Your nurses don’t keep up with their continuing education

I work in a hospital. I am not a nurse. I constantly correct patients when they ask me questions that have nothing to do with my skill set.

Recently, I had a patient come in for a follow up. She complained loudly that my partner, who is also not a nurse, and I do not keep up with the required continuing education for nurses. Well, of course not. We are not nurses. We do keep up with the continuing education for our line of work. It is required to keep our licenses.

It is frustrating to be told that you aren’t doing your job well when you are classified wrong by someone who isn’t familiar with our job. Nurses can’t come in and do what we do, just like we can’t step in and take over for a nurse. It is a totally different skill set.

All women who work in hospitals are not nurses, just like all men who work in hospitals aren’t doctors.

Last week in review

Last week was a long week at work. I spent longer hours there than usual. This normally isn’t a problem, but it was also the first week of school. This week took a lot of planning. On three different days, I had to do three of my classes at work before heading home.

I decided that I needed a reset so I managed to get a pedicure and made an appointment to get the oil in my car changed. I caught up on homework and made an appointment to meet with the TA of one of my more difficult classes.

I think that this semester will be good. I am trying to get myself organized and learn what is expected for my classes. There is a lot of reading for them, but it’s doable if I organize my time well.

I’m glad that I got blog posts written ahead of time and I have alerted my bookclubs that I’m not going to make some of the meetings. Now I just need to stay on top of things and keep a tight calendar. So far, it’s going OK.

How Do You Get Stuck in a Water Bottle?

When I first started at my current job, years ago, we had a water dispenser that took 5 gallon bottles of water. We used to have to lug the bottles down the hallway, wipe down the bottles, take the plastic lid off, and lift and tip and drop the bottle onto the dispenser, hoping that we would not get ourselves, the wall, the floor, or anyone else wet. Most of the time, we ended up with wet shoes or shirts. This got a little easier when we switched to 3 gallon bottles, but the process was pretty much the same.

Fast forward several years. We got new dispensers that were supposedly spill proof. The new bottles were different. They were still a reasonable 3 gallon size, but now they had little tabs on the bottles that we pulled off and just dropped the bottle onto the dispenser. Much easier and no one washed themselves accidentally.

I had to figure this out. The next time it was time to change the water bottle, I pulled the bottle off the dispenser and looked into the dispenser. There was a pin, about the size of a finger, inside the dispenser. It must do something. I put the new bottle on. Oh, ok. The pin goes into the cap and stops the water from coming out. But what keeps the water inside the bottle when it’s upside down like that?

I took the empty water bottle and began investigating. There seemed to be a little dent in the middle of the cap. The pin must go there. There was a little piece of plastic inside the dent. I wondered how it kept the water in, so, of course, I put my finger in the dent to see how tight the seal was. It was not tight at all. It gave way immediately.

I was not expecting that little pressure, so I pushed harder than I should have. When the plastic piece gave way, my finger took up the space where it had been.

My finger was just the tiniest bit bigger than the plastic piece, so it didn’t come out easily. I lifted my hand to see if I could get my finger out but it was in there. Thankfully the water bottle was empty, so it was light. I wasn’t panicking, but thoughts went through my head. Would this be considered worker’s comp? Can I get up to the emergency room upstairs without drawing too much attention to myself? How am I going to explain this one at the emergency room?

I eventually got my finger unstuck just before my coworker came around the corner. She looked at where I was, the look on my face and the water bottle with the little piece of plastic in it. She asked me if I had been stuck. I admitted that I had been. She just shook her head and declared that only I could get myself in a situation like that and she walked away.

I am sure that I’m not the only one, but I’m usually the first one to admit that I do stuff like that.

I’ll wait for the down elevator

I work on the ground floor. I am always amazed by the number of people who don’t really know what floor they are on, even when they are standing next to the elevator. Part of the problem is that when they did construction on the hospital, no one renamed the floors. Currently, the main entrance to the hospital is on the ground floor. The parking lot is in the next building over, but it’s underground.

The hospital and the parking garage have separate elevators.  The top floor of the parking garage is on the ground floor, which is labeled “4th floor”, and the bottom floor of the hospital is on the ground floor, which is labeled “G”.

I have seen multiple people standing by the elevator near the main entrance, waiting.  Other people get on and off, and they still stand there.  Sometimes, people ask, “Going up?”  The usual response is, “I’m waiting for a down elevator.”  Well, you’ll be waiting a long time, or maybe you’ll need a shovel, since the elevator isn’t going down anytime soon.

White pants

Yesterday, when I came into work, I ran into someone from the engineering department. As we were exchanging “Good Morning” greetings, the painter walked in front of us. I asked the engineer “Hey, why is it that the painters always wear white pants? It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, since you’ll see the paint more easily on white.” He said he didn’t know, but he’d ask around. Another guy from engineering came by, and we asked him, too. He didn’t know, either.

Today, I ran into their supervisor. I told him that no one got back to me with the answer to the question. He looked at me, kind of stunned, but then said, “Now it makes sense! We had a discussion about this yesterday, and most of the answers weren’t repeatable. I should have known that the question came from you, originally!” Yep. I’m known for a lot of things at work.

I still don’t have a solid answer. Theories include most paints are white or light, they are easier to bleach, artistic reasons. Someday, I may find out.

Working on a Weekend

Usually, if I go in to work on a weekend, it’s a brief trip. I had to go in this weekend, after a crazy work week. I wasn’t able to get a lot done after work last week, so I planned to get it done after work on Saturday.

I worked, then took myself to breakfast since everything went smoothly. I was alone, so I sat at the bar instead of waiting 25 minutes for a table. The lady who ended up sitting next to me had done the same thing. She gave me a lecture on the benefits of being single. I gave her a lecture on why she needs a Kindle.

After breakfast, I went to the nail place, expecting a long wait since it was a weekend. I was seated right away and was out the door with a mani pedi in just over an hour.

After nails, I went to the post office to pick up mail. My daughter’s ATM card had been delivered, so I brought it to her girlfriend at work. She’d have the card for the trip they were taking.

Next on the list was the library, to pick up holds. On the way there, I talked to a friend. We got caught up in just over an hour, while I sat in the car. I ran in to the library quickly while he was talking. Then sat in my car at home to talk longer. After we hung up, we texted for a few more minutes, since we weren’t done yet.

I went inside and read for a while. I eventually decided to finish watching The Shining. I had never seen it before, since I’m a big chicken when it comes to horror and thrillers. I got about halfway through and paused it to have dinner. Mostly because I was afraid to watch it all in one chunk.

After dinner, I gathered up my online support group to watch the second half with me. I was surprised that the movie wasn’t as scary as I thought. Creepy, yes. Scary, not so much. I think part of it was that I’d seen so many pieces of it over the years that I kind of knew what was coming.

My aunt texted me right after I finished it and told me that my cousin had just watched it for the first time, along with The Sixth Sense. She was more scared of the other movie. I recommended The Ring and The Blair Witch Project for their next movie nights. Those scared the heck out of me.

Answering the phone at work

I rarely talk about work for various reasons, but today, I will.

I answered the phone at work. Why? Because it rang. The person on the other end asked to speak to the doctor, completely mispronouncing his name. I informed her very clearly that he was with a patient and I could take a message, even though I was looking right at him. He gave me a funny look which I ignored.

She wanted me to give her the doctor’s information for a magazine that he’s been trying to stop receiving. I thanked her and told her that I was sorry, but he’s not interested and I hung up. His response? “Where’d you learn that?” I have many skills that I don’t get to use often. They pop up occasionally.

Are you lost or are you hunting Pokemon?

The signage at work is awful, so we find people lost all over the building.  All day long, people wander in and ask for directions.  Sometimes they just wander randomly, looking lost and someone will point them in the right direction.

Today, as I was leaving, there was someone wandering around, looking lost.  Then I saw that he was looking at his phone.  It almost looked like he was playing Pokemon Go.  I was about to ask him if he was lost or looking for Pokemon in the hospital.  He walked away, looking like he figured it out, so I didn’t bother.

By the time I hit the door, his phone rang.  I heard him say, “oh, I’m on the first floor.  Where are you?”  He ran off toward the elevator before I could tell him that he wasn’t on the first floor, he was on the ground floor.  Like I said, the signage is horrible.  I hope he wasn’t lost for too long.