Sunday, November 21, 2010

Peon RT is a whiny girl

I just worked 7 straight days. And the last 2 I worked with a therapist that I have never worked with before. I am just setting the stage for a possible emotionally stressed out respiratory therapy student - like on the edge of a breakdown.

First I would just like to say that my last day in the OR was amazing. So amazing that I would definitely consider working in an OR (definitely a busier OR where the RT had a much better role, instead of the stocking stuff monkey) or possibly even training to be an anesthesia assistant. I did 5 intubations on my last day and every single one of them went awesomely.  I loved every moment of it. We had one guy come in for surgery (dental surgery of all things) that had already had two heart valves replaced - and the surgeon did not even think he was a candidate for prophylactic antibiotics. An infection in heart valves pretty much equals certain death. So that was awesome. I went to endless boring c-sections. Boring. I found out that a mango allergy is a possible  indicator for a latex allergy. I had no idea - thank god there were some lost looking nursing students standing around who knew that, so I didn't have to look like an idiot. And I generally dealt with fat people's tongues in the way of my laryngoscope.

Then because of poor scheduling on my part and a desperate need to keep up with the endless amount of hours I have to get in before April, I worked Saturday and Sunday as well. I have been outside in -25 degree Celsius (-13 degree F) every day at 6 AM for a week. I trudge along, dressed warmly on the top (toque, mitts, neck warmer, hoody and winter coat) and very poorly on the bottom (runners - my boots were forgotten at home, and my scrub pants). As a result when I get to work every day my legs feel like flaming burning hell-fire legs. And my ankles turn all red and get a little swollen. I am pretty sure it is frost bite. I usually recover by 8 o'clock rounds.

This weekend I attempted my first art-line. I failed. It was on a guy who had overdosed on anti-freeze. Right, because that is something that you can just drink for a good time. Man that room smelled so bad. He was being watched by security. In their infinite wisdom they sent up what appeared to be a 16 year old girl to watch over this gigantic guy. The fumes coming off of him were making her intoxicated I am pretty sure. Anyway, he didn't even flinch when I repeatedly stabbed him trying to get the line. My preceptor got it right away. 10 minutes later antifreeze guy pulled out his art-line, oh and also his foley catheter. OUCH.

My hands are chemically burned from using that alcohol hand sanitizer for 7 straight days. Multiple times. They are all red, and then I would forget about this and squirt more sanitizer on them. Oh the burning. The burning. It's a toss up though - I have a patient who is MRSA positive. I am more concerned with making sure I burn all of that off me, than having comfortable hands - or any skin at all.

So I survive all weekend. I am working with this guy who I have never worked with before, and I thought I was being a really good sport and doing everything he wanted me to. I was extra cheerful and asked lots of questions. His one negative comment to me at the end of the day was that I am not very good at taking constructive criticism. I know this is actually not true because I have been told on many occasions that this is one of my strengths - responding well to constructive criticism. But how do you respond to something like that? I asked him what he meant, and he said that I was displaying it right now. By asking questions? I think maybe he was confusing my asking for clarification with challenging him. Anyway - we had a long conversation about it. Where he said I was quick to respond to criticism, when I should just be quiet? I am not sure. I responded the way any overtired and hormonal girl would. With tears. Awesome. Someone tells me I do not respond well to criticism and I start crying. Way to prove his point... Total downer.

Luckily I came home to some chili one of my room mates had made. It helped a bit. Then my other room mate came home and offered me some special lotion for my hands. When I was rubbing it in I noticed it smelled quite a lot like urine. Like a lot. Key ingredient is UREA. Next time I'll save a step and pee directly on my hands.

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