Archive for November, 2009


A Nurse’s Nightmare

Everyone who has been reading in this blog site knows that I hate to be floated to other units coz I have written a post about being floated earlier. Last night was another “nightmare in nursing street.”

After reporting  for work in my own unit, I was told that I need to be floated to E.R. I felt so bad hearing that but I had no choice coz everybody was being rotated to be floated where there was lack of staff, and so it was my turn last night. I hurriedly went down to ER to catch up the endorsement there.  The nurses there were quite nice  to welcome me though and that eased my discomfort a bit.

I was assigned two beds at the treatment area. I thought, hey this is going to be okay. Two patients is better than six to seven patients back in my home unit. But then in a few minutes, I suddenly felt the fast-paced atmosphere in ER. My patients stayed in the bed for like 1-2 hours only and was replaced by another patient as soon as the other one left.  I haven’t even finished documenting and discharging the previous ones, I was forced to take another one coz the patient was placed already on the bed waiting for a nurse to attend to him/her. I wasn’t able to count how many patients I had the whole night but it was just too many.

I was used to taking care of male adult surgery patients and this has been my work for the last eight years (seven years in another country). Last night, I had to take female patients – one was even a case of vaginal bleeding! I told the charge nurse about this issue but I was told that patient sex is not a concern in ER and that male ER nurses take female patients with no problems. Ah okay, I forgot that I was an ER nurse-in-an-instant now. I had to pull a female nurse’s arm to help me attend to that patient who was about to have a vaginal exam. In this country where culture is a great concern, I had to be careful with nursing female patients. And I had several of them last night.

And there was a baby patient too! Pediatric nursing was never my cup of tea, and I can’t even cannulate a small baby’s arm! And yes, I had to take care of the poor baby whose parents had to settle with a nurse who has no experience with babies, except his own. My very first unit since I started my nursing career in the Philippines was pediatric ward. I thought that it would be fun dealing with babies and children. But then, realizing that it was sick babies and children I was taking care of, I just couldn’t cope up, that I had to resign and transfer to another hospital (I couldn’t transfer to another unit soon enough). Now, I had to face a sick baby again, and worst – in an emergency setting. How safe can I be to him was a question in my mind while taking care of him.

Add to my frustrations was my inadequate orientation to the work area. The first and last time I was floated in ER, I was in the Resuscitation Area. Now I was in the Treatment area with about 15 beds.  I was given a quick orientation of the outgoing nurse, but of course, that would never be enough. For a short period of time I had to know what the routines of the unit were, figure out where the supplies were, orient myself to the new surrounding, and deal with a different patient load. Not to mention the unfamiliar faces I had to work with.

I had to mention that the nurses who were in the Treatment Area were quite helpful to me. I asked too many questions and requested so many help and they tried to assist me in anyhow. I knew they were so busy themselves but I had no choice but to force somebody to face me and answer my queries. It was a big night last night for ER and there were several major road accidents that the department was dealing with. Getting somebody to teach me how to operate pieces of medical equipment, and how to work with their computer system was a tough thing to do.

It was too frustrating and stressful being floated. Last night was too exhausting – physically, mentally and emotionally. I am still having a major headache while writing this post. I felt writing what my head wants to say could somehow ease my stressed brain cells.

 Although floating is sometimes justified to keep a safe staffing level to the area where the nurse is being floated, I sometimes feel that it could be better if the nurse from the same unit is called in (as overtime or return time). He would know what to do in emergency situations,and the people in the unit would know his capacity as a nurse. Also, I would like to acknowledge that floating gives nurses the opportunity to widen nursing knowledge. But then, it isn’t training, when you get your own live patients, and that people who will be training you will be busy taking care of their own patients. We don’t risk patient safety and satisfaction with the intent of training a nurse.

Although I know that nurse floatation is an issue in most hospitals in many countries, not just here, I feel it is an issue that needs to be looked at. I know that I am not alone who gets this feeling whenever a nurse is floated. Being floated is just too stressful for the nurse. I am just not being negative. I am just thinking out loud.


Congratulations, Kuya Efren!

One of the Filipino traits that I am proud of is resiliency – that after all the calamities and misfortunes that our country has been receiving, we bounce back and try to overcome all the challenges. This is what Kuya Efren showed to the world by being chosen the 2009 CNN Hero of the Year.

The Filipinos may not be rich in material things, but they are rich in their hearts.

Congratulations, Efren Penaflorinda. You make the Filipinos around the world proud.


Imagine a World Without Nurses


Imagine, if you can, a world without nurses. A healthcare system so debilitated it’s unrecognizable. When nurses disappear so does patient safety. Insist on safe nurse staffing levels. Because it’s our registered nurses who put the care in healthcare. (A TV Ad paid for by the California Nurses Association, National Nurses Organizing Committee, United American Nurses and Massachusetts Nursing Association)

Found this video on Facebook. Just during my last night shift, I had 7 patients. I wished I was able to give the best possible nursing care I could give to my patients, but there’s simply not enough time for each and every patient under my care.

I know that the hospital where I work in addresses this issue, but there are really just times that work overloads. And during these times, I pray a lot for my patients to be well and avoid complications during my shift.

I just wish that all nurses from across the world are given just the fair amount of workload, not because it’s fair for the nurses, but I believe, it’s for us to be fair with the patients.

Go, go, go nurses!


Dona Nobis Pacem!

NOV09globebottomRightWorld peace is something that almost everyone dreams of. This is what our planet needs today. From across the globe, people fight against each other. Why? I think it’s because people have different opinions, and different perspectives, and everyone needs to be heard.

I wonder it there will still come a time when everyone would just live in harmony, that all will just respect each other’s differences. I really wish that this time would come.

Today, I support Mimi’s Blog Blast for Peace project. Thousands of peace globes will be flagged on blog sites today. Dona Nobis Pacem means “Grant us peace!” Let everyone hear our voice!


My Grand Prix Video

Before I went to my night shift last October 30, I was able to watch the practice race of Formula 1 Grand Prix Race at the Yas Marina Circuit. I was trying to upload this on youtube the next day, but my upload failed many times so I had to wait till I get home in Al Ain to reupload it. Here it is:


The Grand Prix Experience: Bye, Yas Island!

Yas-IslandLast night was the seventh night shift, and eventually became our last working day at the field hospital in Yas Island. Working seven nights straight was a record for me. Not much work as expected though. There were no more major activities happening in the island. The Formula 1 race had ended the other afternoon, and the last of the concert series was held the other night.

We were on our way back to the hotel morning after the night shift, when our night nurse supervisor, Helen received a call that instead of only the back up staff would go home today, everyone would be finishing their Yas Island adventure today. Our 10-day job would be cut short of 3 shifts. It felt sad coz we were enjoying our stay. But on the other hand, thinking that there’s not much patients in the island now that there’s not much activities here, I supposed we really had to go back in our respective hospitals and continue our lives there.

The night after the Finals race last November 1, people had started leaving the island and most started checking out of the hotels. The following morning, more guests were seen packed up to leave. And today, Yas Island has started to become a ghost town.

I wonder what life is here during the times when there are no major activities in the island. The place is still under major construction. Lots of buildings, roads and fly overs are still being built. I saw an area just behind the Yas Marina Circuit being constructed as a themepark. They plan to make it as the biggest theme park in the world. The rollercoaster ride was already in place and the loops were quite high. Another building still under construction is the Ferrari World, planned to be home of Ferrari cars. A huge golf course just opposite the racing circuit is also being constructed.

IMG_3599I see Yas Island to be an amazing place to visit in the next five years. With all these plans laid out, the island will surely be a great destination. I will surely come back in the future to check out to see the changes they will make here.

I checked out from the hotel around 10am and our group was picked up by our hospital shuttle bus around 12noon. Home by 0245pm. The brief stint at Yas Island had ended, but the great experience will surely be one of my most unforgettable.


The Grand Prix Experience: Sixth Night Shift



The sixth night shift here at the field hospital went well as the previous shifts. We were expecting to receive more patients last night because yesterday was the big day here at Yas Island. The Finals race of the Formula 1 Grand Prix was held late afternoon so celebrations were expected, with lots of eating and drinking. Aerosmith also performed at the concert arena last night and we expected concert-related cases especially since a wild audience was expected to attend. 

Thank God the night was benign, and nothing major happened. The supposedly big and heavy night came out to be just one of those nights. None of the disasters we were preparing for occurred. 

I heard that we might start packing up early to go back home since all the major activities and events in the island are finished. Too bad, I’m getting used to the good life at the hotel 🙂


After having our breakfast at the hotel, some of my new friends here decided to go for a walk towards the Yas Hotel. It is the only hotel sitting inside a formula 1 race track. Some of my friends have been there and they also said that it’s beautiful inside. So we decided to have a look.

Unfortunately, the security stopped us at the gate and we were told that we are not allowed to get in for some security measures. We were told to come back tomorrow instead, when security level will go down. We were given caps each though.

On our way back to the hotel, my friend Ate Judith and I got left behind by four others because we were busy taking pictures along the way. As we were crossing the street, we had to stop at a traffic light. I noticed a red pick up that was not moving despite the green light.

ilawsWhen the red light opened, the pedestrian were allowed to cross. As we passed by the red pick up, I noticed that the driver’s head was like looking downwards. I thought maybe he’s using his cellphone. But some gut feeling told me there’s something wrong. So I kept on looking back at the vehicle even if we had walked some fifty meters from the street.

We were almost at the hotel lobby when I realized that the vehicle hasn’t moved at all at two more green lights, and the other vehicles just kept passing by. I decided to come back, handed over the stuff I were holding to Ate Judith, and ran towards the pick up.

When I reached the car, the driver was not moving at all. I tried to tap on the window, and tried to open his door but he wasn’t just responding. I was thinking that maybe this driver had a heart attack in the middle of the road, or a hypoglycemic episode while driving.

I tried to signal Ate Judith to call for help coz there were nobody near me. I also tried waving at the hotel entrance where some security officers are stationed. I got the help I needed and more tapping was made on the car’s window. Only then the driver woke up! He must’ve slept on the steering wheel!

The officers pointed the driver to park at the side of the hotel, where he would probably be questioned. I was then told that I could leave.

The guy must’ve drank a lot last night during the big celebration after the race. Hmm… driving with hang over is also dangerous.

So there goes my short story. I was never thanked, but happy that I did what I have to do nevertheless.


The Grand Prix Experience: Sebastian Vettel Wins!

SebastianI did not go to the circuit to watch the Formula 1 Finals this afternoon. I fear I may not be able to come out of the crowd in time for the night shift, so I just decided to watch it on tv. It’s better though, coz I was able to see all angles, all parts of the circuit, while hearing the actual loud car sounds by my hotel window.

Sebatian Vettel of Red Bull won the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix! He was also the winner at the F1 Japan Grand Prix this year. Mabrook!


The Grand Prix Experience: Fifth Night Shift

trick_or_treatTRICK OR TREAT?!

I was waiting at the hotel lobby for our shuttle service to pick us up and bring us to the tent field hospital, when this fairly young and pretty lady came to me smiling. I wondered if she was just to ask directions, but her smile was something. I was with the group who were all wearing scrubs.

Lady:  Hey, are you guys up for the halloween party? Nice costume! Nice gimmick! Where is this party happening?

Me:  Uhm… Sorry, but we’re real doctors and nurses. And we’re going to a real hospital…

Lady:  Oh, I’m sorry… it’s halloween aand I thought you guys were going to a hospital-themed costume party…




early morning night staff snap


It was another fairly quiet night. I was expecting concert-related cases today coz I thought, Aerosmith was performing at the Concert Arena. But I found out that he’ll only be performing tonight.

Last night was an Arabic band called King of Leonne. I hope I spelled that correctly. But it was a fairly quiet night and none of those collapsing patients coming from the concert came. Hmmm, the audience must’ve behaved. Or was it a classical concert? Sorry, I don’t know the performers and I don’t know their genre.



Our tent field hospital behind me. Working here has been fun so far.


The ambulances are on standby for any untoward events.


Ughh… ambigat…  Kayanin ko to…


Hmmm… andaming bacteria!


Hmmm… let’s give that patients some antibiotics…


An ICU inside a tent?! Yup, I’m not kidding…


A snap with Val at the operating theater. Yup, we can also do emergency surgeries here inside rtghe tent. We have 3 operating tables. Amazing, huh!


The heroes of Yellow zone.


With our night nurse supervisor, Helen. Rudy, Me and Ate Judith of Al Ain Hospital.


Whew, that was a tough night shift! Glad to be back at the hotel. Now, if I could just park my Porsche somewhere so I could start having my breakfast.



After having our breakfast in the hotel, my friends decided to have a walk at the race tracks again. Still in our scrubs, we took photos of the photographic space on our way to the Yas Marina Circuit, where the first-ever Formula 1 Grand Prix Race in Abu Dhabi will be held this afternoon for the Finals Race. Since we might not be able to make it at the race, a quick snaps-taking would be great before the crowd starts coming in.


At the breakfast buffet of Assymetri Restaurant, with new friends.




Waiting for friends at Fast Track Bar. Not a drink on a morning please…


My collection of Porches, Ferraris, and Lamborghinis.


My home for 10days at the Yas Island – Raddison Blu Hotel. We were told before taking this job here that we will be housed in a 5-star hotel. I found out from the internet that Raddison Blu is just 4-star! Should I complain? Hahahahaha!


The newly-constructed yas Marina Circuit. In afew hours, the Formula 1 drivers will compete here for the Finals race to decide the champion.



At the bleacher with the nurses of the tent hospital.


The Official Formula 1 team Merchandise store inside Yas Marina Circuit. A red cap costed 400 dhs (about 5-6,000 pesos). No Thanks. A lot of people are hungry because of the typhoons back home.


I was here. Yas Marina Circuit at Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.

No one person can ever experience all that life has to offer. It is only through sharing - experiences, feelings, insights - that we can hope to grow beyond our own meager lifetime.

Nurses are tough people. But behind great nurses are inspirations to keep them doing what they need to do - TO CARE.

Nurse or non-nurse, please feel free to move around the site. Everybody needs inspirations to be encouraged every now and then.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,323 other followers

***Inspirational quotes are lifted from elsewhere (Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram). If there are issues regarding copyright, please let me know and I'll take the post down.

Blog Stats

  • 359,436 hits




November 2009

Live Traffic Feed

Proud Member :)



Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.


Health posts here are the author's opinion and should not be taken as professional advice. It is still best to consult your physician. Posts in this site protect patient confidentiality, so if you have any concerns regarding any of the nursing posts, please send me a message and I will be happy to address them.

%d bloggers like this: