Sunday, June 23, 2013

Workin' It

These last few weeks have been crazy with work.  I am crazy and decided that because I now had 6 days off in a row every other week, a good idea would be to pick up more shifts.  So I got hired on with NMR - National Medical Resources - as a contractor.  The only reason I did it is because you aren't committed to any number of shifts.  They say what's available and then if I want to, I can say yes or no.  And the place I'll probably end up spending most of my time pays almost $20 more an hour than what I make in Williston.  So, it seemed like a good idea.  Well, it also seemed like a good idea to pick up 4 shifts basically right in a row a month ago.  These last few weeks were when I actually worked the shifts and I realized it wasn't a good idea at all.  When all is said and done (I only have 3 more days of my stretch), I've worked almost 21 12 hr days in a row.  I guess I've had 3 days off in there.  Next month I'm only picking up 2 extra and they are completely separated from each other.  That will be much better.  So anyway...Watford City.  It's a much smaller town than Williston about an hour's drive from here.  I thought I was just going to be working in the clinic but they had me work one day in the ER down there too.  Much slower paced for sure!  I think in my 12 hrs in the ER I saw 11 patients...vs the 20-30 we see in Williston.  But I was the only provider there which made me kind of nervous.  I have learned a ton but I'm still not 100% confident enough to be all on my own.  Luckily no one died :)  That I know of.  Clinic was much slower paced as well.  Had an hour break, time between patients, etc.  But I don't like clinic.  It's a COMPLETELY different mind set than ER and totally foreign to me.  So I guess overall I'd have to say I really didn't love it.  Or like it that much.  But I'll probably keep doing it just because I can.

That's the clinic.  Tiny.  And the hospital is just across the street.  The whole thing is just about the same size.  If I needed an x-ray for someone in the clinic, they had to walk across the street to get it, then I had to walk across the street to go look at it.  The resources were just so limited.  And I must say it made me love Williston.  The hospital and the town :)  This little bunny was right out side my office window the first morning in clinic.  He stayed and stared at me for a minute or two and then bounded off, never to be seen of again.  I thought it was cool.  Anyway - they set us up in these little apartments hooked on to the nursing home around the corner from the clinic.  They weren't bad.  This was the first one I stayed in.  Like anyone cares.  But memories for me someday, I suppose.
 This is the outside of the complex. 

Pretty fancy huh?  It would have been a lot nicer if the AC worked and the pillows weren't huge and hard.  Needless to say I didn't sleep great that night.  Then I went home for the weekend and came back and they had me in a new apartment.
 I think this sign is funny because 1 - not spelled right, and 2 - very much not a doctor.  Oh well.  I felt special for second. 
Basically everything was in one room in this place.  But I planned accordingly and brought my own pillow and one of the 4 AC units worked so it was a much better night.  Fun times.

In other working news - Tanner had a fun work party last week.  It was their summer fun picnic or something.  Just for the local Enbridge guys.  Who Tanner really likes, so that is cool.  I guess every year they have someone from the community come do a presentation or something.  This year he asked me to ask Guardian - a new life flight helicopter company - if they'd come and talk to them.  They said yes and that they'd even bring the helicopter.  AND they'd give me a ride over to the park in it!  Score.  Get off work early and go for my first helicopter ride ever.

It was a huge success I thought.  Everyone seemed really interested in the chopper and all they do and how small it was and how big a person they can fit in there, etc etc.  My flight over was short and sweet and so amazing.  There were windows all around so you could see things so much clearer and better than from an airplane.  And it was super smooth.  Then they offered to give me a ride back and I couldn't refuse.  So Tanner took a few more pics (the last 4) while we were getting ready to go and they actually flew around a little longer so that was sweet.  Then we had a bbq dinner and then went and rode go-karts at the little track they have up here.  It was a really fun evening and I really like his crew too.  His boss is awesome and I really like his wife, so it was a great time all around.  

In the ER, there have also been some funny, interesting, crazy, sad things that have happened over the last couple of weeks that I thought I'd share.  I took off from work about 30 minutes too soon one night.  They ended up bringing in a guy that had been part of a double motorcycle accident.  A van was trying to pass a truck and hit two motorcycles head on.  One flew into a ditch about 75 feet away and the other kid was struck by a passing semi. They brought him to the ER.  He was pronounced dead there.  Both of his legs were basically gone, but his upper body was completely intact.  It was insane.  And such a sad story.  They riders were cousins and both really young too.  I was sad I missed it from the medical brain side of things, but not from the emotional human side of things.  The doc took some pictures and showed me the next day and it was pretty unbelievable.  

On a lighter note - there was a young girl that came in the other day with a burn on her backside.  When I took a look at it I asked if she had clothes on when it happened - because it looked pretty bad.  She kind of nodded and said a slow yes, then hesitated and said kind of, then followed it up with a "no".  Apparently they were playing strip beer pong and she hit her butt on a propane heater.  Oops.  Dangerous sport apparently.  Careful.  

This is actually sad so don't judge me for writing about this.  But two days ago there was a little baby that came in that a sibling was walking by with a plate of hot meatloaf that had just come out of the microwave.  While walking by, she tipped the plate and the meatloaf fell on her face.  Such a cute little baby and she did have a couple minor burns to her face but she was okay.  Just kind of a random, weird accident.  

Then - there was this 8 year old boy that caught a baby gopher.  Wisely enough the gopher tried to escape and then when the boy tried to apprehend it again, the gopher bit him.  And then the family cat caught and ate the baby gopher.  Crazy story.  That was definitely a first time chief complaint - gopher bite.  Watch out.  

Apparently our ER has a mouse too.  There was a guy in there this week putting sticky traps with peanut butter in the middle of them around the ER.  Gross.  I hate stupid mice.  Haven't seen it yet, though.  

Last night probably one of the sickest things I've ever seen came in.  I honestly don't get grossed out by much but this almost did it to me.  An older gentleman that has been in the ER plenty of times before with multiple diabetic ulcers over his legs and a huge one on his right buttocks came in again by ambulance for leg pain.  It's all chronic stuff and the guy can't and doesn't take care of himself.  He's a mess.  But a really pleasant, nice, coherent man.  Anyway, you could smell him throughout the whole ER as soon as they brought him in.  Imagine a nice decaying human flesh smell permeating everything.  So I took some time to build up my strength to walk in the room.  When I walk in, he's just covered in ulcers - up and down his legs and feet.  The smell is AWFUL.  I ask him about what's going on and as we are talking I look down at his feet.  He's missing his left 2nd toe - amputated previously because of diabetes.  Well, as I'm looking there briefly, I notice something crawling around there.  I take a closer look and realize there are hundreds of tiny maggots crawling all over that open ulcer over where his toe would have been.  I quickly excused myself to grab some fresh air and keep myself from throwing up.  Just kidding.  I didn't really almost puke but it was nasty.  I had to go in and out of there quite a few more times but in the end we just shipped him to a bigger hospital because we really didn't have the resources to take care of all his many problems.  He did let me take a picture of it.  I'm debating whether I should put it up here.  Maybe people wouldn't appreciate it as much as I do.  Okay I'll spare you.  If you're dying to see it, I'll text it to you :)  How's that?  

Okay - now I'm going to get back to my lazy relaxing day off. 


  1. EW......BIG BIG BIG EW........Thanks for NOT posting the picture, I'll admit as I was reading I was scrolling down ever so SLOWLY, as not to see it just in case it was there. DISGUSTING. At least he's a nice guy???

    WOW. You are a VERY busy girl. At least you got a helicopter ride out of the deal!!! ;)

    Hang in there and ENJOY your anniversary getaway this weekend. FUN to "chat" with you too!!! ;)

  2. You make life sound so exciting up here. :) I rode in a life flight helicopter once....all the way from Price, Utah to Salt Lake. They followed the mountain top and I'm sure it was beautiful to see. Since I was the passenger and strapped to their (ironing) board, I just got to see the clouds. At least I can say I took a half dressed flight above the trees....that's about as exciting as my life gets. :) And thanks for not sharing are so well suited for your job. :) I'm glad someone has the stomach for it.