Monday, 21 April 2014

Night Nurse Hysteria

I really should get up.
The little red clock on the bedside table says 13.15
I have been in bed four hours fifteen minutes
A record for me after night shift
I feel as though I have been hit by a train.

Last  night was hard work.
The girl working alongside me had an incredibly busy patient
The whole unit was snowed under
So me and another colleague not only had to look after our own patients 
But had to chip in to support this nurse
teamwork is what gets you through
when everything goes tits up at 3 am in the morning.

The three of us, and our patients made it through the night
But by 8 am the hysteria was beginning to show
" Night nurse hysteria"is a well known phenomenon 
on busy shifts
It occurs when something that is only gently amusing takes on a huge significance
The resulting hysteria is often infectious and to
onlookers insanely perplexing.

Years ago , when my mother was admitted to hospital she recounted a cracking example of 
" night nurse hysteria"
Lying in bed at night she watched as the three ward staff raced around like
blue arsed flies without a break.
Finally at around 6 am, a knackered looking support worker
Dragged herself to the nursing station to where the two trained staff were gulping down
a cold cup of tea, their first one of the shift!
There she hissed in an exhausted stage whisper
" staff!...I've found another one dead!"
And promptly the three women burst into fits of uncontrollable giggles.

Exhaustion can play very cruel tricks on a person in the wee small hours!

Anyhow, Like I said, I really should get up.
It's now 13.40.
and I have to move the new chicks from their broody box.
somehow the dogs have found their way into the bedroom
( thanks chris)
They will need a walk before we all have to go around to Mrs Trellis' house
She has invited us round for a cup of tea.

And I still feel like a bag of shite.

Winnie, giving me the dead eye......



67 comments:

  1. And please no one say that nurses are angles
    And wonderful
    It's only a brief , semi amusing blog entry

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right angles? Obtuse angles? ;-)

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    2. DAMMMMMM you automatic spell check
      Angels

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    3. You're an "acute" angle. Awww. xo

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  2. The dead body had me in hysterics too. I could have done with you yesterday.

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  3. Winnie has Chris' smile.
    Jane x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Twins indeed
      Though Winnie does laugh a little more regularly but only to herself

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  4. Winnie looks fed up. Bless her

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    Replies
    1. She was waiting for her walk

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  5. most of the nurses I work with are great...human too...the only bad ones are so close to retirement they can taste it but can't afford to leave just yet...we were crazy busy yesterday too...something about a Sunday holiday...Winnie is always good for a smile!

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    Replies
    1. I am close to my retirement!

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  6. I would imagine a pot of coffee, John, will do the trick!
    Then you will be ready for the 'tea'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just don't bounce back after a bad night shift like I did years ago jimbo

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  7. My sister being a nurse for 30 years retired 3 months ago. She looks 20 years younger. Go have your tea and relax a bit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So when I retire in three years time..I will look 35?
      Rock on!

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  8. it looks like winnie thinks it is time for you to get out of bed too!

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  9. I suggest a flask of Tea/Coffee; and how about a Battenburg, just to keep you all smiling.

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    Replies
    1. I think you're mellowing Cro.

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    2. Batten burg my idea of cake hell

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    3. Hate the stuff too. Very dodgy colours (food isn't naturally those colours) and hate marzipan! Are you having a wedding cake with marzipan?

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  10. If I am ever in intensive care again (been in it once but didn't know much about it) I shall watch out for such hysteria. Winnie looks as though she could take absolutely anything in her stride.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have noticed recently that she will watch me when I sleep

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  11. After a week with my mother who is in 'assisted living' I really do have a good idea where you are coming from -- time really can become an existential concept! X

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    Replies
    1. And manufactured hysteria is vital for coping

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  12. Fiddle-dee-dee....get up and watch 'Gone with the Wind' (on now, 5USA) ,nothing like a little bit of Rhett on an Easter Monday afternoon to lift the spirits.....or you could go pious and opt for 'Ben Hur'. Always the rebel, I'm going to say that ALL the nurses I have encountered lately HAVE been ANGELS so ....na na na na nah!!Keep smiling grumpy old man.xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ben hur
      What a pile of old shit

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    2. Like I was saying......grumpy old git!!lol

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  13. Hysteria means it's time to go into plod mode. Meanwhile enjoy the laugh.

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  14. Dear dear John. What will I do without you one day? No, forget me. The animals. The animals. Winnie. Albert.

    Hysteria is the valve of soul's pressure cooker. Don't sneer. It is. Nevertheless, pressure cookers - not least their hissing under pressure - make me nervous. One of the reasons I got rid of mine. I can't stand noise. Unless it serves a purpose. Like a sneeze. A child howling. A cat miaowing. If and when push comes to shove a dog barking. Everyone else please do turn the volume down.

    Fact is, John, some jobs should come with a health warning. Particularly at night.

    U

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nurses understand that pressure cooker
      They use it constantly....
      In humour
      In partying ( when I was young I could party all night and stagger onto shift the next day)
      And indulging in lively lifestyles

      At 52 , all I want now is a scotch egg

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  15. A rough night and quite possibly a rough day to come.

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  16. Winnie - if looks could kill......

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  17. Ok, I've never known an angel nurse, well there was one once who could do this thing..nevermind.
    From a retired doc who's spent many nights into the wee hours along side your ilk, we love you.
    Cheers

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    Replies
    1. Cheers for that comment x

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  18. Hey, whatever gets you through a ridiculous, surreal situation without hurting anybody! Winnie looks like she should be a member of the Dursley family (I've been re-reading Harry Potter; forgive me).

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  19. I don’t know how you manage it all John.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am an angel of mercy x

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  20. This was my nightshift weekend. Did I mention I have the 'flu? Managed Friday night (sicker than our patients I might add and wearing a mask, good times). Luckily I found a note from a coworker saying she'd work my /Saturday night if I was sick. Bonus. She got OT (which she hardly ever gets) and I got go to bed.

    My hospital is inner city. Nothing beats a patient that doesn't like our pain meds and goes outside to shop and find something to her liking. My coworker wouldn't let narcan the twunt.

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    Replies
    1. I have worked at a city hospital.....it's much rougher here in north wales..... The poor and the disenchanted seem more prevalent here

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    2. I think the disenchanted like hospitals because they think they are in control. When I left Saturday morning, one of my sons picked me up with the greeting "what the hell's going on six squad cars and a paddie wagon are outside emerg, I've never seen cops run so fast". Usually it's weapons or gangs. Good times.

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    3. A nurse often dealt with an antisocial character that today 3 cops would sortout

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  21. nothing wrong with a bag of shite it makes things grow, and it would be a sad world without it pull your pant up and get out their

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  22. I have a bit of a crush on Winnie. Love her expressions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll send you a kiss from her
      She loves to be kissed

      Delete
  23. Had never heard the expression, but after your explanation - I understood. Been there , done that, and sending my sympathies.

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  24. Do the dog's anal glands need a little squeeze too?

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    Replies
    1. That was done yesterday
      As usual on the kitchen table

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  25. That black laughter can be a lifesaver - but the feeling like chewed string after a looooong night is vile.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will remember that metaphor ...or was it a simile?

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  26. You need curtain linings to make your room darker, you might sleep longer then! Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A Joan Collins' eye patch?

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    2. Ever seen Matilda, the Roald Dahl film? The mother has a very fetching pair that I could just see you in! :D

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  27. I have seen the night nurses. they are on the run. I was always glad if they left me alone. God bless 'em.

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  28. Memories memories!

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  29. I am an ITU nurse and understand the night nurse hysteria. Hope you are feeling better now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unstable respiratory support, theatre transfer, filter, central line, traumatized family, et al

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  30. I don't think I could do the overnight shift. I would find humor, in finding another one dead.

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  31. *hugs* God bless you all. ♥

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  32. Back in the day when I was nursing (in the 70's) we did either 7 or 8 night shifts in a row. You can imagine the 'black' humour towards the end of the rotation. None nursing people wouldn't see the humour and thought we were terrible! Exhaustion can do crazy things with your mind. It got easier when we changed from 8 hour to 12 hour shifts as we never did more than 4 shifts in a row.

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  33. Anytime I only get four hours of sleep I feel like ... well, I don't feel very well either. What do we really expect, after all?

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  34. After a rather lengthy fire risk assessment meeting with my co manager & the shops' three Trustees which left us all exhausted. One of the Trustees took heaps of stuff to the tip. Later that night I sent an email to him thanking him for his Huge Dump Run & clearing out the back passage.
    Next morning I checked emails sent & received couldn't stop giggling. I emailed my line manager to tell her & when I saw her I was still giggling. She laughed that I had hysteria !

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  35. I'm sure if I were ever in hospital I'd just be permanently stunned and speechless by how busy the staff were and how they manage to cope with so many patients at once without going totally insane.

    ReplyDelete

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