Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Walks #192 and #193: The Art of the Doubleback...

These two walks are notable mostly for not really being walks. They were more reminiscent of a Sean Pennesque "Dead Man Walking".

Luck would have it that I have been able to get lots of hours this go around. Sunday and Monday both were consumed with double shifts; sixteen and a half hours on a locked unit. The term Nurses use is the "double back". This means you work a double shift, attempt to sleep a few hours, and then return again to work much too early the next day. The advantages are, of course, the money (seeing as we do still have labor laws, the second half of a double is quite lucrative).

The walks consisted of the early morning trudge from the Monastic Dorm to the Unit. And then at 11:00 pm, the trudge back to the Monastic Dorm.

To go from the working state to the sleep state within a few minutes is not something I have mastered. As I write this, I think I have had an average of four to five hours of sleep over the last five nights.

Normally I would be home now, but luck would continue to persist, so I picked up some more work. Dollars are in need right now, as Joni and I have made a decision which will costs us thousands and thousands of dollars. This will more than likely be a futile effort. But it is an effort that simply must be made.


Ian Woofenden said...

Two days' rides combined:

16.27 miles
10.12 mph average
32.44 mph max

Yesterday I dropped the dump truck at a tree trimming site, because of the lure of free maple firewood. I biked home through the path. Later in the day I biked to the store to meet a student who was in our Costa Rica workshop, and we had lunch and then a walk to see a few solar energy systems. I rode home via the tree site, and ended up more exercise than I bargained for, helping load the truck and split the monster rounds from the base of the tree so we could load them.

Today I had a consultation, and biked to and from. On the way home, I picked up a rug from the Guemes ongoing garage sale (people put stuff out on the road for free). I washed it and it's hanging on the line, and I'll try it in our bedroom. Biking home with the heavy thing was a bit of an adventure.

Tomorrow I'll do the bike/bus routine to Mt. Vernon again for the sustainability task force meeting. At least I'll exercise...

My friend Dan just competed in the big race in Italy that covers 68 miles and 5 mountain passes, with almost 9,000 riders. He averaged just a bit less than 10 mph, which is pretty outstanding!

greentangle said...

As a general comment, having worked in a nursing admin office and having seen the chaos of scheduling and people working various shifts, I have to say I'm opposed to double and varying shifts. I don't think it can be good for patients to have care workers short of sleep, and we had a nurse killed on her way home one morning when she fell asleep at the wheel.

Allan Stellar said...


You are correct about exhausted nurses. The fact is that in a 24/7 profession, things do come up and people sometimes need to work extra. I pushed the envelope last week when I worked two 12 hour shifts, followed by two 16 hour shifts, followed by two more 8 hour shifts. We were short on staff and my own greed kicked in.

In California one of the best things that ever happened was the development of nurse/patient ratios. I have seen first hand how this legislation has improved patient care. The hospital lobby hates it (and tried to kill it).