Monday, January 24, 2011

NICU job

So I applied for a NICU position at Inner City Hospital (which is also about 30 minutes closer to my house) in December. I emailed the manager explaining the situation (why I would want to leave the adult ICU after not so many months, what kind of experience I have, etc.) and got an email back saying she was gone until January. Shucks.

I called her in January and got the answering machine. Left a message explaining who I was and what I wanted. No call back. Starting to grind my teeth a little. Gave up for a little while.

THEN, my friends, I had a moment of clarity. Unfortunately, this came in the form of a dude with a GI bleed getting bowel prep. He kept needing to get up to the bedside commode every thirty minutes or so because of the loveliness that is Golytely. This guy, however, had approximately six brain cells. He would jump out of bed and pull his IV pole by his catheter site and yell "I GOTTA GO TO THE CAN!" Multiple attempts to educate him about the wonders of the call light were unsuccessful. The cherry on this wonderful sundae of a night shift was the face that he kept shitting all over the floor. I don't know how exactly you miss while pooping into a bedside commode, but every time I knew he was up (his tele would go crazy) I would get to mop up tons of shit off the floor.

I tried to be as nice as possible. "Honey, what happened here?" I inquired. "I don't know," the hapless gentleman would reply, shrugging.

I don't want to give the wrong impression. I totally understand that cleaning up shit is part of being a nurse. I get that. I don't mind that my really sick, 99-year-old, helpless patients really can't hold it. That doesn't bother me. This man is well enough to get up to the toilet, but apparently has no shame while watching nurses continually wipe his crap off the floor. The real kicker is that he would bend over the bed, prison style, so I could wipe him. "Um...sir? It's OK for you to wipe yourself," I tried to offer. "I don't want to," was his pathetic reply. He would then get back in bed with his gown halfway up and his balls hanging out all over the place. This happened about six times over the eight hours I had him. Charming.

Do some people have no shame?

Either way, that night motivated me to call that NICU manager again the very next morning. She answered the phone - yay! However, she explained that she was in the middle of a meeting and she had over 50 applicants for the position, so she had no idea who I was. Deflating. However, I am sort of glad I had that patient because it totally solidified in my mind the fact that I can't deal with adults. Children are always helpless. Adults...not so much.

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