Day 21 of the blogtober challenge. And boy do I have a long rant for you all, today! If you don’t like my rants, go ahead and skip this one. If you’re down to read what I have to say, buckle on in.
I love my line of work, I really do. I wouldn’t have gone back to work for the same company that I had years prior had I not truly loved my job despite a lot of drama that went on. However, yesterday was the most stressful day of my career and it was only a forced half day for me. (No I’m not fired, I think).
I start my day at 4:45am and I left my house around 6:10am. I blogged yesterday’s post in under a hour and I was pleased with the results. I got to work early after being gone a day and a half. I had originally planned to work a half day Monday and two full days, Tuesday and Wednesday. I was emailed on Monday afternoon saying I was taken off the schedule for Tuesday. I texted that supervisor why I was taken off the schedule when there was only one supervisor, one nurse, and two techs. (A standard shift should have at the minimum 3-4 techs.) She had said staffing was covered even though the schedule online said otherwise. I felt like something shady was going on, but it very well could have been my delusions. My bipolar disorder sometimes makes me a little… extra when it comes to irrational thinking. I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Yesterday, Wednesday the 20th, we had myself working, the new girl who is now fully trained, and an on-call tech who was new to the agency and had never worked our unit before. We were to possibly get a gal to come in and work some overtime that had more experience than even I did which would have been nice.
Our unit wasn’t yet acute, but it was getting there which made me nervous. Prior to the day starting, we had eight clients out of 16 beds. But even with those eight clients, it took all of our man power to make it through the day without burning ourselves out. One client was refusing oral medication and had an extensive assault history. He hadn’t hurt anyone or anything yet on the unit, but we were forced to give him daily injections of his medications because he wouldn’t take him. That is at least a five person job to go hands on, including the RN who has to give said injection and make sure that the person stayed still.
With that being said, that takes literally all staff off of the floor, even if we call security and call for back up or extra techs to work overtime. We have another client who frankly we cannot help, so why we took them in, I am not sure. This individual is a young adult who is somewhere on the autism spectrum. This client was brought in on Tuesday and apparently has explosive disorder which apparently is having extreme fits of rage that are uncontrollable outbursts and then calming down and going back and forth unexpectedly and for no apparent reason. I guess on Tuesday with the 8 staff on the unit total, he took a two hour shower and flooded one end of the unit with water because he propped the automatic sink on, clogged the toilet repeatedly, and left the shower on. He barricaded his room with the plastic base of the bed that weighs over 200 pounds and the mattress so that no staff could get to him.
Not the mention the rest of our clients who aren’t acute but need our immediate attention. When I heard about all of that, I was happy I wasn’t there but wondered why they called in extra help rather than using me. It also made me worry about how the day would go without the help of others.
The morning was pretty chill since most clients sleep in until 10am or so. Breakfast was ready on time thanks to me and it was a hit among those who were awake. Then I had to unclog a toilet after I ate the egg casserole, so it wasn’t super appetizing but I had to.
I asked to go check my work email in the office because I was supposed to here from HR about my work status. I took a training in August and there was a written portion and a physical portion. I passed and participated in the written. As for the physical I did everything except the last two hours of the day. The trainers and staff were reenacting scenes that would go on in the inpatient unit and a lot of it involved extensive use of your joints such as ankle and knee and running around and being agile.
With my last three surgeries, three being on the ankle, one of the knee, and one of the leg. I was in no position to reenact this scene and I asked if I could sit out for that portion of it due to my injury and they said yes and it wasn’t an issue. My card was signed and dated and as far as I know, I was certified to go hands on.
About two weeks ago, I was signed up for the training again and I’m like why, and they said I didn’t participate at ALL in the day two of the training which was completely false. I did participate in some of which I could physically do, but not all. And there were two other people who sat out too and it was a non issue for them. So I went to this training and brought my little card and asked why this was signed and they said that the supervisor / trainer shouldn’t have signed it and it was on accident. I left to go talk to HR and she said I could get a doctor’s note to excuse me from the physical part of the training.
I got the doctor’s note that excuses me for a whole other year of this. And then I got an email last Friday from the HR head honcho about when I could meet with her in regard to my doctor’s note.
Every shift since Friday has been anxiety inducing because I don’t know what will happen.
My email showed nothing new but my supervisor said I had a meeting with HR in person at 1pm. It was then 10:30am. I got lunch ready and we had the explosive disorder guy projectile vomit all over the unit and he hadn’t had anything to eat yet. I was told this happened yesterday too or something similar to it because he gets so anxious or angry he throws up. I was on kitchen duty so the other two girls had to clean it up. Next thing I knew it was first lunch and time for me to go to lunch for a hour and then go to HR.
I called my mom to tell her the whole ordeal and how awful yesterday was. She empathized with me and said it would be okay.
Once I got to HR, I told her my side of the story and she said the training in both parts was part of my job description. She couldn’t create an accommodation for me on the unit itself and then I asked her if I should turn in my keys and badge now. She looked at me funny and I said I was making a joke because I felt uncomfortable and she laughed. She said no we aren’t going to fire you. We just have to place you anywhere besides the adult inpatient unit. She then said she had to call my direct supervisor and then her manager because I asked in my predicament, is it safe to be with acute clients because I have no physical way to defend myself. I mean, I could but it would create a giant lawsuit and auditing flaw for them.
That meeting was at 1pm and by 2pm I was called back into the office with the HR lady. We went into the admit room where I guess they had just admitted a catatonic guy and were planning to admit one other that day, possibly two. She said both my supervisor and the director of inpatient services, not even the manager, said there is always immanent threat or possibility of assault to other clients or to staff. I was to go home and be paid for the remainder of that day. I had been taken off the schedule for all future shifts in that unit. I was told that by Friday, no later than Monday, I will be placed elsewhere within the agency.
I told her I would be the fucking janitor if it paid the same and I got to keep my job. She laughed and she said we all take jobs that we aren’t best suited for in terms of education and experience because it pays the bills, but she wasn’t about to let me become the custodian and smiled at me. So I clocked out of that unit for the last time at 1412 on October 20th, 2021.
It made me sad because earlier in the shift, one of my favorite clients called me her little ballerina again. She hadn’t seen me in a day and a half and kept saying “Hey baby! I missed you!” and she said she was doing acrobats and I was her little ballerina who did ballet. Then we started doing pretend ballet and acrobats together and she giggled because she loves to dance. It was the first thing she called me when I met her on the unit back in July and now that she is leaving today, I am sad that I will miss it. Then my other client is about to leave too and I said I would give her the drawings and writings she gave to me and write her a well wishes note to her back. She only remembered one staff member’s name and it was mine. She was a very quiet person but always lit up when she saw me. Then there was my Russian client who was a jokester. He would always take a tea bag and “T-bag” me and use the tea bag to slap my arm before I would pour hot water for his black Lipton tea. He asked me yesterday when I said I was gonna leave for 5-7 minutes and asked if I was gonna get high because he wanted to get high. I said, “No, but I wish! Just gotta smokey-smoke.” And last but not least, my other gal. She always called me Tiffany because I think she thought that was my name. But she was always trying to set me up with her female friends because she thought I was gay.
I take these experiences and I grow from them. I don’t know what today holds, but I am ready.
Thanks Inpatient Unit for the memories.
Until next time,