Whoa. I can't believe it has been Christmas since I last posted an entry. The Wild Ride at LTC has continued and I'm still hanging on for dear life.
The Leadership Team at LTC has seen a lot of progress over the last year and a half, but unfortunately, there is so much more to go. One would think that the major issues of our department would be something like staff turnover and difficult surgeons. Not at all. All the challenges that we are experiencing center around a basic knowledge of working in an OR.
Practices of aseptic technique vary as people have their version of right. Ummmm... There is only a right way and a wrong way. My blood pressure goes up a little higher thinking about how many people have bad sterile technique or lack a surgical conscience altogether.
Another challenge is case preparation. Oh the running! There should be no running if all the supplies are pulled for the case and if the scrub tech or nurse scrubs in early enough to figure out what other needs they have prior to the start of the case.
While area hospitals have seen a drop in volume, we have increased ours for some reason. I'm not sure why that is, but our case load is heavy. The Charge Nurse begs for volunteers to work overtime almost EVERY DAY. There is no such thing as low census at LTC in surgery!
Lunch relief continues to be a challenge since we need to hire more staff. We are trying to add an extra circulator to rooms that have complex cases such as Neuro Spine, Ortho Total Joint Replacements, Open Heart, and Thoracotomies. Lately, I have had to do lunch reliefs because of short-staffing.
These days I am feeling very tired and spread thin. I don't think people can truly appreciate what my co-assistant manager and I go through. I really don't. It's like we are the dumping ground for everyone. Yes, I feel like I get shit on and am expected to take it with a smile.
Today I actually had to give myself a Time Out. I literally walked out of the department, went down to the Cafe to get a coffee and sat alone in silence. After about 15 minutes, I slowly climbed the stairs up to Surgery, stopped at our front desk to chat, and returned to the madness.
I'm not sure how tomorrow will go, but I will really try to maintain perspective as best that I can. That's all I can give at this point. At least until I find a way to rejuvenate my fighting spirit...