Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Fine Art of Being a Good Night Nurse

First, I have to say I respect anyone who works a night shift. I physically could not do it. I know there are some nurses who work rotating shifts (i.e., a mix of day and night shifts) and I totally could not do that. I have always needed more sleep than the average. I can go on a bit less for awhile, but it catches up to me and comes crashing down on me.

Technically I think all the nurses here are very good, and they are also very nice. Different nurses have different styles and the night nurse style I like the most are those that are efficient, quiet and work with minimal light. My favorite night nurses come in with meds ready to go, they use a soothing voice to gently wake me up and remind me what needs to happen, and they do it without turning on a light in the room. They are in and out in 5 minutes and you are back to sleep and hardly knew they were there.

By contrast, my nurse night before last, turned on the overhead fluorescent light every time he entered the room, startled me awake every time he came in with a booming hello (literally I jumped as I was jolted awake every time he came in). He would scan my badge and then go find the medicine and only reappear with the meds several minutes later having left the light on the whole time. Same thing would happen for anything else that was scheduled at that time -- nothing was set up and ready to go. To make things worse, usually he would try and have a conversation as well which is not what I want to do after being jerked out of sleep in the middle of the night.

I felt awful for my roommate. I was definitely the bad roommate that night since I had either vital checks or meds about every 2 hours. To compound it, we had different nurses and different med schedules so it was a revolving door in our room that lead to not a lot of sleep.

Last night my roommate got very sick. The upside for me was I got moved to my own room, and it is just set up for one person. There are only 4 patients on my unit, and the max is 12. It is looking good for no roommate for the rest of the week (woo hoo!).... Fingers crossed I will have a string of good night nurses too for the rest of this run and not end up too sleep deprived!!

Counts are still looking good, second infusion of moxe went smoothly and side effects are about the same as last time. Treatment is starting to feel routine. The better my counts get the less likely I am to develop an infection that keeps me from getting released on time, which also lowers my stress. So all in all things are going well.

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