Friday, March 14, 2008

code red: blank 3

Sometimes my job is busy and stressful, but there are many days of laughter that make up for the bad ones.

Last night I worked 7pm-7am and had a really good night. I spent the first four hours of my night playing salon with one of my patients, doing hair and nails. Then we played a board game and she totally beat me.

After the game she wanted a snack, so I said I would make something for her. She gave me an individual serving of hamburger helper that looked delicious. The directions said to add 3/4 cup water and heat in the microwave for 4-6 minutes.

So I went to our kitchenette and began to faithfully follow the directions. At 3 minutes of microwave time, I thought the food smelled a little funny, but it wasn't until 3 minutes and 45 seconds that it started to smell like burning. I quickly opened the microwave door to find smoke billowing out. Inside were the pathetic remains of my patient's little snack. The bowl had melted into a plate and the hamburger helper was burned into a solid rock that resembled a large hockey puck. You could just barely make out what used to be elbow macoroni noodles mixed into the charred mess.

Needless to say, the whole unit smelled like it was on fire. I had to call public safety to warn them that if the fire alarms went off, it was not a fire but it was because Kathleen burned the hamburger helper. Our unit secretary called all of the surrounding wings of the hospital to reassure them that if they smelled burning, it was becaue somebody burned food in the microwave.

The whole night I walked around the hospital smelling awful. It's the kind of smell that when you walk by someone at a distance they look up from their charting and say "Is something burning?"

After a few hours of this, I was sick of how I smelled (I was actually getting nauseated and a headache). So I went to the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit), confiscated the biggest pair of the children's scrubs I could find, and threw my own scrubs into the laundry. My hair and skin still smelled like I've been a smoker for 20 years, so I kept spraying myself with the bathroom de-odorizer spray.

It didn't help much.

As you can see, I need to work on my cooking skills. Thankfully, my patient thought it was hilarious. When I showed her the wonderful meal I had created for her, she refused to eat it. Instead she had me make her some chicken noodle soup.

This time I heated it for 30 seconds and it was the perfect temperature. Who knew?

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