08 December 2011

My Work Rant and The Final Judgement

I know most people want to hear all about how things are going with Mirage, but after last night at work I feel like I need to get some junk out there.

Working in health care you deal with a lot of crap, figuratively and literally.  It gets really frustrating at times, and the only pay off is that every now and then it's really rewarding.  I'd like to mention a few things that makes my day, and your day, at the hospital more pleasant.
  1. First and foremost, I know caregivers are supposed to be above everything and saintly and stuff, but in reality we're only human.  There's a natural golden rule of health care, if you want good care, be a good patient.  You could have the Mother Theresa of caregivers and if you're a jerk they will spend only the time that is absolutely necessary with you.  If you become a "favorite" you get special perks.  Example: I have three call-lights going off at the same time, you are a favorite, one is a jerk, and one is an average patient.  Whose room do you think I'm going to enter first?  It's not that you'll get sub-par health care if you treat the care staff like your personal slaves, but I'll be looking to get out of your room as soon as possible.
  2. Realize you're not my only patient.  Health care is expensive, and to save money the hospital does annual studies to decide just the right number of patients assigned to each caregiver so that they can pay as few people to do as much work as possible, but not so much that you risk costly malpractice mistakes.  I generally have 7-8 patients a night, I can't always answer your call within six seconds.
  3. I know your family member is important to you, but back the {insert expletive of choice here} off.  Seriously, we're doing all we can and you hovering over our shoulder, getting in our way and reminding us of what we are already well aware of every 30 seconds only slows us down, and that means more time before we can help said loved one.  We're all trained well, even the most menial member of the care team had to get certified on a state or national level, let us do our thing.
  4. Did I mention how much you want to be a "favorite"?  People talk, especially at the hospital, if you're a jerk, that gets passed on to the next shift, same with being a favorite.  What does it take to be a favorite?  Treat us like people, not like someone whose job it is to take care of you.  Do that and I spend more time in your room, even if it's just talking about how you walked uphill both ways to get to school, or how when you were a kid there was a dairy farm down the street and now there's a shopping mall.  Say please and thank you.  We're not afraid to tell all of our co-workers how horrible you are and how you're a nightmare to work with.  Also, we won't hesitate to tell everyone how great, nice and awesome you are.  And trust me, either of the previous reports will be perpetuated from shift to shift.
  5. Try to realize that, in a hospital, the people you see most are more or less middle-men.  You want a different/new treatment? We've gotta ask your Doctor to order it.  You want some more pain medication? We've gotta ask your Doctor to order it.  We can only do what we're told we can do, if you want something else we have to get it cleared by an MD.  This means, A) It's going to take time, because the Doctor has many patients on multiple floors that they're covering at once. B) There's no guarantee the Doc is going to do what you want. and C) If the Doctor DOES order it, we'll do it, we're not going to ask a doctor, whose bothered we're asking them anyway, if we can do something and then not do it.
  6. Want to be a super-double favorite, which means pretty much getting everything you want(and that I am legally allowed to do for you) with a smile?  We take pride in our work, the one thing that makes me feel the best is to hear that a patient requested me back.  Even if you were a pain the last shift, if you request me, you are immediately no longer considered a pain.  Like most people, we like to hear we did a good job, and nothing tells us that like being asked to help you again.
Ok, I feel better, good thing this is an anonymous blog or I'd feel like a douche.  

So my birthday is in less than a week.  It's pretty intense, I'm getting old, I'm often reminded that starting on my birthday I have one year to get married before I become a menace to society.  But, whatever, I do what I want.  I honestly think the coolest thing about this birthday is that my relationship with Mirage is still so new that she will be meeting all of my friends for the first time... at the same time.

Now, since I have a much more business-like relationship with my family, my friends become like my family, thus their opinions matter greatly to me.  I'll be very interested to hear what they think about Mirage.

Also, funny story.   Mirage and I met each-other's respective parents this last weekend.  Usually this is way to early for me to introduce a girl to the family, especially when I don't live at home.  (I think back to Liz, whom I dated for seven months before she met my parents.)  But her parents wanted to meet me, so I returned the favor.  It was really funny because I brought Mirage to family dinner, and when I talked to my mom about it I simply asked, "Is it okay if I bring someone to dinner on Sunday?"  When we showed up Littlesister and Mother both gave the exact same look, excitement to surprise to confusion to inquisitiveness.  I was confused for a couple seconds, then I realized, they were expecting Hannah.  That's right, I hadn't told my family about Hannah's deletion from my life, or the discovery of Mirage yet.

Oops.  Oh well, Mother always accused me of liking my secrets too much.

So... Who does Mirage have to impress this weekend?  Well, hopefully everyone, but top two I'd have to say Smartypants and Eric, I consider them my closest friends, and come to think of it, They are like my Yin and Yang.  Smartypants could represent my more sophisticated, refined, and intelligent half, while Eric could represent my more wild, reckless, typical guy half.  It should be an interesting night.


Smartypants said...

They were expecting HANNAH!?! Aaaaahhhh. That is sort of awful, Chris.

Also, I am supremely honored that you value my opinion so much. I'm fairly certain I already approve, so nothing to worry about...but you may flatter me all you like.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness. You nailed it. I do the same thing you do, just at an assisted living facility. People just don't understand that you can't be 10 places at once and that you can't give them all the medication in the world at the very second they want it. It's super annoying sometimes but then when you take care of someone who actually appreciates you and what you're doing for them, it totally makes up for all the jerks who think you're the meanest/stupidest person in the world.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday