A cloudy forecast at work?

Image: John Foxx | Stockbyte | Getty Images

This is once again an inside joke among nurses. I myself have been labeled the ‘black cloud.’ It has happened in my last three positions as a nurse – and unfortunately I’m starting to believe it?

‘Black Cloud’– a loosely defined term nurses used to describe anything unplanned or out of the ordinary. Also used to describe any magnification of our ‘craziness’ we experience at work.

For some reason work ‘drama’ follows me. When I say ‘drama’ I mean the ‘crazy-busy’ atmosphere of controlled chaos. Everything from the revolving door of admissions, discharges and transfers to being short staffed at the last moment, or an ’emergency’ on the nursing unit that takes the form of an electronic malfunction or failure, shortage of supplies and not to mention having a patient’s condition decline rapidly or severely enough that requires immediate and most times a large and overwhelming series of interventions to stabilize the ‘environment.’

Whew- I got tired just typing that one.

We all know what happens when you mention the ‘Q’ word (quiet), or utter the ‘B’ word (bored). Well somehow the resulting thunderstorm seems to follow me (Yes – this is all meant in fun!).

The ‘Black Cloud’ by specialty:

Surgical / Trauma ICU: I always seemed to be present when we had the ‘sick’ patients – you never sat down, you charted standing up; 12-hour shifts turned into 18-hour shifts. I still have former co-workers who tell stories about me.

Recovery Room: I was told they don’t see a lot of critical drips, or intubated patients, or chest tubes, or central lines. Within my first couple months working there we had a patient have an active MI, we re-intubated two patients in the recovery room, inserted two chest tubes for a pneumothorax caused during a central line insertion!

ICU: In my latest job I seem to always be present when the you-know-what hits the fan. They used more paralytic agents in my first month then they could remember in the past year (‘Nuff said).

Now I haven’t figured out if it’s a blessing or a curse. I’d like to believe (this is my story and I’m sticking to it) that the ‘Black Cloud’ shows up because I’m able to handle the storm – not because I cause the storm. Heh heh.

Like I said, it’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Does anyone come to mind when you hear the term ‘Black Cloud’? Or do you have another term for my listed scenarios? I look forward to your comments!

*Disclaimer – this entire blog post is meant only in sarcasm and fun

, , ,

Scrubs Editor

The Scrubs Staff would love to hear your ideas for stories! Please submit your articles or story ideas to us here.

Post a Comment

You must or register to post a comment.

13 Responses to A cloudy forecast at work?

  1. frogeyes10

    So…is it even worse when it is a full moon? lol..I love that you view it as a challenge and do not let it beat you down.

  2. Sean Dent

    @ frogeyes10 Thank you.

  3. Shawnee

    I know what you mean! Similar things have happened to me. Even one of the secretaries said “Have you noticed that all the serious stuff happens when you’re around?” Some of us are just blessed, I guess. :)

  4. Sean Dent

    @ Shawnee Blessed… I like that!

  5. kiera

    I too have had this “cloud” follow me at my last two jobs. My job now my co-workers noticed right away and gave me the endearing term $hi* magnet. I think I am just dealt that hand more than others cause I have been able to handle it thus far. Everything for a reason is my motto.

  6. Sandy

    I know what you mean. I am not sure whether it is me or Misty a co worker that has the black cloud but it seems when you get the 2 of us together trouble follows.

  7. Susan

    I work in an ER in rural upstate NY. We have a PA we also lovingly call a —- magnet. Drownings, MVA’s, codes, drunks,etc. But there’s no one I’d rather be on with than him. He sure can handle it!

  8. Sean Dent

    @ Kiera I think you hit the nail on the head

    @ Sandy I’m glad I’m not alone on this one. heh heh

    @ Susan You and Kiera make a great point.

  9. Mary

    Love it. I have come to think of this as not so much a curse as being in the right place at the right time – not the other way around! I have to tell myself these things happen because I am paying attention and have that sixth sense to know when things are going to hit the fan. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! Thanks for the laugh

  10. Jay Rydberg

    Funny, but that’s our job as I see it–to sniff it out and shine light on it, then try to “handle it” to relieve someone in need. Sometimes when things are “quiet”, we may not be looking closely enough, at others, we’re just blessed. This is a good place to vent…

  11. shirley

    I feel a little better now. One of our CNA’s called me a “black cloud” in front of a patient. Truth is, I always seem to be around when “IT” hits the fan. Maybe that is because I am paying attention 😉

  12. Sean Dent

    @ Mary You are welcome.

    @ Ray We’re glad you like the place!

    @ Shirley I’d like to think the same thing.

  13. Sandi

    I have carried that title of “black cloud” for many years. Not so good working ER at nights but I too came to the conclusion that “someone up above” knew I could handle it! Still… there were nights I wondered!
    I have moved to another position now and maybe, just ,maybe I have lost that title! haha