By nature, a pediatric ICU sits heavy about 95% of the time. That’s held true, and then some, for what’s going on in our unit this week. But once in awhile, we can have fun too, and with the backdrop of such heaviness and grief, I cherish those light moments all the more. Here are a few. (And also, pediatrics is just the best.)
The time I walked my post-op patient with Treacher Collins syndrome around the unit because he was bored in his room. I armed him with a covert saline syringe and had him squirt unsuspecting colleagues as they charted at their nursing stations.
The time my managers and I schemed, with help from the House Supervisor, to pull a fake Disaster Survey on my colleague who was Charge Nurse on April Fools. The House Supervisor put a fake page through, made a fake official badge for the ‘surveyor’ (who was actually the manager of Radiology and had a background in Disaster Prep), all of it. Also the questions were slightly ridiculous and we just watched him sweat.
The time my coworker lathered my seat with Mastisol and essentially glued me to my chair. I was distracted by precepting so I hadn’t noticed as I sat down. When I stood up, there was a distinct peeling sound from my bottom. It was cute.
The time I overheard a coworker ask another nurse to grab him a cup of coffee as she went down to the cafeteria. I texted her and asked her to grab a 2nd cup, and I spiked that 2nd cup with an obscene amount of salt. It was amazing. Don’t worry. He got his normal coffee later.
The time I was trying to take a patient off CVVH, a very specialized form of dialysis that requires a ton of attention to detail (and sterility!) when taking the patient off the machine, but the patient wouldn’t stop whacking me on the head with a balloon sword that a volunteer had given him. The Resident MD was in the room watching me struggle and so he jumped in and said, “Hey, let’s play ‘Who can stay still the longest!’” It was multidisciplinary collaboration at its finest.
The time a coworker left her computer screen still logged on, so I went on her email, sent an email to myself from her “Hey I have issues w you, we need to talk,” and then I went to my computer and replied back, “Oh my gosh I never knew, I’m sorry!” She was so confused.
We’re not always only about death and dying and grief, and it’s pretty great sometimes.