Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I swear the nurses hate us here

I can’t say that I can blame them honestly though; they are all very good at their jobs and have extensive experience working with adult heart patients of all sorts (this hospital is devoted  entirely to heart patients).  The other guest nurses agree that we feel like we are invading their turf.  A few are friendly; most seem indifferent if slightly annoyed at times…and then there are a few who are outright cold. 

But it must be difficult and frustrating for them; they all work very hard and are arguably overburdened.  We come in and all of the sudden they have even more work to do because of the increased volume of cases plus they have the added annoyance of having us get in the way and ask them tedious questions like “what med is this?” or “when did you start this drip?”  Nothing is labeled in English, med-wise which at times is scary, especially considering that we have caught several medication errors already.  There also seems to be a general indifference about learning anything new; it feels like every time I make a suggestion I am met with an emphatic explanation of “this is how we do it.”  The physicians are just as bad; I don’t even want to bother making suggestions at this point so unless I feel like a decision is going to potentially harm the patient, I just let it go. 

This experience, though not really that much different from my first Siberian ICHF trip, stands in such stark contrast to my Iraqi trip.  The nurses needed so more much help but they were at least somewhat appreciative of our presence…and it felt like we were doing something.  Teaching, caring for patients, modeling good practice.  And everyone was so friendly. 

Not the really the case here…at least not clinically.  Which is a bummer.  And frustrating. 

Cutey Pie hanging in the ICU post BT shunt
SO, for the most part, I just try to stay out of the way: do data entry for our trip, catch up on emails and reading…and try to enjoy the fact that this isn’t a total clinical nightmare.  
This little guy has AV block and is stuck in the ICU on a pacemaker...I think he is over it.

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