Well it happened today. The worst day ever on this job.
It began with our PAR group being shorthanded. Being shorthanded on a Saturday is like running a marathon in combat boots.
The nursing staff was also shorthanded. At one point the Charge Nurse was begging the House Sup to please send nurses. Her request was met with a single word. No.
She looked at the staffing list. She looked at the tracking board. She hung her head and said, “This is gonna be a shit show.“ That was an understatement.
The patient load went off the charts. At one point we exceeded surge level. At one point 7 ambulance stretchers were waiting in the hallway. Nurses were running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Doctors were as grumbly as ever.
And at the bottom of the ladder, knee-deep in crap, was the lonely patient access representative. Yes, my position. We caught it from the doctors. We caught it from the nurses. We caught it from the patience. All day long.
Wait times were exceeding five hours. That was making patients in the waiting room as happy as could be. They were yelling at us. One woman completely went off. She started yelling and screaming. She accused us of violating her rights. She said we didn’t care about people. She said that she would report us to our supervisors. It was ugly.
When I got home I was on the verge of tears. My knees were hurting badly. My back was aching. I was licking my emotional wounds from the day. Tomorrow will probably be the same. And Monday will probably be worse.