Saturday, August 13, 2011

Of full moons and madness

Thursday was a little nuts as I witnessed a young nurse have a pretty awful meltdown. She was emotionally labile and a little extreme in her behavior. At one point during her outburst, she made the statement that she was leaving, as in, "I quit." Every single person around her told her this was not wise and that she was abandoning her duties; an act that could lead to the loss of her license. I tried at one point to calm this total stranger, but she was overwhelmed and inconsolable.

I felt this was a precursor to what the full moon had in store for the remainder of my shift and Friday. In truth, from that point on, it wasn't too bad. On Friday, I didn't get a single call. Not one. It was lovely and a welcome respite from the preceding weeks. While I don't know what happened to the nurse mentioned above, I have been contacted by the hospital nursing leadership to make a statement as I'm most likely of all witnesses to be objective.

Oh, dear...I think I may be fresh out of objectivity.

Every part of my being felt complete empathy for this overworked and tired nurse. I heard her say that after working 12 hours straight without a break, she just couldn't take any more crap. Literally. I know exactly how she feels. While she may have been dramatic and lacking in conflict management skills, how would any of us feel after doing what she'd been doing for 12 hours straight? Sometimes this profession of mine can wear down the most dependable of people. I've never snapped emotionally in the manner this nurse did while doing my job, but I assure you, there have been many days and nights where I felt as though I was a hair's width away from doing just that.

I'm pondering my response to leadership. We'll see.

I missed the light show the heavens had in store last night. The full moon was just too bright, and tonight, it's covered in clouds. Even if it weren't, I'm busy at midnight. I have a date with my daughter and my best friend to see The Princess Bride on the big screen.

I hope I can stay awake.


Denise said...

Wow, that's a rough situation. There have been times when I wanted to have an emotional breakdown, but kept my cool while I counted down the hours and minutes.

Hope you enjoy the movie tonight.

sapphireblue said...

That's a rough job. I think I would have an emotional breakdown too.

Princess Bride is friggin' awesome. We quote that movie way too much here in the office.

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

i think if it was me i'd downplay her actions but not actually lie.

i think the full moon made me tired. i slept hours and hours (and more hours!)...

smiles, bee

Gail said...


The Bug said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE the Princess Bride - it's one of our favorites around here. I first watched it at the Marine house in Lusaka Zambia & I was amazed that it appealed to every person in the room - young, old, hip, square... and then I came home from Zambia & met Mike who loved the book AND the movie. We were meant for each other!

Hope the young nurse crawls back over that edge without too much damage...

Ruth said...

That is so sad 12 hours shifts would be so long long we mostly do 8 and 10 hours. Some areas have 12 hour but not compulsory.

Hope the movie was good.