Monday, December 10, 2007

Very Superstitious

This morning there were painters doing touch-up work in the room where we had a particularly messy code last night. Coincidence? I think not.

People in our Emergency Department are constantly discussing the White/Black Cloud Theory. The idea is that things either stay relatively calm (white cloud) or rapidly go to Hell (black cloud) depending on whether or not a particular person is on. I am typically a white cloud, with shifts being hectic, but not typically all-out disasters when I'm at work. I seem to have lost my white cloud this month. Three patients died last night. Two were rather expected, as they were on comfort care status (no interventions), but the third was a freaking mess, despite having a cardiologist, nephrologist, intensivist, and general surgeon available in the unit.

I keep checking my pockets to make sure I don't have some sort of scythe hiding in my coat, but am coming up empty-handed. At first I thought it was just me, but this morning at shift change, the charge nurse was telling me that I am getting a reputation for being on during general badness. On the plus side, one of the floor nurses sought me out last night to tell me that a patient I had been called about several hours before had expired, and complimented me on being calm and collected (which was totally not the case internally) on the code I ran the other night.

Two more call nights and I am done.

2 comments:

ru said...

Death is never easy. I am amazed at how you've handled what you've seen. I pray that the last two nights will be uneventful.

Chris said...

Interesting thoughts on the white cloud/black cloud theory. I think the next time I visit an ER or get admitted, I'm asking the assigned doc for his/her record for the past 72 hours.

Do you guys have something like baseball's ERA (earned run average) to keep track (E.D.A maybe?)