This is a follow-up from my cartoon about Types of Night Pages from Nurses....
No offense to any nurses or future nurses because many are truly fantastic (I love all the nurses I work with now), but I've had some pages from nurses that made me almost pop an aneurysm in my brain. Seriously, you'd think when you give a verbal order, they wouldn't have to page you again later to clarify the order, cuz if there were a mistake, they should have caught it while I was saying it, right? Anyway, during one of my overnight calls as an intern, I wrote down a few choice pages:
8PM: "Doctor, Mr. L's blood pressure is now 86/55."
"Okay, what's his pulse?"
"Oh. Hold on..."
(five minutes later)
"His pulse is 100."
"And what's his O2 sat?"
"Oh. Uh, hold on again...."
(five minutes later)
"Sorry, I can't find his vitals."
10PM: "Doctor, you wrote for Mr. J to be NPO until the morning, but can you write for a diet for the morning?"
"OK, let's give him a diabetic diet in the morning."
10:15PM: "Doctor, did you want to write for a diet for Mr. J?"
"YES, I wanted to give him a diabetic diet starting the morning. I JUST talked to the charge nurse about this."
4AM: "Is this Dr. K?"
"No, I'm covering for her. What's the problem?"
"Doctor, Mr. Q had a surgery today, but Dr. K never wrote a set of new orders for after the surgery. You need to write a completely new set of orders for him."
"Well, she's out of the hospital now and I don't know the patient. Can you wait a few more hours till she comes in?"
"No. Mr. Q has been sitting here without orders for nine hours and he needs orders NOW."
"So he's been back from the surgery since 7PM yesterday and you waited until 4AM to call? Why didn't you call during the daytime hours if it was so urgent?"
5AM: "Doctor, you wrote for Mrs. N that she has no allergies, but she says she's allergic to Vicodin."
5:20AM: "Doctor, I called you just before about Mrs. N being allergic to Vicodin, but she's actually allergic to Lithium, not Vicodin."
(As if they were about to administer a dose of Lithium to her imminently and only waking me up at 5 in the morning to tell me she was allergic would be able to stop this from happening. FYI, I didn't write to give her lithium OR vicodin.)
After the nonstop pages finally stopped, I managed to fall sleep. Except I fell asleep on top of my phone, which contains the alarm that wakes me up. So I ended up waking up half an hour later than I intended. I woke up to a page from a nurse, who was trying to get in touch with my co-intern. I still had my co-intern's pager from last night, even though she was in the hospital. (I have no idea why she didn't try to get it back from me. It's not like I was difficult to reach with TWO pagers. I'm guessing she didn't want it back.)
I did the quickest rounds in history. I checked labs super-fast, got all the vitals, then I basically just peeked my head into each patient's room to make sure they weren't dead. Somehow I finished with one minute to spare. I used that minute to pee for the first time that entire morning. What a luxury.