Six years working around radiation, and still no super powers. I need them, dangit!
Bkg: Medical imaging, PRN, bouncing around lots of different facilities.
This week I'm subbing out at <other, other location>. My lovely
manager approved a third stress test for today. At <other, other location> there is one tech and one scanner. Juggling two stress tests is busy. Three very nearly requires super speed, and/or the ability to stop time. Especially since we no longer have a cardiologist office on site. A doc has to drive in to supervise the stress part. And they hate to be kept waiting. The doc today was supposed to be at another hospital as he was walking in to do my stuff. I'm just glad it was one of the cool docs who just kinda rolls with the punches. Come to think of it, I've never seen him get upset or angry (now I'm sure I just jinxed myself).
Anywho, we're already crunched for time. I'm running around like a mad chicken, Doc is mercifully running the treadmill (place is too cheap to have actual EKG techs for that....) so I can keep getting patients on the scanner and get the doc out the door to his next appointment, and then we have a problem. Patient #2's stress EKG was showing MASSIVE ST changes--which for those of you who don't speak EKG is usually indicative of a (in this guy's case prior) heart attack. You know there's trouble when your unflappable cardiologist goes even more unflappable than usual and calmly asks where the nitro is. Like, now
. Even scarier, the guy kept insisting he felt fine. No chest pain, no shortness of air, no arm, back or jaw pain, nothing. I looked at his pictures later and holey mackerel, I'm not sure how he was up walking around. Needless to say, he was transferred post haste to the hospital for a heart cath.
Meanwhile, I have to gently coax Patient #3 to finish the test because she was scared. I get that, really I do. But the tears and the hemming and hawing were most inconvenient timing wise. She wanted to be coddled and I didn't have time to coddle when I had the beginnings of an actual emergency in the next room. And she had family with her. If there's something I hate more than annoying patients, it's annoying family members. One of them wanted a Sprite, so I showed them where our vending machines were. Pretty sure there was no Sprite, though, since it's caffeine-free. Newsflash: this is healthcare. We don't do caffeine-free. I'm not a coffee drinker, but I'm sure the break room coffee is strong enough to strip paint. Our vending machines are stocked with Red Bull and Mt Dew because the patients might want us to be awake and functional when we're treating them. It might seem a little thing. I will go above and beyond for my patients. They are my responsibility. Family members, not so much. Sure I'll offer a drink or a snack (if I have them), but I will get annoyed if they keep asking for stuff or interrupt me taking care of an actual patient. I was trying to deal with the aforementioned burgeoning emergency while juggling two other patients. With a smile
. And they kept wanting a glass of water, more coffee, how long is this going to take, etc.
I stopped for a highly caffeinated beverage on my way home because I felt like a zombie. And it's only Monday.