« May 2008 | Main | July 2008 »

June 29, 2008

Getting The Second Assignment

I just finished a three day stretch, and they worked me like a rented mule. Every night, I hardly had time to eat my lunch, much less write on the blog. Last night was my busiest night, I didn't even leave my patient's room from 10 pm until almost 3 am. My other patient didn't get his money's worth that night, at least not from me. He'll be ok, he's young, a drug addict, he's probably laid in a few ditches in his time, he should be happy just to have a bed to rest in and some trazadone to help him get to sleep. The busy patient was a GI bleed, and there was just a lot of things going on all night. Pretty interesting, though.

So, although it just doesn't seem possible, a few days before July, here we are trying to get into our next assignment. This has proved to be an interesting ordeal already. We'd come to the conclusion that while we have been very pleased with the Y, it would be nice to have a change of scenery and head up to New Hampshire. Well, that fell through, and not in just the casual, oh-well sort of way that such things can fall through. Since it has indeed fallen through and there is no need to hide the name, we were interested in Dartmouth, which is a 350-bed teaching hospital in Lebanon, NH, associated with the school there. It's really in the middle of nowhere, but that would have been fine, as the outdoor surroundings would have allowed plenty of hiking and biking and camping, a change from the urban life. Once we settled on going there, I was focused on it and couldn't have imagined being turned down, especially by a small hospital urgently needing nurses.

Our recruiter requested evals from our current managers, which took an exceptionally long time to obtain. Even before they were submitted, my manager stopped me the other morning in the conference room to tell me that they'd already re-signed Jess and I. I was taken aback, I didn't see that coming, and didn't know really what to say. I must have looked a little stunned, because someone in the background said, "Well, don't act too happy!" At that time, Dartmouth was certain in my mind, so I thanked her and got out of the situation. Apparently they'd caught wind of our eval requests and were trying to head us off from leaving, which is a compliment of sorts.

Later that day, our evals came through and were sent on to Dartmouth. I received an unexpected call from our recruiter late in the afternoon, bearing bad news. Apparently, Dartmouth turned me down cold. They weren't interested in an interview or more information. They didn't care that I had 3 1/2 years experience in 1000-bed hospitals. They decided I didn't have enough neuro and trauma experience, and that was that. I didn't even get a chance to talk to them, they just weren't interested. So much for Dartmouth.

It was pretty insulting, really. Surely I would have more experience than all the new grads they have to hire at the end of August. I felt pretty disheartened by it; were they having a bad day, or PMS? Does my skills checklist suck that bad? I've moved on, and am not really that sure why I was so insulted, I just know that I felt pretty angry about it, as well as disappointed. Ironically, a nurse we had directed towards applying for the job to did get an interview and accepted, and is heading up there soon, for $41.50 an hour. Nice. Rub it in.

So, we're still looking for the job. There is a job in Wisconsin for $38 an hour. I am not sure I want to go to Wisconsin, though. I've been looking forward to being in New England for the fall. Apparently the Y wants us to re-sign, so that is always an option, and probably the best one at this time. I wouldn't mind staying for sure, our units have been great, and we would still be in New England for the fall.

Then today, after my terribly busy night, somehow I managed to have all my meds done, all my orders finished, and the patient and room looking clean for the most part, not an easy task considering the pile of orders I had to dig through. The patient had stabilized and turned around. Of course, I had much help from my neighbors (another reason to stay at the Y), especially with my abandoned patient, but it felt good to leave that mess in decent order. Then the nurse I gave report to, a seasoned nurse who has been working there for a long time, asked me whether I was going to sign another contract. She told me that I was the best traveler they've had in a long time, which had me stammering again. While I doubt that everyone in the unit would agree with that statement, it was the kind of compliment that I needed, a boost in a time that I been having some doubts. I was very grateful for that.

Until next time, be safe.

June 24, 2008


As if to prove my last statement, that this gig often seems like a long vacation, I'm enjoying the last day of a five day stretch off. I've been incredibly lazy the last two days, but the weekend was packed, as we headed out of town to go to Boston.

Jess and I both worked Thursday night, which for me was an unusually busy and stressful night. That's probably because I was looking forward to the trip the next morning. It was one of those nights where I just couldn't quite get caught up with the busy work, even though there was nothing that was particularly busy about it all. At any rate, after work, we went home for a couple hours of quick sleep and then we were off for Boston.

I should point out that Jess and I aren't great at planning these little trips too far in advance; that is to say, far enough in advance to be sufficient to be able to easily book hotels and buy tickets to events. No, we wait until literally a day or two before leaving, then start looking. That's why our trip to NYC was so short, because I couldn't find any place online to reserve for less than $200 a night, and my assumption that surely we could find a place once arriving in the city was quite thoroughly wrong. So, this trip, I started looking two days instead of one. That wasn't much time, though, not in the summer in Boston. All of the affordable hotels were booked up, as well as the B&Bs under $200 and within twenty miles of the city. I finally did find a hotel, a place called the Oasis Guest House. Reviews of the place were mixed, some almost exploding with good things to say about the place (I almost always discard these reviews, they are likely written by the owners), others describing the place as the cornhole of Boston. Apparently these folks have never stayed in a youth hostel in Amsterdam, that smells like dead animals wrapped in gym socks even minutes after they "clean" it.

I will have to say, Jess and I have a knack for finding the gay guesthouses. When we were in a little town in Belgium where no one spoke English, we were trying to ask some lady in a meat shop about the location of our chosen hostel in our guidebook. She was puzzled until she saw the name, then she was like, "Non, non, (unknown French words with lots of head shaking)." We left with impression the place had burned to the ground, but while walking around later looking for another hostel, low and behold, there it was, open and with vacancies. The receptionist was a slight, effeminate looking fellow, but that's not so unusual in Europe, and we were just happy to have found the place, and it was cheap! Later, when the male couples came in for evening, it all clicked, but it was still a good place to stay. After all, the receptionist spoke English, and it was cheap!

I was a little suspicious talking to the guy at the Oasis on the phone making the reservations, he sounded a little feminine. Still, it literally was the only place in Boston under $200 that wasn't a youth hostel or the YMCA (neither of which was appealing), and it was only $120 a night. So we booked it, and sure enough when we got there, we checked in with that fellow, then were shown to our room by his apparent partner. Our room was great, though, a little small and with a shared bathroom, but better than the reviews. Even though Jess was the only woman I saw in the place besides the housekeeper those two nights, we were not in Boston to hang out in our room. We spent a minimal amount of time there. At least they were very nice there, something refreshing in the northeast, which is not known for cordial behavior.

We were also just two blocks from Fenway Park, which was important. Jess really wanted to go to a Red Sox game, so I bought tickets online. Again, I waited until Wednesday evening to buy them, and they were delivered by Fed Ex on Friday about 11:45, a little tight. We drove into the outskirts of Boston, enough to taste its terrible traffic (the last 15 miles took an hour to drive), then took the commuter train into the center and picked up our subway line from there. We dropped our bags at the Oasis, then immediately set out for Fenway. We arrived on time, but it began raining, which delayed the game about an hour. The Sox were playing the Cardinals, from St. Louis, and it was an exciting game once it started. There was literally potential for a complete upset right down to the last out, which came as the Sox were down by one, with runners on first and third, and a big hitter up. He sadly clipped a flyball very slowly into center field, and that was that. Still, it was a good game.

Afterward, we went out for awhile, since we were still hungry. We found a little sushi restaurant/bar, and had martinis and sushi (well, I had a Korean stew that was like miso soup with pork dumplings in it). We weren't out late, as we were exhausted, but we sure were up early on Saturday. Jess can be like a drill sergent when on vacation; she was probably up by six, and only tolerated me sleeping until eight. I was hustled out the door and onto the subway, where we headed down to the harbor. We met a friend from the Big D, a nurse called Diana, who moved up here last October for a change. From that point on, we pretty much walked continuously all day, going back and forth through downtown, hitting the well-known locations like Beacon Hill (where John Kerry lives--I saw the square he lives in, it's very modest, since he's one of us--if your idea of modest is a parking spot that costs $150K). We saw a lot of the old buildings in Boston, there is a lot of history there. We walked through the square where the Boston Massacre took place. We walked through the graveyard where a number of famous Revolution-era Americans are buried. It was very interesting, I just wish I had refreshed myself a little on US history before going. We could have taken a tour, but we were walking too fast to take the time for that. That's why I take a lot of pictures, it slows us down enough to prevent another Bataan Death March.

That's not to say we didn't walk a lot. We went through Harvard, past MIT, all along the river. We walked up into Little Italy for dinner. After we dropped off an exhausted looking Diana at her subway stop, we walked (yes, still on foot) back to the district that our guest house was in, stopping back in the sushi place we'd visited before. Finally, we arrived in the Oasis at around 2:30--a nearly 18 hour day. We got up by nine the next morning, went to a Sunday Jazz Brunch, and made our way back to our car, and headed home. We were in time to pick up Zuri from the kennel by six, and home shortly afterward.

The thing about Boston is that it can reduce you from riches to rags in an amazingly short time if you're not conscious of your money. We weren't, apparently, because between the Red Sox tickets, the hotel, the kennel, the multiple delicious but expensive meals, the gas, and everything else, we put $750 on our credit card. We had planned on taking the Amtrak from New Haven into Boston, but that would have cost us $150 each, so it was actually much cheaper to just drive. (I'm becoming anti-Amtrak; isn't it supposed to be a cheap alternative to driving these days? We could have flown to Boston for less). Boston is an incredibly fun city, and I would like to travel there next summer, but if we end up doing so, it won't be a summer that we save any money, even if we really try. Part of the fun of traveling is the experience, and the experience in Boston costs a pretty penny.

By the way, I took over 500 pictures on Saturday alone. Turns out that when Jess is distracted by someone to talk to, I can take even more pictures than usual. I will be putting up a much reduced gallery of them as soon as I can.

About traveling, Jess and I have pretty much decided not to stay at the Y for another assignment, not that we haven't enjoyed being here, we just need a change of scenery. We will probably be heading up to New Hampshire for another big teaching hospital that I will refer to as DM. It is a big, primary hospital, and even though it is a little town surrounded by a whole lot of nothing, that will be a good change. There are countless outdoor activities surrounding it; even the Appalachian Trail goes right through its campus. Being up in that part of New England in the fall sounds very exciting. We mentioned it to another traveler, and when she applied, they offered her $40 an hour. We are waiting for our papers to go through, and then they will hopefully give us an interview. I guess when the account manager looked at my skills checklist, she pointed out that I didn't have any Neuro experience (which I don't), which could be a hold-up. I don't want to work on a neuro unit anyhow, but I could do it; after all, it doesn't take a genius to deal with the machinery, like the ICP monitor, and the patients are all crazy or vegetables. I just don't want it prevent me from getting an interview that I don't have the experience yet. I am glad that I got to deal with the Swan-Ganz monitor and taking an EKG here the Y; that surely will help.

Until next time, be safe.

June 17, 2008

New Experiences As A Traveler

One of the best, as well as most intimidating, features of travel nurses is the frequent, almost constant, opportunities to do something new that you've never done before. The lifestyle itself is just that, a continuous cycle of being somewhere new, doing something different, all of which adds to the excitement. Some people might view this as a negative aspect, that there is a limited comfort zone, there is little routine. Just when you get comfortable, it all changes up again. Then again, Jess and I headed off to Africa to live in a little house in the middle of Nowhere, Kenya, for seven weeks where no one knew where we were or how to contact us. I can't speak for her, but I enjoy being out of my comfort zone.

This also applies to the clinical aspect of travel nursing. Obviously, all facilities have their own way of doing things. The most mundane chore can be done a thousand different ways. Last night, a thoroughly exciting and enjoyable night, only highlighted that aspect of this lifestyle for me.

I've been caring for the same woman for the past three nights. She has a lot of cardiac history on top of being generally unhealthy for a 51-year old woman. Turns out that they find (by way of a cardiac catheterization ) that she has a large lesion in one of her major coronary arteries. Essentially, she needs cardiac surgery, a CABG, big time stuff. But literally during the four hours that included the cardiac cath, she became severely septic. So, in the days that I've been taking care of her, she's become progressively more ill, which I hope isn't an indication of my nursing care (it's not--she was already intubated and very sick, more so than anyone knew at the time). Two nights ago, I had a busy night with her, she was very sick and required constant care; I basically walked into the unit to find her on the verge of coding, and it didn't let up until about 2 am. I was happy to have been involved, I am getting tired of the baby-sitting assignments I've been getting, so it was nice to use my brain. I didn't expect to get her last night, though, as she needs a balloon pump and should be heading off to the cardiac ICU for management of her heart failure.

To my great surprise, I walked through the door to find her still in the MICU, as my assignment. Even more interesting, although certainly not surprising, was that the team had placed a Swan-Ganz catheter. For non-medical folks, this is a big deal nowadays, where few MICU patients get them; you have to delve into the cardiac realm to find them. Of course, it's been about a year since I've managed one, so it was great to get this one, so that I could get refreshed in all the measurements and implications involved. I spent the better part of the first half of the shift getting familiarized with the catheter; it all came back quickly enough. It was surprising, however, to get this type of a patient as a traveler. It is an opportunity units usually reserve for their staff so that they will get the valuable experience. I think the only reason I ended up with this patient last night was because I'd taken care of her for a couple of nights prior.

That was interesting enough, but my learning experience wasn't over. She was severely malnourished, and they had started TPN (IV nutrition). However, they really wanted to feed her via the GI system, so they needed to put in a nasojejunal tube (a feeding tube from the nose that bypasses the stomach and empties directly into the intestines, to prevent reflux of fluids into the lungs from the stomach). At the Big D, they'd send these patients down to the radiology department to have it guided in. Not at the Y, it's the nurses job here. The day nurse had placed one, but it was coiled in the stomach and needed to be replaced, so I got the honor of trying it out. It seemed rather basic, even though I'd never done it before, and have used up all my asking tokens with the Swan, I had to rough it with just some literature. Needless to say, I didn't get it after a couple of tries, but not because I was doing it wrong, she was just a hard person to sink a NJ into. Others tried and failed.

She also had some interesting cardiac issues all night. The breathing tube was irritating her throat, making her cough whenever she was awake (I didn't allow that much--for the first time since I got up here, I've had the orders to give proper sedation, as they don't believe in sedating their intubated patients). The problem with her coughing was that she had a vagal response each time and dropped her heartrate from the 90s to the 30s. There was little I could do about that except send her into Happyland where coughing wasn't allowed, but she also had an occasional irregular heartrate slightly resembling atrial fibrillation, so the doctor wanted an EKG.

Again, at the Big D, there are techs who do the EKGs. Not at the Y, it's up to the nurses. So, there I was, by this point completely unwilling to ask another question, I'd even used up next week's tokens as well. This is fairly rudimentary, not exactly rocket science, so it didn't take long to figure out. But hey, if you've never done something, it is still a new experience when you do it.

Anyhow, it was a pretty good night. I handled myself well, I think. I had to ask questions, but then several people crammed in the room when we were learning about the Swan measurements, because no one knew how to do them, so I didn't feel too bad. It was a good night.

Even better, I'm off for the next two nights, then I work one night. After that, I have five days off, most of which will be spent in the Boston area. So, I'm even having a good day. I didn't sleep after work, it's a beautiful day outside and I didn't trust myself to wake up at noon after working four shifts in a row. Then again, I'm spending the beautiful day sitting in a Bruegger's Bagel shop writing this. Hmm...

Referring to the upcoming seven out of eight days off, I was reading the Facebook page of someone who just started travel nursing at the beginning of June (as if I'm an old hand at this). He was saying how this gig is turning out to be more like a long vacaction than work.


Until next time, be safe.

June 15, 2008

Pictures From Mystic

Hard at work, of course. Hmm.

I got one more gallery of photos up, this one from our Mystic, CT, day-trip. Unfortunately, there was a big oil drop from a muffin on the inside of my polarizing lens, so a lot of the photos are fuzzy. These in the gallery have the fuzziness, but it wasn't as bad as some. Oh, well.

Click the photo to see this gallery.

I think we're heading to Boston next weekend, maybe have a night camping as well. It will be pretty exciting, at any rate.

Until next time, be safe.

June 14, 2008

Photos of New England

I've been very lazy about putting photos up, even though I've taken plenty of them. So, I finally got around to putting up some on my photo website.

To see the photo website in general, just go here, and click to the recent photos. There is a gallery just for New England photos. To directly view all the New England photos I've put up, just go here.

I even put up two galleries of Newport wave photos. They are identical, except on is black and white and one is color. It's easy to go back and forth on them. Click here to check them out.

Click To See The Gallery

Until next time, be safe.

June 12, 2008

Scheduling Issues

So, I'm at home tonight, and Jess is at work. This week is pretty much like that; the only day that we have off together was Monday. I worked last night, but am off for tonight and tomorrow night. She's working those days, but is off for the weekend, during which time I'll be putting in a four day stretch. I guess some weeks are just going to be like that, where we work completely opposite schedules. I know that the first two weeks in July are exactly that, opposite schedules.

That is actually a frequent issue for all married or dating nurses, even staff nurses. Occasionally, as staff nurses at that Big D, we ended up working terrible schedules like that. As a traveler, it is only worse, as you are there to fill in the gaps that the scheduling needs. Jess submitted a schedule and somehow ended up with most of the shifts she asked for. Encouraged, I submitted a schedule, which I think they used as a reference to give me almost the opposite of what I asked for. It's frustrating, but it goes with the territory. We have next weekend off together, three days in fact, and have a lot of options to choose from.

On the other hand, having a night to yourself allows opportunities to do things like go to movies your spouse definitely would not want to go to. I finally was able to see the new Indiana Jones movie. I had dragged Jess literally halfway there until she whined enough about having to see it that I turned around. So, I went to see it one of the nights that she was working. Not only was it a great movie, but feeling shafted by having paid $10.50 for a movie, I snuck into Don't Mess With The Zohan, another movie she wouldn't have enjoyed. Then I ended up going out with other nurses until 4:30 in the morning, which after having her brain drained by two movies she woudn't have enjoyed, she certainly would not have been appreciative of. Not me, though, I had a grand old time.

Last night was my first night in four days, and it set a new record for me. I admitted a patient from the ER who had come in with a temperature of 108.1 F. I'd never seen anyone with a temp that high, much less live through it. He was vented and unresponsive when he arrived, but remarkably awakened (i.e. became combative and annoying) a couple of hours later. I sedated him and quietly ignored the intern's interest in "waking him up," so I don't know how badly he fried his brain. I can't imagine he is going to walk away from this unharmed. Guess he shouldn't have taken heroin and cocaine all on the same trip.

While we haven't made up our minds yet about where to go in August, I did speak to my manager this morning as I got off of work, to see what their position would be for another assignment this fall. While I didn't get a straightforward affirmation that the position would be available, I was happy to hear that they definitely would want me to stay for the position if it happens to be available. I guess that means they won't be firing me.

I have had a very nice four days off. It's great being in a place so accessible to interesting places. People from Connecticut ask me why I came here, since it's so boring. I have found that in contrary it's really a diverse and interesting state, and haven't found myself bored yet. I didn't end up going on the photographer's expedition on Saturday to Mystic, but Jess and I went on Monday, and found that it is a great place. We stayed most of the day in the Seaport, which is an outdoor museum. You hardly notice that it's a museum, however, even for someone who becomes rapidly comatose within hours of stepping into a typical museum like myself. I was so busy taking pictures I hardly had time to even consider it a museum. It's a good place for a day trip.

I had been looking for good scenic areas nearby, and came across descriptions of a 30-mile highway heading north from I-395 to the Massachusetts state line, the Route 169. Apparently, it's described as the essence of New England; stone walls, old churches, quaint villages. Indeed, there were plenty of stone walls, and there were villages along the way. Most were very small, and fairly spread out, though. In addition, there were very few vantage spots, where you could look out over a valley or farmland for photography purposes. The highway itself is lined with tall forests, which I don't find all that scenic. Also, there are no gas stations along the way, and only because this road parallels I-395 as it heads north am I not parked out there still with an empty gas tank. It wasn't all that it was cracked up to be, and I ended up frantically heading down country lanes looking for that perfect vantage point, racing the setting sun. It didn't happen. Then it turns out there's a nearby village, Guilford, is just as quaint picturesque and old, and, even better, is only twenty minutes away, saving me the five hours of driving time. I'm sure there's plenty of villages that embody the spirit of New England that are nearby.

Anyhow, until next time, be safe.

June 05, 2008

Social Life Of Travelers

I'm back at work, but not really at work, per se. The unit is pretty slow tonight, in particular my patients.

We've kept busy these last few days with our social life, which is a primary concern for travelers. I think that a big reason that a lot of nurses don't get into traveling is because they end up leaving their friends to go somewhere where they don't know anybody, and where they have to make new friends. On top of this, it's not that common for staff nurses and travel nurses to become more than acquaintances, because it doesn't make a lot of sense to invest the time and effort to cultivate a friendship with someone who will only be in their lives for as little as three months. Travel nurses tend to become friends with other travel nurses, especially since they can relate to the experiences each other is having, and because there's always the potential of crossing paths further down the road, or even traveling together.

So, it was good fortune that while being floated to the SICU for four hours the other day, I happened to meet another traveler. We talked a little, and it turns out that she lives directly across the hall from our apartment. So, last evening, Jess and I went out for sushi with her and her boyfriend, who also is a traveler. They both have been in the travel world for at least a year, and so could offer us some insight as to what to expect. We had a lot to talk about, and it was good to meet someone like the two of them. I think that Jess is feeling a little isolated, because she's used to having friends at work to hang out with, to call up and talk to, to go out after work with. Here, it's just me, and apparently even that gets a little old after awhile.

We also had a few old friends drop by. My friend Will, who drives a truck, swung through for a night. We may end up seeing a fair amount of him, since he's through the area frequently, as he drives up and down the Eastern seaboard, or even out West and back. Our friend Patty came down for lunch today. She's working in a summer camp here in Connecticut for very sick kids. The first batch of campers comes in tomorrow, so I guess she'll have a lot of stories to tell about that. It sounds interesting, Jess seemed to be intrigued about working there next summer perhaps.

We are still undecided about where we will be going this August, or if we'll be going anywhere at all. The prospect of being able to go anywhere is both tantalizing and daunting at the same time. There are so many interesting places we've thought of traveling to--Providence, RI; NYC; Seattle; Dartmouth in New Hampshire, Alaska, Salt Lake City, Phoenix. It is a little overwhelming, though, to consider that each time that we'll just be starting to get comfortable in one of these places, it will be about time to move on to the next place. There is always the option of staying longer in assignments, but then that limits how many places we could travel to, as we don't want to be traveling for a decade. We've even discussed international traveling, to Europe or Australia. That creates its own dilemmas.

So, in other news, it turns out that traveling has the potential to be quite fattening for me. In North Carolina, I had a routine for jogging, which is how I kept at it. Since leaving NC, that routine has been gone, and so I have only jogged a few times since. Ask Jess, and she'll tell you I'm getting a little chunky(which is what inspired my jogging in NC, as she had no qualms of describing the gut I was developing). I jogged this week for the first time in weeks. It was a tiring experience, but I'm feeling motivated (somewhat) to continue it. I have no excuses; the apartment complex has a great gym, and there is a paved, flat, miles-long pedestrian trail that runs directly by the complex. We'll see how my motivation stands up against my laziness.

I've been adding some nursing links to the sidebar. During the sushi dinner with the fellow travelers, we also talked about travel nursing forums, which are interactive message boards where travel nurses can ask any sort of question or reply. There is a lot of experience and advice to be gained from that sort of thing, which is essential for new travelers. So, I'll be exploring those and posting links to the best of them.

Until next time, be safe.

June 02, 2008


I'm back on again after a weekend in Rhode Island.

That was quite a nice visit. Newport is truly a city of rich schmucks, and has been for a good part of its history. This is demonstrated by the proliferation of mansions, huge residences that reek of the greed of the people who apparently only need them a few weeks a year. It's not just the mansions build in the "guilded age," from 1850 to 1900. There are plenty of modern-day mansions dotting the landscape, obstructing the beautiful ocean views and limiting access to the limited beaches. Those things are just as large and much less beautiful than the ones built a century and more ago.

Still, there is a lot of interesting history within the walls of the old mansions. We toured two of the mansions, The Breakers and The Elms. I believe The Breakers is the better known of the two, but I think I enjoyed The Elms if only because they had a recorded tour that you could listen to at your leisure. If you have any interest in the old rich families of America, like the Vanderbuilts, then these are good places to see what their lives were like. Honestly, it doesn't look like it was much fun; even summer vacations were socializing marathons in a terribly competitive society. On the other hand, it's real hard to feel very sorry for these folks.

Newport itself is steeped in history. We unfortunately didn't know much about it, but as we plan on visiting at least Rhode Island again, to check out the rest of the storied shoreline, we'll read more into its history. Saturday was windy and foggy, so visiting the two mansions were good options. We also went to the seaward point's shoreline, a rocky landscape that had big, angry waves crashing one after another. I took a lot of pictures while Jess took a nap in the car. That night, I took Jess out for a very nice seafood meal. Sunday morning, we went back to the beach to see it in dazzling sunlight before heading back to Newport and work.

I came into the Y tonight to a bit of a surprise: they'd floated me up to the SICU for just four hours, until 2300. I didn't mind, though, I was interested to see what it was like. The setup of the unit was similar to the MICU, in particular the layout. I quickly noticed that many of the patients are much sicker. There were some crazy wounds, chest tubes, drains, things that I haven't seen down in the MICU yet. It was pretty interesting. Unfortunately, I only had the four hours, which flew by because I received report, gave all my meds, did an assessment of both my patients, bathed one of them, gave the 2300 meds, counted the output up, and gave report on them both. It was 2330 by the time I finished, just in time to rush down to the MICU and get report on my patients there. In the SICU, both the patients were intubated, heavily sedated, on insulin drips, the works. Really, I wouldn't have minded staying there the night. I'm guessing I'll get floated again.

Back on the MICU, I had an empty room and a patient on just oxygen. The big excitement in that room is putting on a percussion vest. I've kept busy helping other people out around me, others have had loads to do. It was a little sigh of relief coming back down, finding that I know where most of the stuff is and how most things are done here, in the MICU. That's something not to be taken for granted.

Until next time, be safe.

Hosting by Yahoo!