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Suppository goes where?

Communication…I cannot stress how important communication is in nursing. English is complex in the sense that one word has many meanings. It can really confuse some people.

Like Mr. Ram who came in complaining that his regular dosage of ibuprofen was no longer helping his arthritis. The doctor added indocid suppositories to his monthly prescription chart. “Okay, Mr. Ram, I’ve added a suppository to your chronic chart. Just put it into your back passage and you should be fine.” The next week Mr. Ram comes back to the hospital looking very dissatisfied.  “Doctor, it did not work. I put it at the back of my passage at home and I still have so much pain!” It turned out the patient had been planting the suppositories into a pot plant at the end of the passage at his house. Yeah I couldn’t believe it either!

So after having learnt a lesson about the importance of clear communication, I decided to use as little euphemisms as possible. It was 4PM in the maternity ward.  Just as I was handing out the supper, I remembered that I was supposed to give an indocid suppository to a patient 2 hours ago! I quickly got a suppository, and placed it on the cardiac trolley next to the patient's soup.

“Put this is in your bum.” I said. Trying to keep my English as simple as possible. The patient looked bewildered but she agreed, reached for her soup, stared at it and softly asked, “How must I put it in?” (>_<)

the suppository goes where?

U2 coming to South Africa!

I just got word that U2 are coming to South Africa and I am so amped up! Tickets go on sale on Saturday and I am nervous about whether I will get to be in the inner circle or not(The inner circle is the same as the golden circle in regular concerts, except this concert has a circular "360 degree" stage) . It's four months away, 13 February 2011.  

        
By then I should be a full time web designer and an ex-nurse! The thought of that is both intimidating and exciting. No more supervision or rules forcing me to stick to working hours, no guaranteed paycheck at the end of the month, no more government-supplemented medical aid. I have to rely on myself to manage my time and business or there will be trouble on the horizon. Though I must have complete faith in my ability to make a success out of my dream.

At least for now I can afford to secure my U2 ticket! I will deal with how to get to Johannesburg when the time comes. It's a four hour drive and I plan on getting there really early. I gather from online buzz that there will be a sprint to get into the inner circle which will accommodate the first 2000 people or so! My running shoes will be on, just hope I don't get stampeded upon! To each his own but I am stunned by my colleagues ignorance, most of them have never heard of U2! Not everyone loves rock but this is U2 we're talking about! Love em or hate em, you should still have heard about them? Then again allot of small towns in South Africa consist of people who don't own computers and don't care much for the internet or anything beyond their own little world.

This will most likely be the last time U2 tours South Africa. I am ever grateful that my job as a nurse enabled me to afford many great opportunities, with this concert being the perfect farewell gift from my nursing career. 🙂

Hospital Signage – Funny or Fatal?

Hospital signage errors can cause allot of trouble, even more so if you don’t exactly have a knack for common sense which is a disturbingly common phenomenon in my hospital.

funny sign
(This sign) + (demised babies) – (common sense) = scary.

Share pics you have of funny/dangerous hospital signs and I'll feature it on the site. 🙂 Email your images to arkadialove@gmail.com

Dead Rising!

[Posts you may want to read first: My first day and the dead woman, The last offices]

It’s very intriguing indeed, the number of ghost stories I have heard! Many of them are about patients that wake up from the dead. Once there was this Asian guy frantically searching for his dead relative who was apparently axed but woke up in the mortuary and walked away. I didn’t know whether it was a joke or not but from the look his face, it seemed as though he was telling the truth or at least he thought he was. My guess is that the poor Asian guy was having his leg pulled by one very evil prankster.

  Zombie romance

Other than that there have been several reported cases of patients being certified dead who later wake up and walk right out of their body bags as dandy as can be. It sounds impossible. I am still not convinced that any of the stories I have heard have ever really occurred. But it always remains a mystery to me because I’ve heard these stories from respectable nurses who really have nothing to gain from lying. It’s always an alluring subject and I’d love to hear if you guys have ever witnessed people rising from the dead. Until the day comes were I see it for myself, I remain sceptical but creeped out nonetheless. Wonder if that Asian guy ever found his axed relative? She must have a splitting headache!
 

Episode 3 – The Last Offices

Previously on Nursing Habits: Arkadia’s first day as a nurse and her patient goes into cardiac arrest…resuscitation fail!
My First Day and the Dead Woman

No matter how many times you read about the procedure in your text-book, you can never be prepared for it. I had to take Mrs. Khosa into an empty room in the ICU department. It was my first actual day of practical training. It just so happens that I had to experience my first death on that day too! I was completely terrified. The charge sister, Sr. Sterile, asked me to do the last offices. She knew full well that I was a pupil nurse with zero nursing experience, but she thoughtlessly left me alone with the body. I felt chills run down my spine and I cried quietly, wishing I could go home. Some of Mrs. Khosa’s beaded jewellery still hung around her neck. I started taking it off as carefully as I could but the remaining beads fell and scattered all over the floor.

My heart jumped and I quickly began to pick them up. I had to get every last bead. It felt important at the time.  She lay there naked and undignified and the beads represented the pride she had for herself. It was a piece of her personality – something that I thought her kids might want. Sr. Sterile caught me gathering beads and sternly told me not to waste time. “Leave the beads alone and start laying out the body!” she ordered. I nodded my head and as soon as she walked out I quickly finished gathering the beads. I couldn’t help but feel tortured. No pupil nurse should have to go through this by themselves on their first day in a real hospital scenario. I couldn’t help but cry while I cleaned the body.  I removed all signs of its personality and covered the many puncture holes with cotton balls and tape, trying my hardest to close shut its stiff jaw. I didn’t have a clue how to get the body into a shroud and I had completely overlooked the important steps of identifying the body and taking thumb prints. Sr. Sterile would crucify me. Thankfully the angelic male nurse came once again to my rescue. He told me that I needn’t worry, I would soon get used to dead people. I couldn’t see that happening. He filled in the steps I missed and helped me tug and push the body around to get it into the body bag. He then told me to leave the body bag open and let the body lay there for an hour before taking her down to the mortuary.

Me

Why do we have to keep her here for an hour?

Angelic Male Nurse

In case she wakes up..

Next on Nursing Habits: Arkadia has blood on her face, big disgrace!
Bloody Portovac

Episode 2 – My first day and the dead woman

Previously on Nursing Habits: Arkadia wakes up content and happy as web design expert, living in a beautiful mountainous home with the man of her dreams and her beautiful huskies, only to be abruptly transformed into a nurse, bedpan in one hand, vomit in the other!
The Art of Caring while Cursing!

INT.  A DREARY HOSPITAL IN LITTLE TOWN IN SOUTH AFRICA – DAY

It was a Monday morning and I timidly introduced myself to the charge sister. She welcomed me to the ward and told me that I’d begin my day by cleaning and tidying the ward. She barely got the chance to orientate me to the ward and routine when a team of doctors and nurses came bursting through the ICU doors wheeling in a large woman on a stretcher. Something was not right. I sunk back and watched as everything went swiftly into motion. It took a moment for me to realize that I was witnessing a resuscitation.

SR. STERILE

Nurse get adrenaline now!

To my horror I realized the instruction was directed at me! I was a pupil nurse, and it was my first day of training! She might as well have asked someone off the street to assist. I ran quickly to where I thought the meds would be kept and rummaged through the cupboard. Nothing labelled Adrenaline! Panicking and knowing exactly what was as stake for my incompetence, I quickly shouted for help. An angel in the form of a male nurse came to my rescue. He told me not to worry and he quickly grabbed a few bottles labelled ‘Epinephrine’, drew them up and handed them over to the doctor. I felt terrified. Once again I could do nothing but watch her struggle. The patient, Mrs Khosa, an African woman in her late fifties wore traditional African attire, accessorized with beads around her neck and wrists. The nurses and doctors surrounded this lady and pumped her full of drugs and oxygen. She struggled against them, she seemed to be in excruciating pain as they shoved tubes down her nostril and stuck needles in her arms. Her hands were being pinned down to the bed. Tears rolled down her cheeks and I think she realized right then that these were the last moments of her life. She spent her last moments struggling against a team of medical staff that refused to let her rest.

DOCTOR

1, 2, 3! CLEAR!

They press the defibrillator to her chest and her body jerks violently. The beads she wore fell apart and rolled all over the green tiles. I watch them fall and roll away almost in slow motion. Her pretty dress tears at the seams.
A bead rolls toward me and stops at my feet. I pick it up and when I look up again, the nurses and doctors have cleared the area. Flat line. She’s gone. Sr. Sterile orders me to move the body into the next room and begin the last offices.

Next on Nursing Habits: Arkadia gets stuck with the task of fitting a 100kg dead body into a tiny body bag all by herself.
The Last Offices.

Episode 1 – Nursing: The art of caring while cursing!

I am a web designer turned nurse turning web designer and I have about 74 days of nursing left in me. Follow my blog for an insightful journey into the life of a nurse.

A  beautiful bright full moon shines prettily upon the pitch black sky. I take a deep breathe and smile as I take in the beauty of the world I am living in. It’s full of awesomeness. Real awesomeness in the true sense of the word.  My world! So perfect, so delicious, so grand. A humble abode upon a peaceful mountain combined with the divine company of my love, Josh and our totally bodacious bouncy huskies! I take a sip of red wine and the taste of success teases my lips. But my palms start to sweat, deep down somewhere in my sub-conscience I know that something terrible is about to happen in exactly one minute! I pray for that minute to last an hour. Just let me enjoy the tranquillity of my world a little bit longer? The cool droplets on the wine glass begin to evaporate. Everything around me rapidly breaks apart and dissipates into darkness.

 

ALARM CLOCK

Cock-a-doodle-doo!!Cock-a-doodle-doo!!Cock-a-doodle-doo!!Cock-a-doodle-doo!!

ME

AAAAH!

I  jump out of bed to shut that damn cock clock the cluck up! Damn it! It was just a dream. Once again it was just a dream! I look around me. To my relief, not all is lost. Josh and my huskies are there, sound asleep and beautiful. But my world is very different. The ease I felt in my dream is now replaced with dread. I duck under the covers wanting to spend the rest of the day with my babe, insufferably aware that it would not be possible to do so. I had to go be a nurse for the next 12 hours..Oh boy!

[Cue DANGER MUSIC!]

 

 

Next on Nursing Habits: Arkadia face to face with her first dead patient!
My first day and the dead woman