February 27th, 2012

crossed heart

Kennedy vs Nurses –

Originally published at Cassie Alexander. You can comment here or there.

It's been a busy week of trying to adjust back to a nightshift schedule and nursing again.

For the most part, it's been going swimmingly. My back hurt a bit the first day, but that's just tapered off into generalized soreness now. I did refuse to take a float shift to a different floor (one that is notorious for giving you the worst patients -- my back couldn't take three elderly patients with Alzheimers trying to crawl out of bed in different rooms all night) but other than that, so far, so good.

It is still so easy to get hurt at the hospital though. I'm going to have to be on my guard constantly. The day after my first shift back, we had two nursing students on my floor faint. While that's amusing as hell to me -- it's tough when you see someone fall not to try to catch them. I'm glad I wasn't the nurse with them in their room. I can't be catching anyone right now at all. You never know when someone'll wrench your neck or back.

I also saw the reports about that Kennedy kid pushing and kicking a nurse for trying to stop him from taking his newborn child outside.

You never know when that'll happen, either.

First off -- that man's an asshole. And I've been finding it interesting, reading about the occurrence on different sites, where comments are prone to being smart about things, versus saying the nurses were at fault.

They weren't at fault at all.

You all have *no* idea how many times we have patients who are in custody battles. The hospital has to prepare for the worst at all times -- and the worst is someone known or unknown to you, stealing your child.

We don't care who the fuck you are, you don't take the kid off the floor until we say you can. It doesn't matter how rich you are, how many people you know, how famous your family is. You apparently try to steal a baby? Fuck you.

Above and beyond that -- if you take a baby off the newborn floor, that child has to be completely readmitted to bring them back in. We don't know where you took them to, what you did with them (and why were you taking them outside for a walk in January!?!?), how many of their siblings you let sneeze on them, or even (if you take off their ID bands) if it's the same kid. So you don't get to leave the newborn floor without redoing *everything*.

Secondly, that doctor that apparently helped him take the baby-lo-jack system off the child, is a super asshole. [Let me tell you how much nurses LOVE it when doctors from other floors try to come in and boss us around. LIKE THEY HAVE A FUCKING SAY. I can't tell you how many times a panicked trauma doc in the ED has tried to ship us patients with just their trauma orders, to our floor, where we don't have a doctor 24/7. And they try to convince us that it's OK. Yeah, sure, we would love to take your person with inhalation injuries and etc etc my specialty, up to our floor where we won't have a doctor there if things crash. You fucking make that patient stable while they're down there and we'll take them in 20 mins when our MD arrives. Trust us, just because you're panicked and you've never seen an injury like -- insert my specialty here (so coy of me :P) -- that patient isn't going to die in 20 minutes if you can get an ET tube in them. If they are, there was nothing our MD could have done anyhow.]

So for that doctor to waltz around like he had permission, when the nurses on the newborn floor probably didn't even know who he was -- and you can buy scrubs anywhere, and forge an ID pretty easily -- that's really unforgivable. He knew the policies and procedures of that hospital and willfully broke the rules.

And as for the dad, who decided he had permission to roid rage out and assault people? What. The. Fuck. All those people saying, "Oh my god, but he was the father! How dare they try to take his child from him!" apparently live in a utopian world where you've never had anyone go through an ugly divorce or had conniving grandparents who have passports and live in other countries. Or even watched one of those CSIs or Discovery shows about creepy people getting into hospitals and stealing kids.

Also, how were they to know he was the father? Who knows how big that ward was? Some of the wards I've worked on before I can barely keep track of my own patients, muchless everyone elses. There's a reason why people leave the hospital in the wheelchair. It's a sign that you're doing things the right way -- that you're not going AMA (against medical advice) or being kidnapped. So anyone -- anyone -- leaving the hospital with a baby walking, would put the nurses on high alert. And in those situations, you act first and ask questions later.

I hate that we have to live in a high alert society, but since we do -- we do. Anytime anyone strange comes onto our floor, I say, "Who are you and why are you here?" I may ask it nicer than that, but no one goes any further than the nursing station until I know the answers to those questions, or they've been visiting for so long I recognize them on sight.

The only good thing to come out of this is that the hospital is backing the nurses. Because they did the right thing. Imagine if he had taken his kid out (like his doctor friend helped him to do!) and he'd slipped on ice outside. Who would have been at fault then? Who would have gotten sued?

I hope he goes to jail or/and is fined heavily. I hope the enabling doctor gets fired. And I hope those nurses reap a lucrative reward. As people have been so fond of telling me, you only get one back...and my profession puts it more into danger than most.