Archive for July, 2009
Dear Nurse Marge
I have a question, although I’m not really sure what can be done about this situation. I’m a RN at a hospital in a very conservative corner of the country. Although the region is conservative, I am not: I’ve got some tattoos and piercings. Nothing that shows during work hours…it all fits under my scrubs, and I don’t have any facial piercings. My boyfriend, on the other hand, isn’t at all conservative. He’s tattooed within an inch of his life, and there’s enough metal in him to build a small airplane.
We were at a weekend community art festival, where the director of nursing saw the pair of us. She visibly flinched, and I saw her checking out my tattoos.
Now the atmosphere at work has changed dramatically. Suddenly, despite the fact that I’ve been a great nurse there for several years, now I’m getting written up left and right. My hours have been cut, and although there’s still overtime available, there’s no overtime available for me.
I’m sure it has to do with my appearance. My friends tell me I’m reading too much into it and it’s just the economy. I’m not sure about that — if it was just the hours, I’d say sure, but the write ups? I don’t think so.
What should I do?
Inked Up and Irate
You’re in a tough spot. You know and I know that it’s your image that’s at the root of the problem here: knowing that and proving that are two different things entirely. Meanwhile, your career is on the line. Not a comfortable position.
Here’s what I would do. Find a theater supply company and stock up on pancake make up. The type that matches your natural skin tone. Cover yourself completely, put on a short sleeved scrub top, and make sure that director of nursing sees you.
Sees you, with no visible tattoos.
Then, the next day, don’t wear any makeup.
Don and remove the makeup at random, making a point to only wear short sleeved scrubs when you’re covered. Before long, your DON will be convinced she hallucinated the whole thing.
It’s always preferable to make them think they’re losing it…
Barring that, document, document, document everything, and get a move on with finding another place to work. You want to make the change from a good position; repeated write ups are not going to help you with this. It’s not the ideal situation, but sadly, sometimes necessary.
Unless, of course, you can find out that your director of nursing really has a few secret tattoos of her own…
Horoscopes just for Nurses!
Euphoria’s natural as your birthday approaches, Leo: the start of a new year is always an exciting time. Remember to hold onto common sense while charging full speed ahead: sometimes those wet floor signs are there for a reason! Slips and pratfalls may form the basis of slapstick humor…but we’re guessing that’s not how you want to celebrate your natal day. Exercise caution while having fun.
Motivation dominates your charts this week, Virgo: why do you choose to do what you do? Attention to detail and a passion for patients are easy answers, but you need to dig a little deeper. What’s really driving you? You’re not going to be content until you find the answer to this question.
Barring that, flip through random charts until you find a diagnosis that fits you 🙂 You’ll feel better when you have a label.
Elegant negotiations surround you this week, Libra, as your patients struggle with family members who want them to change their medication/refuse their medication/take their medication. Enforcing visiting hours helps tremendously…as do transparent ear plugs that block the majority of the pleading (which is already falling on deaf ears) from troubling you!
Your ability to recognize innovation is unparalleled, Scorpio. But your ‘baloney’ detector is equally fine tuned: when that visitor tells you the box of syringes he’s attempting to purloin are for a needle exchange program, trust your judgment. Your expression alone will make sure he gets the point.
Is it mild traumatic brain injury when the patient’s been hit in the head with a jar of non-spicy salsa? It is while pondering this medical mystery that you develop a sudden craving that can only be solved with tacos. Looking at your stars, all we can say is skip the refried beans!
Financial woes concern you, Capricorn: not necessarily directly, but in the lives of those near and dear to you. Try to balance sympathy with prudence: your first urge is to help everyone else out, but you need to make sure your own situation is secure.
While you might normally be concerned by the sight of someone hiding under the bushes in front of your facility, chanting, “You can’t see me, you can’t see me!” you don’t have to fret this time. It’s just the head of your unit, trying to avoid a budget meeting.
Stay away from the cafeteria. Pack your lunch. Sidestep the vending machine. Do whatever you need to do this week to ensure food safety: a gastro-intestinal horror show lies waiting in the wings if you don’t.
Oh, who are we kidding? Everyone knows nurses don’t have time to eat.
Aries is strangely joyful this week: a return to basics may sound boring but give you great joy.
Or, it could just be the new scrubs. Whatever floats your boat!
Researchers tell us that there’s a direct relationship between intelligence and rates of knee injury. Apparently, the dumber you are, the more likely you are to hurt yourself. Taurus will read this news and immediately begin planning a career move to the research arena, because you’ve known this particular bit of information FOR YEARS!
Fluid and changable are words that generally appeal to Geminis — but not when it comes to personal boundaries. In a week where everyone wants something from you, make sure you’re not overextending yourself.
Here’s a great idea, Cancer, seeing as you’ve let yourself get roped into yet another committee: Make up mock surveys, six to eight questions, and go around interviewing everyone. Ask what you REALLY want to know about them…how much money they make, how many times they’ve been married, how many martinis they’ve had before coming to work in the morning…when they balk, glare at them and say “It’s on the SURVEY…” Not only will you get some great insider info, but you’ll never be asked to work on the holiday party planning committee again!
Star Charts by Suzanne LaBarne are intended for entertainment purposes only!
Every time I am lucky enough to spend a night or two in a hotel with my family, I am reminded of the ‘Customer Service’ inservice given annually at my hospital (and I assume every hospital)…(Then again, from my experiences as a patient, maybe not!) (more…)