Photograph by Mother Jones, RN

This is a photograph that I created that expresses the old saying, “When hell freezes over.” I repeated this phrase over and over again last weekend when I was at work.

Thank God it’s Monday. I know, that’s the last thing you want to hear especially if you’re reading this entry from work. My weekend was hell. It was the same old thing. You know, overworked and understaffed, but there was a new element to the mix. I think one of the units staged a sickout, and I overheard nurses from all over the hospital talking about going on strike. I’ve NEVER seen anything like this before. Ever! The phone at the nurses station wouldn’t stop ringing. The nurses throughout the hospital were about to revolt, and the docs were trying to get their problem patients off of the medical units and out the ER before the nurses walked out. Of course, they thought that the psych unit would be the perfect place to dump their patients. One doctor tried to bully me into accepting a patient. I first explained why we don’t take medical patients on the psych unit, but she insisted that she had some sacred power over me—I’m a doctor and you are a lowly nurse—so I repeatedly said my mantra about hell freezing over until she abruptly hung up on me. I think some people have a misconception about what psych nurses do all day. No, we don’t sit behind a desk and play Sigmund Freud with our patients. We are working our butts off just like everyone else in the hospital, thank you very much. I think administration is getting nervous about what’s going on in the hospital because I didn’t get any resistance when I closed our unit to admissions because of lack of staff and other safety issues. And guess what, Mr. Grinch was the administrator on call. He was the one who let me close the unit. It’s going to be interesting to see how things play out this week at work.