Sunday, January 22, 2006

Me again!

Two Thoughts for a Sunday Evening.

1. During the Xmas holidays I went to see Fun With Dick & Jane. LOVED it! Was SO funny! I'm usually not that big of a Jim Carrey fan cuz sometimes he goes a little overboard psycho, but he was great in this movie. There was only one little scene where he acted stupid, but his voice distorter he was wearing in the scene prevented you from actually hearing what he was saying half the time so it was tolerable! Great movie - you must see it!

2. James Blunt! What an amazing voice! Totally depressing songs but wow his latest song Goodbye My Lover just gives me goosebumps. If you have no clue who I am talking about, the song he is most known for right now is You're Beautiful. He has such a unique voice. The one thing that bugs me though is when he suddenly swears in You're Beautiful. It is such a sweet, romantic song, and then out of the blue, and totally out of place, he swears - totally breaks the mood. Anyways, if you haven't heard Goodbye my Lover yet, I recommend you download it to give it a try.

So this burnout!

What an exciting weekend this has been so far. It is 7:30 pm on a Sunday and I believe so far this weekend I have been awake for a whole 5 hours!

To quickly summarize my schedule again, I work nights from 5 pm - 1:15 am. By the time I get home, let Molly out, play with her a few minutes, have a quick snack, prepare things for the next day and actually phsically crawl into bed, on a good night/early morning, I aim to be sleeping by 3 am. Friday mornings are my clinical days where I must be up around 6 am. My clinical duties involve both heavy physical work as well as mental clarity and alertness. Well, I discovered on Friday that 2 hours of sleep does not prepare one properly for such tasks.

Arriving at my clinical location, after brushing off several joking remarks from the clinical instructors and fellow students about how I generally looked like crap, I began my routine. Thankfully we got into little groups of 3's to help each other out with their patients before having to jump in by ourselves so it did allow me a quick refresher of what we were doing. My friend Meesha's patient was first and we started out the day by undressing him and giving him a trough bath. He reminded me so much of my dad that it sort of startled me into just standing in the background and staring, basically being useless.

A little later the other 2 girls got busy making beds and helping the support worker with various patients so I decided to go and look for my patient. She is a sweet elderly lady that I chose right away as I seemed to connect her with her, and she is fairly high functioning so I wouldn't be too overwhelmed at first. After gently waking her, I was at a total loss as to what I was to do next... of course then my clinical instructor happens to walk by and check up on me and mildly chastizes me for being unprepared (meanwhile I had this patients whole chart memorized for over a week now, but my mind was just blank). So my clinical instructor stands over me as step by step I get her toileted, washed up, and ready for breakfast in the dining room. Other than looking totally incompetent it went pretty uneventful. For the next half hour or so I helped the support worker deliver breakfast to bed ridden patients, assisted with toileting, made beds, etc, and once things quieted down I went to the dining room to check on my patient. I sat down next to her and started talking with her. I happened to look to the side and noticed these 3 elderly people slumped over in the restraints in the wheelchairs sitting off to the side in the little sun room - they looked so sad and lonely and I felt so overwhelming sad for them. That was one of my last thoughts before the whole room started spinning, I started shaking, and I felt sick. Thankfully I found a washroom and was sick for a few minutes, and then just couldn't stop crying. I must've cried for at least half an hour. My clinical instructor was really good about it and talked with me for a little while about how I just burned out, and I will have to make some adjustments in my life if I want to continue as it is not safe for me, or the patients I am handling. Thankfully the rest of clinical was uneventful as I got my second wind.

After clinical I came home and napped for 2 hours until it was time for work. My entire work shift was in a fog, and at one point I went to talk to my manager about what happened to me earlier and what would she suggest. So for the rest of this term, I will leave at 11 pm Thursday nights, taking the remainder hours as vacation time, and we'll see how that helps.

To summarize, I look back now at how unhealthy I had allowed my lifestyle to become. Lack of sleep, lack of nutrition, lack of organization, and no "me time", all contributed to my burning out. Even coffee breaks and supper hours have been spent pouring over textbooks and doing homework. So I allowed this weekend to be all about me - in this case it was sleep! I woke up at 4 pm yesterday, had a bite to eat, then went back to sleep again. I was supposed to be working overtime today from 9 am - 1pm, and could really use the money, but when my alarm went off I shut it off and just rolled back over to sleep again until 3 pm. At least I am starting to feel a little more like myself again :-)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Sabrina’s Law 2005

Well, I am pretty impressed with the government for our recent instilment of the Sabrina Law, in memory of the student who died from her peanut allergy. The purpose of the bill is to protect anaphylactic students. I am very impressed at this attempt to protect the safety of the students who are at risk of dying just from coming into contact with an allergen.

For those not aware, I personally have an allergy to seafood and fish – I carry an epi-pen – I believe the majority of people who know me are aware of this – and I have always kept my managers informed of this situation. In the past, due to fellow co-workers insensitivity, I have had several life-threatening reactions at work involving immediate action being taken and numerous hospital visits. Because of these numerous reactions, my allergy has gone from fairly mild to quite severe, where it is not guaranteed I will survive my next reaction.

Recently the managers on the night shift had been requesting that no items containing fish be brought into the office. A contract staff member who just came back to work a couple weeks ago apparently takes offence to this, and has sent me several nasty emails and practically attacked me at the end of the work day stating this was a violation of her rights, and who do I think I am getting the managers to ban a food item from the office to protect just 1 person. She is starting a diet which requires her to eat chicken and fish only for meat, and happens to prefer fish. So…..I am expected to risk my life so she can eat her fish? (Ironically, I am on the exact same diet – as of today I have lost 16 lbs, and guess what, I didn’t eat the fish!)

I am hoping Sabrina’s Law will open people’s eyes to how serious a problem allergies really are. How many more have to die before people finally get it! Legally, this law is just in effect now so will probably take a while before everything is smoothed out with it, and yes, it only covers schools; however considering the number of offices now that have a no-scent policy (including my own), I am hoping it will not be long until the same laws cover the work place too.

With all of the food options available to us in North America, is it really that much to ask people to consider other food choices for the meals when they have been informed of specific allergies of those in their company?

My Nursing Degree Online - Directory of online nursing degrees and certifications, job listings and nursing blog.