Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments

An Old Constipation Remedy And Nursing Burnout

constipationConstipated since childhood, but after 63 years, she decided to deal with it on Christmas at 0400.

Okay, not really.

Apparently, if you are constipated you should eat yeast.

Plain squares of yeast.

I don’t get the mechanism.

Yeast rises in a warm environment.

So, if you eat it, does it keep expanding until it explodes everything in front of it out the, uh, exit door?

*****

I will say that the most interesting chief complaints tend to cluster around the holidays.

It goes something like this:

“Hi! I’m Kim and I’m the nurse; what is the problem this cold, icy, rainy holiday morning?”

“I’ve had a flaky left baby toe for a week.”

“Is it painful?”

“No.”

“Does it itch?”

“No.”

“What have you done for it so far?”

“I saw my doctor and he gave me a cream, but I don’t want to use it.”

“Really? Why didn’t you want to use it?”

“Because my toe is flaky!”

Well, okay then…

*****

Something is changing on night shift.

Used to be you could clear out the PM patients by 0100 and only have a rare patient before 0530. Left a lot of time for studying.

No more. Now there is a flurry at 2300 (almost all pedi fevers) and a steady stream after that, all the way up to day shift. Croup, abdominal pain, migraines, chest pain, nausea/vomiting, cough, asthma, it’s all there. Can’t blame it on H1N1, either; it’s been like this for awhile. Summer slump? Haven’t seen one for at least two years.

The problem with this is not that people need care – that is why we are there. It’s that the unspoken benefits of working the night shift (the slower pace, the down time) has virtually disappeared.

It’s getting harder and harder to deal with a dissonant circadian rhythm.

Some of my co-workers are older than I, and they work doubles and double-backs and seven, eight 12-hour nights in a row.

Just the thought of a 12-hour shift makes me want to run for Zoloft.

When did I turn into a wimp?

(Could be the constant ingestion of sugar, salt and fat over the last four weeks……nah)

I mean, I am Nurse, hear me roar…

…right after I’m done yawning.

*This blog post was originally published at Emergiblog*


You may also like these posts

Read comments »


Comments are closed.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »