Thursday, February 21, 2008

Meningitis, Pertussis & Influenza

How many people do you know that have been potentially exposed to Meningitis, Pertussis, & Influenza within an 18 hour period? (The only one, other than co-workers, I know would be Dr. Ward).

1. Sad story. @ 0426, we got a call from NFD saying they had a CPR in progress. We got our team together and waited. I was the primary/scribe nurse, documenting the case. I was approximately 5 feet away from the patient at any given moment. Unfortunately, the child didn't make it. What a way to end your shift?! I got home, went to bed. Received a call from Occupational Health informing me that I was potentially exposed to meningitis and I needed to come by. The next morning, I did go to Occupational Health, for them to tell me that I didn't needed to take the Cipro, because I was a good distance away from the patient.

2. I can't recall how old the child was, but he was less than 6 months old. I'm thinking around 3 months or so. Anyway, I got report on the child that he has been having a cough for about 2 weeks and having choking spells. (I wasn't informed that he was a rule out PERTUSSIS)! So, I got in to assess the patient and do my thing. Come out, and Mark, the attending, tells me that he's a rule out pertussis. Great, my night is getting better! (I mean, all I wanted was to be in triage, that's it. Hardly anyone wants to be in triage, and I even offered. Mark said that Veronica and I couldn't be triage. My thoughts were, so when did Mark--one of our attendings--get to decided nursing assignments? Oh well). Now, I start wearing my mask when entering the room. Trisha, one of the nurses, is married to a physician who's involved in the Pertussis study at VCH. And she calls to tell on me! Haha!

3. Another patient of mine had the flu! Didn't hear this till after I'd had been all in the room, with the patient, too!

Having all said this, I was called today to inform me that patient #2 results came back positive for pertussis. Now, I have to drive to Vanderbilt in the morning and meet with the lady at 8am. She will draw my blood and take a nasal swab to test me!

Then I go back to work that night at 7pm...but at least it's only til 3am! :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Typical Tuesday night...

  • 20 patients in the waiting room, not triage. I won't even tell you how long some had been waiting.
  • 2 helicopters trying to land at VCH when we only have ONE helipad.
  • 3 children from the same MVC with hippie names.
  • Shovelling two slices of pizza in your mouth, because you won't get to eat any other time during your shift.
  • PCPs sending stupid stuff to us.
  • Back to back EMSs from outside hospitals.
  • 3 admissions histories, assessments.
  • Cohorting siblings in C1(2 of the 3 children from the MVC).
  • 25 admissions in the ED waiting for beds.
  • Plus, it was my Dad's birthday!

Thank goodness I'm not working tonight! :) However, I did pick up extra on Friday.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Trail of Tornadoes

First and foremost, my heard and prayers go to those who were directly affected by the tornadoes. Somehow, someway, we were all indirectly affected by this.

It was definitely a chaotic night at Vanderbilt. Going between Yellow Alert (standby) & Orange Alert (activate emergency preparedness) didn't help the families and staff members. We had to move families and patients away from the waiting room (glassed in rooms). We weren't allowed to let families and patients leave until it had been downgraded to a Yellow Alert. Even then, the winds were high and the rain was so hard.

We got a few children throughout the night, but they were all okay. The Adult ED got slammed with 20 level one traumas.

Thank you to all of the medical staff taking care of these individuals. Thank you for the medical teams out in the field doing search and rescue, putting in those long 18-20 hour days/nights. Thank you to those volunteering, contributing to the cause, whether it be physically or financially.