My dad is still in the hospital. His multiple myeloma has gone off a cliff and caused a lot of issues. He's bled down his inguinal canals and needed more transfusions. Today he gets his port and starts chemotherapy.
Yesterday no nurse entered the room ALL AFTERNOON except to change his IV bags. So I ended up positioning him, helping him toilet (on bedrest), and applying his scrotal sling. What father would want his child to have to do that???
He was kept NPO for port placement. The surgeon bounced in at 9pm never having heard he was supposed to be placing a port (so guess what? NPO all morning today!). There's just no communication. My dad weighs 130 pounds right now and needs to be eating when he can.
I was exhausted, stressed, furious, and very worried---which leads to the part where I acted (well, spoke) before I thought. Someone coded around the corner and down the hall, and these floor nurses ran around like in a cartoon. One got a vitals cart, which I thought was really alarming. Get a CRASH cart, honey. I said to one who was standing there wringing her hands that I was an ER nurse registered in Kansas and asked if there was anything I could do to help, and she pressed her lips together, pushed me back into the room, and closed the door (not before I saw another nurse run up with one Mac blade, by itself, and ask if they needed anything else for intubation).
I didn't consider it all beforehand on account of it was an emergency and I'm used to helping during those. I suppose that because of HIPAA we can't help if we aren't on the clock, but I'm really sure the patient could have used some help, and the nurse who shoved me back in the room is lucky not to have an assault and battery charge to deal with. "No thank you" would have been fine.
I've been trying VERY hard not to be one of THOSE pain-in-the-ass family members, but they're pushing me toward it. These nurses whine about how busy they are, but they sit around yapping quite a lot. I can tell sitting to chart vs sitting to fuck around. And if I was closed in our room because of HIPAA concerns with a patient so far away I had no chance of seeing or hearing him/her, privacy concerns would be better addressed by them not talking so loudly at the nursing station.
I am beating myself up for offering to help during that code. I feel ashamed for some reason, and I should stop now. It was a reflex. It's not like I barged in or anything. I certainly didn't deserve to be manhandled.
There are compelling reasons not to transfer my dad, and I've been solely supporting his wishes, but today I am going to explore a transfer more forcefully.