Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How Does She Do It?

Those of you who visit this site often know that my day job is actually a night job. What I am trying to say is that in order to pay the bills and tuition for my sons I work professionally as a midnight shift pharmacist in a hospital here in Charleston. I am convinced that it takes a person with certain characteristics to work an overnight job, not necessarily “special” abilities, but certain qualities. For instance one such attribute required is the ability to keep things in perspective. To illustrate why proper perspective is important to an over-night worker: I say there is no difference in working the midnight shift or the 7am – 3 pm day shift. The day shift worker is tied up all day on the job and sleeps all night, the night shift worker works all night and is tied up all day long in the bed. See, the net result is equal. That’s perspective for you.

Another requirement for a midnight shift worker, especially a hospital pharmacist, is a great sense of humor. Once again, the clever reader may question; how so? Clearly because at times if you couldn’t laugh you just might cry. Like during those times when you have an ICU full of critical patients constantly needing IV drips prepared and delivered, four moms in labor needing delivery meds to ease the delivery, a newborn requiring IV antibiotics prepared to treat a life-threatening infection, a cardiac arrest patient in the ED needing a clot busting IV drug stat with the drug dose calculated based upon the patients weight and the IV prepared and delivered to the ED, and the hospitalist has just written orders for the pharmacist to calculate Vancomycin doses and order the pertinent lab tests to monitor the dose on 3 of his patients. And you probably wondered why a hospital would need a pharmacist on duty at night. Please note: we don’t fill prescriptions like the drug store pharmacist.

I do have a good sense of humor, well at least I think I am funny. My wife probably doesn’t think so, especially after our conversation on Friday Evening. I simply asked her what she had planned for her Saturday off. After she told me her plans, I proudly said to her, knowing that I would be leaving for work soon, “I think I am just going to sleep all day long, do nothing just plop my lazy butt into the bed and sleep all day.” I went on to say, “you know, I’m leaving here in a bit, and I’m going to be out all night long, don’t look for me until daylight.” Really chugging along at this point, I then broke the news to her, “you know where I am headed for the night is going to be a hopping place, the only bad thing is, there seems to be drugs everywhere you turn.” (insert drum roll please)
I really don’t know how that woman puts up with me.

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