212) The Tape from Hell

January 31, 2008

El Milagro: Here a little late today. On the way in I check the nursing station for the January El Milagro News to hand out and it’s not there yet. I mention to Rosie the Tech “They still haven’t copied the newsletter?” and she smiles and shrugs. My chair is on the back wall today. I settle in and hook up my earphones, etc. Celeste the Nurse sets up my machine and I ask her to show me the bath bottles to ensure they are 1K, 2Ca. They are. Kim the Nurse comes over to listen to me and cannulate me.

I notice they are using this really sticky tape again and ask Kim about it. She reports that the other tape hasn’t come in yet. This new tape is like sticking duct tape to your arm. It sticks like glue and when you pull it off, it pulls all the hair off, any scabs from your stick holes, any dead skin, and some of the live, screaming skin. And, it also leaves blackish marks around the edges that won’t come off with alcohol or soap. It makes me cherish the old ‘paper tape’ they ran out of. They’ve also run out of those little covers for the ear thermometers so they are using paper ones you put in your mouth and then they forget to pull ‘em out (seems like). Since I’ve been here this is the first time they seem to be out of supplies… I wonder if there is a financial problem or if Ron the New Boss Nurse is not that good at keeping supplies up-to-date. The paper thermometers are no big deal, but the tape from Hell is starting to bother me… mostly since I can never get my arm clean of the black marks.

I listen to NPR and doze until the news (reminiscing about my favorite aunt, Marilyn, who passed on last night), then watch the ABC News with Charlie. After that I catch the first story on Entertainment Tonight… about Brittney’s hospitalization (I am embarrassed to say… but, “news geeks want to know”) I move on to Jim Lehrer’s News and then to the season debut of LOST.

Somewhere in the middle of LOST, Rosie the Tech shows up with the El Milagro News copies and gives me some to hand out after my session. I also learn later from the staff news-line that the tape situation has more to it: that actually the “state” is now requiring the center to dedicate one roll of tape to each patient. The old large rolls of paper tape that techs carried around with them are no longer allowed, since they are possible carriers of germs from patient to patient. So, now the center uses these small rolls that they must leave at each patient’s station. And when they bought the small rolls of paper tape, it was not of sufficient quality (it kept ripping too easily when stretched). So, they ordered this new tape and they are getting lots of complaints about it from patients. So, now they are looking for a better supply of short roll tape so they can make the state and the patients happy. I wish the staff God’s speed at solving this problem!

And so it goes!

Notes: In at 77.1 and out at 74.7 Kgs.


Anonymous said...

Jack I am very sympathetic about the tape - I need paper tape too and I prefer 1/2 inch to secure the needles and 1 inch for everything else. When I travel I bring my own with me because you never know what tape a unit will have. You might consider bringing your own until the until your unit sorts the situation out.

I think you are right on target with your suggestion that the situation with the bath would have been helped if they would have told you what they knew right when they knew it. I think there is a line in the Godfather about passing on bad news right away. Stuff happens, it's what is done in reaction that make the difference.

First thing to do when you sit down is to check the kidney, and check the bath. It's just a good habit.

Jack Nowicki said...

Bill ~ thanks again for your astute comments. I actually have a few old rolls of paper tape in my dialysis holdall, so that would be a great idea! JN