This past weekend was my first weekend back to clinicals after Spring Break, and if I told you that I was a little rusty after having just one weekend off that would be the understatement of the year. And since it would only make sense to add insult to injury, the nurse that I was assigned to was the devil. I’m serious…if I had looked closely…I would have seen her horns. The dance began early…7am.
Me: Hi, I’m Nikol…I’m a student and I’ll be working with you today with Patient X.
Devil: You’ll have to wait. [walks away]
…20 minutes later…
Devil: What’s your name again? You need to get report?
Me: My name is Nikol. Yes, that would be great.
Devil: Ok, can you look up his history yourself on the computer? I don’t have time for this right now.
And so it went like this all. Day. Long. She acted like I was an immense inconvenience and perhaps it would behoove me to call her Almighty Queen, because didn’t I know she was royalty? She acted like she was pissed off that I was taking the load off of her by taking care of her patient, and HOW DARE I give her periodic updates on how he tolerated this…and that. When it was time to do a complicated dressing change, after I had cared for the patient on my own the entire day, she told me that she would handle the dressing change herself. Of course, I followed her into the room so that I could get my hands dirty, and instead of walking me through it, or at the very least EXPLAINING as she did it herself, she had me hold the patient over on his side…where the wound wasn’t even in my line of vision.
Throughout the day, I found myself screening through ways to approach her, ways to set her straight, ways to CRUSH HER LIKE A BUG! But instead, I sat at the computer next to her towards the end of my shift and pretended to chart on my patient:
Devil (on the phone with the MD): I UNDERSTAND THAT! But what I am asking you to DO is THIS.
Me (in my head): Are you serious? You suck at pretending to be human.
Devil hangs up the phone.
Me: So how long have you worked here?
Devil (curtly): Two years.
Me: Oh, really? This is the first time I’ve seen you on this floor.
Me: Do you usually work during the week?
Devil (looks at me like I’m an idiot): I guess, yeah.
Me: Oh, that’s nice! So where did you go to school? Have you been a nurse long?
Devil: No response.
Me: Well, I’m going to be leaving soon, is there anything else you would like for me to do before I go?
Me: Okay, then. Thank you so much for helping me out today. I hope you have a great rest of the day! It’s really beautiful out there!
Overkill? Maybe. But it beats homocide.