I’ve worked 67 hours over the past 7 days in the emergency room. My shifts are typically 12 hours long; yesterday I was there for 14.
A couple of days ago a nearby hospital caught on fire and the sprinklers flooded their ER, so we’ve been getting most of the patients they would typically receive in addition to our own. This will continue for a projected 2-3 weeks.
The ER I work in is one of the most advanced in the region. The only kinds of patients we might actually transfer to another ER are women in labor (we have no OB department) and very severe trauma patients, since there is a specialized trauma center 6 blocks away. That being said, I’ve had patients we didn’t transfer who were in car accidents, stabbings, and blunt force trauma assaults.
All this to simply say that for a nurse a mere 5 months out of school, I’m really getting a trial by fire. I don’t mind, mainly because I get to sleep in tomorrow.