Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Day in the Life of a Labor & Delivery Nurse......PUSH!!!!!!!!!

I'm excited to be joining in on my 1st link up!
I found Where We Can Live Like Jack and Sally through Mama Laughlin. And Holly is hosting this link up! To those who may be checking me out through them...WELCOME! I hope you enjoy it and stick around for a while.
A couple weeks ago I did 'A Day in the Life' on an off day, so I thought I would give you a glimpse into a typical work day for me.  I have been a L&D nurse for the past 7 years.  Even though what I do is basically the same...no 2 days are the same! This was somewhat of a typical work day for me.  It was actually my most laid back work day of that week.  I would love to share some of the EXPLICIT DETAILS of my day...obviously I was very careful to protect all patient's information & personal details. As much as I enjoy blogging & sharing my world with y'all...I'm not willing to break the law (HIPPA) or lose my job. But in all it's vague glory, I think you'll find my day interesting....
{excuse the poor quality of the cell phone pics, a nurse can't carry around a large camera all day.}
{I used military time because that's what is used in the medical field.}

0445-alarm clock goes off...SNOOZE!

0454-drag myself out of bed.  Check out the gapped-up eye brow that I waxed off last night & attempt to color it in with make-up. (There are a few things in life that I try to save money and waxing my own eye brows is one of them...I might should reconsider and go to the salon.  Me & ol' Sally Hansen didn't do such a great job this time!!)

0521- in kitchen. Fix my lunch & coffee, Lucy's bottle, Bella's morning asthma meds and her snack-OJ & animal crackers (we are out of Cheerios & goldfish-her usual).

0530-get Bella up. She's upset about it. She was enjoying her sleep. She cries a good 10 minutes.

0540-wake Lucy up. Thankfully she's a happy girl.

0548-Run downstairs with both girls, one on each hip. Load up the car, as Jacob gives Bella her meds and asks me "Why are you taking my picture?!?".  "I'm doing my 1st link-up next week.  It'll be a "Day in the Life.  Have a good day.  Love you.  Bye!!"  

0550-now running late, but on the road.

0552-call and talk to my Daddy on our way to work.  We pass one another on the road & for the past 6 years, every time I go to work, I call him and talk for a few minutes.  *It's our time*

0602-drop them off at Mrs Betty's (home daycare). Mrs Betty reminds me that Lucy is completely out of formula...Jacob forgot to tell me! I call mama who lives in the same neighborhood in hopes that she has some to take to her.

0631-dang! I'm on empty! Stop, pump gas.  Fuss about how expensive gas prices are and how I should've filled up last night.

0652-park, badge on, rush upstairs. Clock in 1 minute late.  ugh!  Throw my stuff in my locker, go to the conference room to get my assignment and report.

0745-assist with a circumcision. Poor baby :-(   I'm glad I have girls!

0805-mama texts me back. She didn't have any formula.  SHOOT.  I hope Lucy is enjoying her 1st day of whole milk.

0820-visit with a co-worker who's in labor. 
(yes, I got permission to post this picture!)

0845-Discharge a pregnant patient who came in complaining of indigestion. (What I want to tell her~'yep hun, your stomach is up around your chest because there's a baby where your stomach used to be. It's called normal discomforts of pregnancy.  It sucks, I remember.  Go the full 40 and it'll all be over.')

0920-I like to think that I'm pretty good at starting IVs, but today proved me wrong. I couldn't get an IV & felt like a loser for hurting the girl.

0930-give a tour of a room to an expecting mother that just moved to the area.

0950-listened as my boss tells me the story of 2 children's books: The Littlest Angel & The Tale of 3 Trees. Watched her get teary eyed & cry at the desk! But they sound good...I plan on getting them.

1005-did postpartum teaching to a new mother. Gave instructions on things like how much bleeding to expect, hormone changes, how to treat her hemorrhoids, postpartum depression, pertussis prevention, how to cut the baby's nails, how to bath the baby, use of a bulb syringe, jaundice, car seat safety, how often it should be peeing, pooping, eating & sleeping, talked about shaken baby syndrome, colic, vaccines, when to call the doctor, on-and-on-and-on.....

1028-glance at the outside world

1030-get a full admission history a patient who thinks she's in labor.  Get her to sign a gazzillion consents.  Not really, just feels like it.

1040-vaginal exam

1100-give a shot in the butt

1115-ignored the fact that I brought my lunch to go "just look" & see what the cafeteria is serving today. Glance at what's in the gift shop as I breeze by. Wish I had some of that cute stuff! Dang it! 
They are serving 2 of my favorites!! I get a half of a buffalo chicken wrap as my 1st meal and a 6 piece fried shrimp with a side of fried okra as my 2nd meal. FATTY!  But it was good!

1145-regret eating all that fat-girl food

1200-really regret it when I see what the hubs posted on Facebook...he tagged me in it because I said I wanted to start back watching what I ate. Guilt!

1245-vaginal exam.

1400 (2pm)-successfully get an IV on the 1st attempt.   Whew, now I feel like a talented, skilled nurse again.

1450 (2:50pm)-hold a patient all hunched over while she gets an epidural, while I monitor her vital signs, IV fluids and her baby on the monitor.

1505 (3:05pm)- Insert a foley catheter in a bladder.  Vaginal exam.

1515 (3:15pm)-Heavily hint to the baby daddy, who is an attorney, to let me come to him to get a will written at a deep discount since they have a spectacular nurse taking care of them. (It's been on mine and the hubs To-Do List for the past couple of years)  He just smiled and gave me a business card.  I'm not sure if he heard the DEEP DISCOUNT part?!?!?

1545 (3:45pm)- hold a numb leg back as the doctor breaks the vagina dam.  Change several pads that are completely soaked with amniotic fluid.

1620 (4:20pm)- guilty pleasure.  Strawberry protein smoothie and a marshmallow bar

1640 (4:40pm)-  Vag exam.  Flip and flop positions with a patient who is completely numb...dead weight...cannot help move lower body at all.  Start sweating a little bit.

1700 (5pm)- vow with another co-worker not to say another filthy word for the rest of the day.  That's a little goal I'm working on...small achievable goals are easiest...right?!?

1730 (5:30pm)- more flipping and flopping, repositioning, adjusting the fetal monitors and fixing pillows just right and making sure her booty is covered all the way.  Answering lots of 1st time parents questions.

1840 (6:40pm)-laugh at the awesome t-shirt my mama sent me. I agree EVERYONE: WASH YOUR PART!

1900 (7pm)- offer to stay on-call for a friend, who isn't even working.  I felt bad that she would have to come in, so I stayed over for her.

1910 (7:10pm)- assist rushing a patient for a stat c-section.  Throwing things where they need to be.  Going over a mental checklist in record speed time.  Quick prayer while moving.

1916 (7:16pm)-Baby is fine!  Mama is fine!  I'm a sweaty stinkin mess, but now can exhale.

1940 (7:40pm)- Push a heavy bed with a mama and new baby in it to her new room, on carpet.  Still a sweaty, stinkin mess.

2000 (8pm)-massage a uterus, change pads with bloody clots on a patient who still cannot move.  Empty a urine catheter bag.

2040 (8:40pm)-tell my sweet patient and family congratulations and goodbye.

2045 (8:45pm)-check how my gapped-up eye brow is looking....not too shabby for working a 14 hour shift.  No one even noticed today or said, "Wow Megan, where's the middle of your eye brow?"  So I think I'll save my $15 every 2 weeks and keep trying to wax (and color in) my eye brows.

2050 (8:50pm)-get the ok from the charge nurse that I could go home and not stay until 11pm.  Yea!  Finally my work day comes to an end.  Jump in my car and crank the AC up.  I have been running for the past several hours & just want the cool air blowing in my face. My feet and legs feel tired.
my lunch that I packed that has sat untouched since this morning.

Carefully scan the almost empty parking deck for bad guys that are trying to kidnap and kill me.
Thankful post that my friend put on Facebook.  Makes me happy to help others!

2150 (9:50pm)- arrive home to a quiet house. Decide that I ate enough for lunch and should probably skip eating anything this late.  Opt for 2 Tylenol for a dull headache instead.

2200 (10pm)- shower, then sneak up to peek in on the 2 sleeping beauties.  Think about how I wish my time with them on my work days were more that 10 {sleepy, rushed} minutes in the mornings.

2230 (10:30pm)- quietly get into bed, make my To-Do List, scroll through Facebook & Instagram a little, plug up my phone and quickly dose off.

This day would be considered a slower day than others.  Some other things I do that is not included on a regular basis are, but not limited to:

  • give newborn baths
  • hand and foot prints in baby books
  • coach a pushing patient for up to 2-3 hours (with no breaks)
  • catch a baby when it's not waiting for a doctor to get there...it's rare, but it happens
  • shave pubic hairs before a c-section 
  • help resuscitate newborns who come out premature or not breathing for whatever reason
  • take patients ice, water, cokes, crackers, and blankets
  • massage the lower back of a patient who is going natural because it's the only thing that helps her with the pain
  • tell the patient, who wants an epidural, when her platelets are too low that she will not be able to get an epidural.  Then coach her through a total natural labor and delivery that she was totally unprepared to do.
  • tell the patient that she isn't in labor and she has to go home and wait out the contractions until they get even stronger
  • tell the patient that her water isn't broken that she probably just peed on herself
  • ride on the bed, under the sheets, as the patient is being rushed to the OR while holding the cord to keep it from being compressed & keep her baby oxygenated.
  • stare at the fetal monitor strip the ENTIRE 12 hour shift of an ornery baby
  • comfort the patient who has to deliver her baby who's already gone to heaven 
  • do the weight, measurements, footprints, lock of hair of these angels to give to the parents
  • discuss disposition of their deceased angel...cremation or burial?
  • quickly wipe up the poop of a patient who is pushing and tell her it's no big deal when she asks "what is that smell, did I do that???"
  • help daddy's change their very 1st diapers ever
  • help new mothers breastfeed their baby
  • washing my hands a thousand times/day
  • scrub my forearm when va-jay-jay juice gets past my gloved hand
Seriously, the list goes on and on~~~  
My job is jammed packed full of exciting, gross, frustrating and tender moments.

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Brynn said...

You are a fantastic nurse! Glad you put out there what nurses really go through! It's not all pretty :)

Elle Noel said...

Wow. I need a nap after reading all this. You nurses work so hard! You are one special lady to be able to do that day in an day out!

Amanda Pair said...

Oh my gah. I'm so glad we don't see that side of it when we are the patient. And by the way, can you please e-mail me what to do so that my platelet count will stay high. That actually happened to a friend of mine. I might die. Really, e-mail me!

Amber said...

Love the honesty Megan! Just love it when people say "oh, your job is great...you get to rock babies all day"...I smile and just say "yep...that's a church nursery you are thinking about!" still love this job though! :)

Danae Jones said...

Wow, this post was awesome! How cool to peek into the life of a nurse, the highs and the lows! I'm a follower now :)

Megan said...

First off, you are cracking me up! I love this post!!
Second, we really need to work on your eating, tisk tisk :)
Third, I think you should go on and pay for the professional waxing. Lets just call it a necessary expense, like gas. ha.
Fourth, I'm glad you found me , I'm going to enjoy reading your blog!

Laura said...

Wow...I knew nurses had busy schedules but I don't think I realized just how much you all do! Amazing!

Lindsay Pritchett said...

I love this!! It is so true and hilarious!!! I love megan and feel absolutely blessed to work with her :)

Holly said...

Megan... this made me laugh!! All of your vaginal exams and butt shots. And I was THAT pregnant lady... you nurse's are a bunch of saints. I remember getting the IV and feeling like I was going to meet Jesus.:)

Thanks for linking up!!

Melanie said...

Vaginal exams - HA!!! You are AMAZING. Your blog is hilarious - loved it.

Meredith @ eatdrinkrunandbemommy said...

I loved my L&D nurse and I'm so thankful for her. I'm sure your patients love you too! Great blog...can't wait to read more.

The Smiths said...

Wow! What an amazing job you have. Super busy, but I'm sure its super rewarding. Thanks so much for linking up with us.

Darby said...

You are an everyday hero!

Lindsey said...

Found you on the "A Day in the Life" link up. I am a NICU nurse! I was wondering where you were located then I saw all of the Bama and Auburn stuff in the gift shop pic so that was a give away! LOL! Then I wondered if you were a Bama fan or Auburn fan and read about Bama football. Ha!I am a Georgia fan! Loved reading about your day. Nice to hear all that goes on on the flip side. I am from Memphis and work in a 65 bed Level III NICU. Looking forward to getting to know you in the blog world!

Trista said...

I knew you looked familiar. I have more than likely passed you a few times as I worked at Southview for 7 months and went to the cafeteria all the time. :)

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