Nursing Blogs

A nursing taboo? Acknowledging a quiet day.



Image:© Veer Incorporated

“So how’s the day been so far?” – something you usually hear from the oncoming shift during change of shift.

“SSSSHHHHHHHH.” – the response most nurses will give.

It’s one of those hush-hush nurse taboos. You never say anything remotely close to the phrase ‘Quiet’ or ‘Boring’ or ‘Easy’. You not only never say those words, but anything that involves that process of thinking.

You never comment on another nurse’s assignment in that manner.

You never suggest or imply that YOUR assignment has those above qualities.

And you NEVER … Never-ever-evah state that the hospital or the unit you are working on is being defined by those above qualities!~

WHY you ask?

(and you must NOT be a nurse if you are asking this question)

Because the minute you speak the words.. OR think the thoughts.. The proverbial ball will drop. Better yet the you-know-what will hit the fan.

All of a sudden the day goes ‘south’:

  • Yours or someone else patient’s condition will worsen.
  • You here the word ‘CODE’.
  • Your unit gets admission after admission.
  • Numerous patients need to have procedures – that are off the floor!
  • Someone calls off sick… or gets sick and has to leave work.
  • The oncoming shift is going to be late.

This ‘virtual’ list is endless if you know what I mean.

Case in point. Yesterday at work, we joked about this proverbial ball – because someone uttered the above words. We laughed that the day had been nice and ‘calm’. We each had controlled assignments. No crazy things were happening on the unit. No emergent issues. No tests or procedures, etc.

We laughed and made the prediction that things would go south an hour before shift change.

To make things worse, I was even joking about getting out of work on time and was attempting to make plans after work. (Yes – I was thinkin’ and actin’ crazy)

Well we were only an hour off.

It seems that after I left – yes things were so nice that I got put on call for the last 4 hrs of my shift- I left and 2 hrs before shift change that ‘ball’ dropped and the ‘you-know-what’ hit the fan. I didn’t get the gory details, all I know is that each nurse didn’t leave on time. In fact I think they left 2hrs past the end of their shift trying to make sense of the ‘storm’ that ensued. After the dust had settled they were kind enough to make light of the situation.

I guess we all learn the hard way huh?

Never -ever -evah think or say that darn ‘Q’ word or anything that closely resembles it!


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