Monday, October 16, 2006


This relief job I'm doing at the moment has introduced me to a new concept in the wage-slave's life: Mondays.

I've been a shift worker ever since I left school. The days of the week have less meaning when your 'weekend' is on a Tuesday, and you start night shifts on a Thursday. You just don't notice what day it is, although you do remark that there's an awful lot of people out partying on Friday and Saturday when you're trying to sleep, and hanging around looking hung over on Sunday morning when you're on your way to work.

Nowadays, I get to work on Monday morning and the entire weekend's accumulated detritus is waiting for me in my office. Usually five or six ventilators have had some problem occur and need 'treatment'. Some were user error, ignorance, or just a nurse in a tearing hurry who didn't have time to sit and troubleshoot, so grabbed another one. There'll be cables that don't work, monitors that need rebooting, heat tables that don't heat, and all the other things that Murphy's Law dictates will go wrong on the weekend when there's fewer people to fix 'em.

And the notes. Oh god, the notes. Scribbled on scrap paper, paper towels, the back of opened sterile packs, clinical note paper. Ballpoint pen, fluorescent felt tips, highlighters. "This passed its checks but doesn't work." "This one has rust on the battery mount." "This keeps alarming and I don't know why!"

None of them signed. Why don't they want to leave their names? Are they afraid I'll punish them for breaking things?

Hrm. I could start a whole new line of staff education... don't break it, or You Will Be Punished.

Go ahead. Break it. Make my day.
Posted by PaedsRN at 11:34 AM

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