Came to work an hour early ready to start my 12 hour shift. It was about 12 patients at the beginning of the shift, within an hour we discharged four leaving us with eight patients leaving room to get ten admissions throughout the night. ER was packed so I know we were going to get slammed with admits.

Staffing was a mess as usual and we ended up being short staffed. At least every thirty minutes to an hour somebody got a new admit so the previous admit assessment or charting was not complete. Call lights stayed going off, phones steady ringing, everybody wanted pain meds every hour. Then I lost my badge & locator badge for the rest of the shift, from running in and out of rooms helping turn patients & putting the confused ones back in bed.

One patient pulled out his IV, making it look like a murder scene in his room. The next patient who was “allegedly” paralyzed on her right side managed to get her clothes off and get out the bed. Then another patient down the hall Colostomy bag was constantly leaking all over the place and her PICC line did not work (absolutely no blood return). Another one is throwing up every time you walk out the room. While all of this is going on another confused patient who cannot ambulate is climbing over the rails trying to get out of the bed & two other confused patients are screaming from the top of their lungs.

Meanwhile a patient who is nearly seven feet tall that can barely ambulate refuses to use his cane. Then a patient who was just in a MVA asks for a T-Bone Steak as soon as he gets admitted to the floor. To top it all off I had to make the assignment for day shift & after all that happened that actually was the most stressful part!!

This night may have been absolutely ridiculously insane, but with the help and laughs of my other staff members it actually made it a better night. One Nurse who had to stay over to day shift because she could not finish all of her charting decided not to come back tonight. The other one stuck it out and will be working & lucky me I’m off for the next three days ;-)!!

Ever had a shift that was crazy from the time you clocked in until the time you clocked out? If so, how did you handle it? Were you stressed the entire shift or were you able to keep your cool? Did you call off the next day/night or did you come back to work hoping it would be better this shift? Most important were your other staff members helpful?

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