the dinosaur walk

Posted: October 8, 2010 at 8:59 am

this one is personal…because (in some ways) i am a dinosaur now… both in rescue and in nursing. not to say that i have not kept current and up to date with much of the new research and knowledge available in this day and age ….but inside me..in the core of my caregiving guts…i am not the rescuer or the nurse of the future, my heart and hands are too entrenched in the past.

in nursing, i was not trained by the nuns…but i was trained by nurses who were trained by the nuns. and the nuns took their nursing seriously…there was no goofing around, there was no such thing as any excuse..you got the job done quickly and you got it done well. you were 110% responsible for every single patient in your care and you were also 110% responsible for every single aspect of anything that was on your floor too.

we were trained to be multi-taskers, we were trained that our units and wards were the whole world for our patients…we did not have actual job descriptions because anything that possibly needed doing was to already be done well by a nurse.

it was hands on nursing in every single way…it was not sitting behind a desk staring at computer screens and trying to sort thru a million and a half forms. when a post op patient came back from the OR…we not only monitered their vitals and changed their dressings and ran their IV’s but we sent off the diet req’s to make sure their post op meals were actually appropriate and correct….now everyones meals get flown in from toronto…you get a tray with whatever is on it and that is your food for the day….even if on that tray is the very last thing you should be eating.

if a floor had a spill, we grabbed the mop..if a bed needed changing..the linens were changed…i can remember actually replacing lightbulbs…. all by myself!…now we put in several pages of paper work and hope a maintenence guy actually shows up.
i get there is a reason for this…have you shopped for lightbulbs lately? tammy and i did last week and the elderly man perusing the shelves along side of us said…”you need an electrical engineering degree to find the right lightbulb now a days.”

and it’s true.

in rescue i was trained by the down and dirty old time rescuers out there….you took in an animal…and you took in as many as you could possibly save and you stuck by that animal no matter what. there was no “ooops…sorry, you are too tough for me…can anyone else please take him from me?” there were not foster homes taking animals to flyball, and naturopaths and swimming them in therapeutic pools…there was none of this rubber hand assessment stuff to identify guarding issues..if you got bit on the leg while standing next to the bowl..it was simple…the dog had an issue. they would have laughed off their asses if i showed up with a rubber hand…maybe a rubber leg might have made more sense to them cuz none of them even considered that a dog should let a human stick a hand in their food, they are dogs for chrissakes…plus we wouldn’t let them stick a paw in ours, so fair is fair.

i am not saying that as we move forward we haven’t done a whole lot of right…i am just saying that the focus is different somehow. it is more about the process and the long term…life used to be about getting thru the day and then that was good.

it was the old timers who pushed the envelope and started doing pediatric spays and neuters..it made total sense to them to ensure no animal could ever breed.

and that is the part i am starting to miss in both nursing and rescue…the common sense..the ability to just do something simple…. without a ton of meetings, a ton of research, a ton of time, a ton of paperwork, graph and spread sheets, a ton of money invested to see if it will fly.

just look at the problem and find a solution as effectively and efficiently as you can.

we were told at palliative rounds this week that we could not admit an urgent patient because 2 and a half hours of each of our nurses day were tied up in educational meetings about NEW processes coming down the pike. i took my lunch break and admitted that patient…no hassle, no arguments, no overtime requistions to get approved or denied… no back and forth negotiating with our superiors about why we needed workload and looking at deferring others already on our schedules…THAT headache process would have eaten up another couple of hours..to me it was simple…just grab a sandwhich from the husky station and eat it on the way to the patients house.

and that is dinosaur thinking with the dead nuns looking down.

i used to tell my patients that mostly we never die (unless by accident) until our spirit says it is time..i am thinking the same about retirement..one day it will be the right day to just let all of this go cuz my spirit is getting tired of being a dinosaur…plus my freaking knees are really hurting today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *