Friday, October 14, 2011

A Nurses Wishlist...

Now, I know this sounds ridiculous: a nurses' wishlist. Blame the Pollyanna optimist that I tend to be if you must, but I'm quite sure I speak to everyone for every nurse out there when I say this.... well almost:

1.) I wish for more hospital transportation assistance - day and night. It's damn near impossible to get help during the day moving a patient from the ICU to another room... imagine the night shift.
2.) While on transportation: I wish ICU transfer's trumped all other's in the hospital. We don't move 100 people in/out a day, but when we do move someone, it's likely an urgent matter for the person who needs to come in. OH, and if we can't get a "Resource Nurse" for the critical care department... maybe just a few to float around the hospital to help turn, transport, go to procedures etc...
3.) I wish for compliant Dialysis patients. I know it has to suck having dialysis. It's probably eternal torture waiting and waiting and waiting for a kidney transplant... BUT DO WHAT YOUR DOCTOR/NURSES SAY! There are just reasons for fluid restrictions, low sodium diets and regularly scheduled dialysis appointments. Not going to dialysis because you "don't feel like it" is pure stupidity... emergent dialysis isn't a picnic and practically drowning in your own body fluids has got to be freaking SCARY! Why do so many KEEP doing it?!
4.) Also - take care of your fistulas.
5.) Go to the bathroom when your nurse asks if you need to go. Likely, we have time to help you now.... not 15 minutes from now when you finally call out asking for help. Yes, it's kind of like when you make your kids "go" even when they say they "don't have to go".... something will always come out. Usually. 
6.) Keep a record of your medications. This includes dosage and frequency. Also, it's nice to include herbals too. You never know if we're going to need it. 
7.) While you're healthy and of sound mind, make a living will and designate a Power of Attorney (POA) and/or Healthcare Power of Attorney. Especially if you're not married to this person. Legally, your next of kin is your decision maker whether you want them to be or not if you don't have LEGAL documentation authorizing someone else. Just do it. I know you think this won't happen or you won't need it... but this lack of documentation creates a mess for everyone involved. 
7a.) If you're gay and living in a state that doesn't yet recognize gay marriage, DO THE PAPER WORK! 
8.) I wish for online scheduling.
9.) I wish for 6 week scheduling.... 6 weeks ahead.
10.) Smile. Say thank you. Be kindThis is for everyone. Patients. Doctors. Nurses. Transportation. Dietary. Pharmacy, etc .... we're all a team. We all work hard. 
11.) I wish for Computerized MARS.
12.) Keep your weight in check. Yes - the BMI calculation works too. Yes, I'm strong... but I'm certainly not strong enough to move 100kg of flaccid body weight up and around a bed alone. So if you would like to be moved regularly, watch your weight and keep it within HEALTHY levels please.
13.) I wish Starbucks delivered to the nearest hospital every afternoon between 1 and 4pm and for the night shift-ers, when they close the stores.
14.) Better yet, I wish family members would ask their nurses more often if we too would like a cup of joe to sip on when they go to get theirs. :)
15.) I wish for more nursing education assistance.... for higher ed and/or unit based. 
16.) Free water bolus' for each nurse every 2 hours. This chronic dehydration mess we're all in at work is making us grumpy and wreaking havoc on our skin. 

Love, Your Nurse

Okay... well, that's all I've got for now. Fellow nurses: Feel free to add on......

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