First of all, after several months of utter mayhem q shift, it was an unexpected surprise to find two nights in a row where I was not hideously busy. I was busy, mind you, but not ridiculously so. In other words, I was able to think ahead rather than react to a series of crises. This was nice.
I even had time to do the sorts of things I do to occupy myself when things are slow, like restocking syringes and changing IV tubing. Sure, restocking is done once a week by Central Supply, but that's small comfort if you've ever been ultra-busy and needed a saline flush STAT only to find the box empty and had to hunt for backup supply. Restocking is a good way to get to know where supplies are, before you need them in a hurry. I like to tidy things up, because having the med room in a shambles is to me like visual "noise" which I find very distracting. And I contemplate pressing philosophical questions such as, why do two med rooms have a full supply of Day-of-the-Week tags, but the 3rd never does? Night Shift Nurse remains baffled.
At about 0200 the floor went quiet; not an infusion pump beeped, no bed alarm split the silence. Aaaah. There is something to be said for any job that takes you away from the clamor to be endured on days and 3-11. I made a bed check just to be sure the patients weren't getting away from me. They were all snug in their beds; Lung Lady, the Moaner, Mrs.NPO, BatLady, and Smiley; all snoring, the IV's infusing beautifully. "IVF, O2, and patient safety maintained." You have to be careful with moments like these; they make you think you've become Wonder Nurse and created the present serenity, when in fact it's pure dumb luck.
Down the hall, the staff were beguiling the time in conversation. "Do you all follow nurse blogs?" I asked. They looked at me blankly. "Noooo..." they responded, after a moment to figure out what I meant by Nurse Blogs. I wanted to tell them about Head Nurse's surgery, and how proud we all are of Crazed Nurse, and the latest ER story from Storyteller Doc, but I didn't think they'd get it. Instead, I heard gardening and canning tips, we discussed the whereabouts of the last 3 heavy-work patients who had left, and Blondie told us an amusing story of an elderly woman so reticent that she could never bring herself to speak of her genitalia as anything but "my kittycat." (I'm not a native; it was a new one on me.)
We looked at one another. Our hardworking CNA heaved a sigh. "Well, who wants to help me turn patients?" Several of us volunteered and wandered off to the next Code Brown. The rest returned to charting. And so it goes...