It’s a work night. I’m charge. Typically I’m a black cloud. It’s the usual. One hour into my shift we are hit with two admissions. No biggie, we have the staffing for once!
One of the new patients to come has a potassium of 7… Up from 6.1 two hours earlier. They are a renal patient on T/Th/S dialysis normally. They received their full four hour treatment on Tuesday and have been NPO for OR today. No one is really sure why the “K” is so high. So of course I can understand why they would prefer the patient be in an intermediate or intensive care unit to get emergent bedside dialysis. The step down is full so they came here. No problem, right? WRONG.
The patient’s significant other is PISSED.
They want to know why they couldn’t just dialyze the patient on the floor where they were. Renal nurse and doc explain the significance of the high potassium, the possibility of a potentially fatal arrhythmia, you know, all the bad shit related to elevated potassium and why they need continuous monitoring right now.
The S.O. is still pissed.
They don’t like the room, we don’t have anywhere for them to sleep.
Forget the labs. Forget the safety of the patient. The room isn’t to their liking…
Several seats… you need to have several seats…