frequently re-deployed to various wards. Thus SN M was unfamiliar with my ward. It does not help that my ward staff somehow do not take kindly to the adjoining ward staff. I guess it's typical "in-group" behaviours.

Yesterday, in her frustration, she remarked loudly to me... knowing that the NO was within hearing distance,
“這麼忙,做死人。” ["So busy, overwork people to death."]

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