Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Norovirus

Our unit got hit with a gastro-enteritis virus last week. One patient had it and then it mysteriously appeared in 2 other patients. It's passed around by droplet transmission, and 15 nurses were out sick with it before it cleared out. The hospital infection control department quarantined our unit, and all patients with the mysterious N-virus were sent to our unit with all other patients being transferred out of it.

We had to be on droplet precautions, from gowns to booties each time we went in a room. Everything was bleached all day long, as that was the only thing that could kill the virus. If it stayed on an inanimate object, it could be transmitted for up to 30 days. Handwashing was amped up as well as bleaching all your stuff, even your shoes. If you caught it, you were sick with vomiting or diarrhea for 12-48 hours but couldn't be at work for 3 days after your last symptoms, to make sure that you didn't pass it on. People showed up at work and got sent home because they were still in the 'incubation' period.

The Norovirus took out our whole unit. But now it's gone. And thank God I didn't catch it.

Friday, February 01, 2008


As a traveler, I'm used to getting a different assignment everyday. It's rare that I keep the same assignment for all 3 12 hr shifts. However this past week seemed to be a weird trend, all my patients stayed over, and by the third day I was on a cloud, actually looking forward to getting to work. They weren't too complicated and were all reasonably stable and could voice their needs and independently void. What more can a nurse ask for?

At 10pm that night, I got an admission and was running trying to get him settled when the charge nurse told me that she was pulling me to go to another unit. This didn't please me but I sucked it up, finished my rounds, meds and report in 27 minutes flat and huffed it up to Neurovascular to get report on my second set of patients.

It turned out to be a sitter case. And not just any sitter case, a lovely one at that. He had fallen so many times during his stay that he was on 1:1 strictly for being a fall risk. Besides that he was hunky dory. He slept most of the shift and I watched so much crap nighttime tv it was ridiculous. He got abit agitated around 4am and I just whipped out a deck of cards from his table and played a weird version of rummy with him.

All in all it was a great night. I couldn't have asked for anything better. I wish it could be like this everytime I float. I wish.