Nursing Voices

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Get. A. Clue.

As per usual after my third night in a row, I'm feeling a little punch drunk and slap happy this morning. (Consider this fair warning that the following post should be read with a VERY sarcastic tone of voice... if you're in the habit of reading posts out loud, that is.)

To all potential patients who choose to shoot up, snort, smoke or drink substances that are a) not legal and/or b) not really recommended during pregnancy (or the rest of your life for that matter):

No matter how dumb or tired your OB triage nurse looks, she is not dumb enough to believe the following really convenient lies that you are about to tell.

-- your UDS tested positive for marijuana because your sister-in-law smokes pot in your house

-- your UDS tested positive for cocaine because you were with a bunch of friends that were smoking crack

Girlfriend, get a clue. And get some new friends.


Well, you get the idea. Enough sarcasm.

It's been a weekend full of weirdness and busyness... both the good and the bad. Absolutely exhausting, but very fulfilling. I don't know about everyone else that I worked with, but I hope that they walked out of the building this morning with a tired smile and a sense of accomplishment, as I did.

Is there any other profession in which the juxtaposition of such wildly different emotions and realities is so striking every time you come to work? To feel so helpless in the face of unknowns and uncertainties, yet so full of hope for a smooth labor, a good outcome. Sometimes I feel the fear creep up on me... there are SO many things that can (and sometimes will) go wrong. How can we possibly make it through?

Yet we always do. We are never alone. There is always another willing set of hands, another discerning eye, another reassuring word.



Susan Palwick said...

I once worked with a woman who, sadly, was a heroin addict. One day I needed to go out at lunch when it was raining, and she lent me her umbrella, which had one of those covers on it. When I removed the cover outside the building, a syringe (wrapped and sterile) fell out at my feet.

I didn't have the courage to pick it up in front of passersby, although I felt guilty about that, because I didn't know how reliable a source of sterile needles she had. When I walked back into the office, she saw my face and said, "Was there something in that umbrella? My sister's diabetic, and that's why that was there."


I told her where to find it if she wanted to go back to it. She got fired a few months later. I still wonder what happened to her, and hope she's okay.

frectis said...

Ugh. One of my friends works L&D at the hospital in the "bad" part of town and had a woman brought in by one of her hype friends. They discovered the "thing" that led them to bringing her in: cord prolapse. She was too high to notice that her baby's cord prolapsed at least a day before and baby had been dead several more.

Hugs to all of you dealing with that. My cocoon of low risk women as a midwife makes that such a tall tale to hear.

Mother Jones RN said...

I also hear a lot of "my dog ate my homework" kind of stories when patients come in positive for drugs. One day I finally had enough. A patient came in and told me a tall tail about why he was positive for coke. I took my hand and started rubbing my forehead. Then I asked if he could still see the word stupid written across my head. He cracked up and started laughing.

I once had a boss who asked me, "Do you know how to tell when an addict is lying?"

Answer: Their lips move.


Ckmetro said...

Hi I Like your posts.......And hate hate hate people who lie and use drugs !! Happy New Years

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