Some Notes About Nothing

So. I didn’t get the job. When Human Resources called at last, I did get a version of the much-mocked praise sandwich:

Top Slice — Praise:  “The Hiring Committee was very impressed by your interview, and was particularly intrigued by your idea to eliminate the hospital deficit by wheeling “surplus” patients into Lake Ontario. . .”

The Meaty Filling —The Crappy News Which is the Real Purpose of this Phone Call: “. .  . however ultimately some other hospital drone, carrying much less cat hair about their person, and also having a clear command of the English language, was chosen as the successful candidate. . .”

Bottom Slice — More Praise: “But the Hospital Corporation thinks you have potential and encourages you to apply to another of its many fine positions in the near future.”

To be honest, I was a bit disappointed, I think, because the interview went well enough to give me reason to believe I had some hope of getting the position. At any rate, my various spies tell me that I did quite well in the interview, there was a seriously ridiculous number of candidates, and — from an Important Hospital Personage — I am “on the very edge” of hanging up my greens forever. So stay tuned. I’m applying for another postion this week. Maybe this time I will utter the precise magical phrases.

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Mini-rant. Dear Prospective Emergency Department Patient: Please, when you present yourself at Triage, please refrain from bringing along your Tim Horton’s Extra Large Double Double and box of all-chocolate glazed Timbits. One, because it makes me doubt your sincerity and the validity/importance of your putative appendicitis, shoulder dislocation, haematemesis, giganto axillary abscess, Crohn’s exacerbation, pneumonia, myocardial infarction, major multi-system trauma, what-have-you; and two, more importantly, it causes me to spike my serum cynicism level, which I am trying to avoid. Thank you.

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I’ve been in conference/education Hell for the last few weeks, which is part of the reason for scanty posting. The other reason is that I’m pooped. Not from writing — it’s from the never-ending flood of patients lately, and also from some pretty horrific codes and traumas. Tons of shit — I mean some really awful things: I will have the image of the dead child we tried to resuscitate a couple of weeks ago etched in my mind forever, I think. We work in a culture which silently expects us to suck it up and deal with it. It shows how we treat each other as nurses, on how we relate to our families, on ourselves.

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  1. #1 by Joni Watson on Friday 11 March 2011 - 1109

    Best wishes on the next application and interview!

  2. #2 by Cindy on Friday 11 March 2011 - 1404

    You sound like you need a positive nursing infusion. Working in the ER you do not get the benefits of positive nursing unless it is from something horrific that happens and you save the day with your mask and scissors.
    Where I work in ICU we usually don’t see pts well enough to go home; but at least we watch their condition improve. It is amazing how different a pt looks when they are on the brink of death to when you see them walking out of hospital or seeing them on the street. Sometimes you don’t recognize them at all. They walk up to you and thank you for all the care………and you are talking along with them very generically……..meanwhile frantically checking your memmory data base and coming up empty. Sometimes it’s the family you recognize, then you remember the pt. But there was a good connection and it comes back to you and you are so happy for the positive outcome. We nurses can go a long way on a small amount of praise.
    Emerg nurses don’t have the benefit of a relationship with their pts. There is no time for bonding in the ER. But then again you have the benefit of bonding with your frequent flyers (lol)
    Maybe you need a little change for awhile……something different like intensive care where you get your small surges of adrenalin but a totally different mind set of nursing. Different set of challenges, ways of thinking and a new perspective on nursing. You know what they say “a chance is as good as a rest”

    Good Luck
    Bye the way would you like an application from my facility?

  3. #4 by Maha on Friday 11 March 2011 - 1553

    I swear we’re working in the same place because each shift is leaving me more exhausted than the last. Codes every day and generally everyone who has been coming in is actually really sick. Hoping this passes over soon.

    Also, I’m sorry you didn’t get the job but you’re probably meant for bigger things :) If it’s any consolation, your post made me literally laugh out loud. Like tasting coffee in my nose laughing out loud! Love the excess patients being discharged into lake Ontario!

    • #5 by torontoemerg on Monday 14 March 2011 - 0906

      I think we are, but I think you’re more of downtown girl, and I am somewhere, um, north of Bloor. You should come work with us, anyway — we’re way more fun — so say are recruits from your neck of the woods.

  4. #6 by Jenn Jilks on Friday 11 March 2011 - 1644

    My condolences, on all fronts. Remember, you are a beautiful person. You are doing fabulous work.
    I have two palliative hospice clients. They appreciate everything we do. You are on those front lines, an unsung hero! Keep the faith. Best of luck! (And, yes, it is luck!)
    Love the sandwich!!!!

  5. #7 by Raquel on Friday 11 March 2011 - 1917

    I’m sorry. There is nothing worse or more heartbreaking than a child you could not save. Sending good thoughts your way.

  6. #8 by Cartoon Characters on Sunday 13 March 2011 - 0028

    How about a job like mine where u only deal with ONE patient at a time and if it was a really crappy situation you get to “take time to debrief” – as much as we need (actually are encouraged!), with someone around to sound off to if we need it…. :) Plus, I get paid the same as you do.

  7. #9 by The Nerdy Nurse on Monday 14 March 2011 - 0117

    One of the reasons I am not an ER nurse is because of watching a Baby have CPR performed. So devastating to me.

  8. #10 by Nurse K on Monday 14 March 2011 - 0258

    I’ll mention this tidbit again, but nursing management, at least for me, was about 600% more stressful than staff nursing, and I’m a low-stress gal. Maybe elsewhere it’s okay, but the politics are confusing and torturesome.

    Many recommend, if you do traumas/tragedies a lot, to get another job in addition to the high stress, high acuity job. For instance, 60 hrs/2 weeks in traumaland and 20 hrs/2 weeks wherever Cartoon Characters works, a clinic, or some community hospital out in a more rural location that transfers the sickies out. Think about it.

    • #11 by torontoemerg on Monday 14 March 2011 - 0847

      Hey K, thanks — I don’t doubt it but. . . do you think for an RN of a certain age getting out of the ED is a good plan? It’s clearly a young person’s game, and I ain’t younger. . .

  9. #12 by Cartoon Characters on Wednesday 16 March 2011 - 1636

    actually, most of the RNs I work with – work in 2 different situations…..I used to do L&D high risk plus where I work now. It was a great balance.

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