Try to imagine taking a medex, dousing it in flaming surgical lubrican and then cramming it, still alight, into the mist distal part of your GI tract. I -wish- the changeover had been that enjoyable.
Swear to god I am going to start scheduling my off day around when changeove is being done.
My nine month streak of no one dying on my shift came to an end this morning.
I vame in to start may shift and had 3 people actively dying. One looked really bad and was undoubtedly going to go first while the other two were going to fight it out for second place.
Made my rounds and then checked on all the dying ones every 15 minutes all shift. 0330 I go on break, checking and making sure everything is good. Come back and my number two choice is gone.
First one I've had go on my shift.
Not a bad old guy. 86. Vet. Tarawa. Guadacanal. Not very communicative towards the end. Went in his sleep.
His family is 2000 miles away. I told them he went in his sleep and looked very peaceful, which is a lie, he looked like crap, but they'll never know and it made them feel better.
My other two active die'ers held on and were still holding when I left. One I suspect will hang on for a long while. The other one I would bet money on not making it through the weekend and probably not till tonight. We just started her roxanol and combined with 20 second apnea episodes and cheyne stokes, I don't see her sticking around for long.
It occurs to me that in 9 months I've only seen 3 people leave my unit alive. 2 went to another facility and one actually went home.
Thats thing with dementia LTC: no ones getting better and, realistically, no ones's going home. Not to their earthly one anyway.
It doesn't really phase me. I would have liked my guy to have had some roxanol to keep him more comfortable, but the family wanted him to according to God's schedule or some such.
Its hard for me to get upset or down about people on my unit dying. I've said it before: they're in a warm bed, there is a roof over their head, they have more meds (usually) than they'll ever need, they are surrounded by caring staff, etc. They're not lying on a medevac blanket getting dust blown on them as we wave in helicopters; they aren't pinned in a burning vehicle smelling their legs char as we try and hack the steering column out and extinguish the engine compartment.
There are a lot of crappy ways to go and I've been around for a few of them; checking out in a place like my unit is far away from being a bad way to go.
So do I get bothered by when my folks Go? No. Do I have compassion for them and their family? Absolutely. Happily though, it is very easy for me to disconnect emotionally and while some might find it a bad thing I think it makes the job a little easier.
Saw my first agency CNA at work today.
Appearantly the facility is so hated and despised by -all- the CNA's (and lets be honest, probably about half the nurses) that they can not get any CNA's to do overtime. Its gotten so bad that they now are getting agency CNA's.
CNA's had their hours cap raised to 64 per week. Nurses are still limited to 56 AND they will not bring in agency nurses. they would rather pull a jurse from a 2 nurse unit and have 2 units with one nurse each, than have each unit with 2 nurses one of whom is agency.
So..........my streak ends. It was a good run though; nine months without a death.
Back to work tonight at 2300 where I will hopefully catch up on some of the paperwork I didn't complete today/last night.