Monday, August 22, 2005

Night of the Zombies

Lately, hospitals here in town have been frenzied in their efforts to improve employee health. We have walking initiatives, weight loss groups, stress reduction classes, and of course (as of July), no one can smoke on hospital grounds -- not doctors, not nurses, not patients, not family members -- which has not added any joy to adult psych, I might add.

I don't know if last Saturday night had anything to do with health initiatives...I hope not, because it can only lead to millions of night-shift nurses on the march, waving bedpans threateningly...

I don't work night shift all the time, but I find I can manage it -- barely -- with a steady dose of caffeine up until about 4:30 am. However, on Saturday night, when I went to make my first pot of coffee right after report, I found two cases of decaf and NOT EVEN ONE package of caf. Luckily, there's a coke machine on the same floor...but when I punched the "Coke" button..."Caffeine Free Coke" rolled out...and with my final dollar bill, I tried Dr. Pepper...only to get another "Caffeine Free Coke".

It was NOT good. By 4 o'clock, I felt I really needed those cartoon toothpicks that hold your eyelids open. By 5 o'clock, I was drinking ice water so that shivering would keep me awake, and by 6 o'clock, I was actually thankful when one of the difficult kids got up early in a bad mood...but even that lasted only 10 minutes and didn't wake anyone else up.

After a cat nap in the car, I drove home. I don't know if the lack of caffeinated beverages was planned, or if it was a comedy of errors...but if caffeine-freeness is the next step in the health arsenal...well...I'll be smuggling it into the hospital. Now I know how the smokers feel.

8 comments:

Steve said...

Ha! The Health Nazis strike again. Up next - the Safety Gestapo.

D Bunny said...

That is cruel and unusual punishment!

Glod said...

Proping yourself up with drugs has these problems. Couldn't you (as a nurse) find something suitable from the medicine cabinet?

Stephanie said...

I have just given up caffeine for the second time in my life. Whew! I wish I hadn't gone off the wagon the first time, I'll tell you. I'm hungry, fall asleep at odd times... but I would never force this withdrawal on anyone! Really should be a choice. I hope they're not foisting this on you! :)

Gone Away said...

I have this theory that we are really just stages in the life cycle of the caffeine drug...

Ned said...

The latest studies show that coffee and specifically, caffeinated coffee is good for you. It lowers your risk of Parkinsons', Type II diabetes and colon cancer and has a host of other health benefits.

Show them this http://my.webmd.com/content/Article/80/96454.htm

as well as this
http://nedfulthings.myblogsite.com/blog/_archives/2005/5/3/645388.html

Shouldn't hospital administrators be required to actually know this sort of thing before they remove the coffee and endanger the health of their employees and patients?

Ned said...

Sorry, I did a bad job on the links, so if you don't mind, here they are again.

I shouldn't try to comment until I have had my coffee.

I Love the Java Jive and it Loves Me

WEB MD

Jay said...

It is a pity that all the good stuff, the stuff that helps you get through a day, turns out to be so bad for you.