I’ve always thought that the Beatles wrote this song about nurses. We work like dogs to get our money to buy our things, and we sleep like logs after a long grueling shift. Yeah, yeah, yeah. This weekend seemed like an endless hard day’s night because we had not one, but three patients on our unit with borderline personality disorder. One patient with a personality disorder is bad enough to handle when you are under staffed, but three patients make a trifecta for a miserable weekend.
Borderlines love to compete with each other, and there is no limit to the mischief they can get into when they aren’t the center of attention. All of my little lovelies were racing to see who could cut themselves the deepest by using their plastic dinnerware. Here’s a picture that gives you an idea of what their arms look like. Yeah, it’s gross. Back in the good old days when we were allowed to use some extreme behavior modification techniques, nurses would never feed in to this type of self-destructive behavior. We would ignore the behavior, give the patients a bandage so they could dress their own wounds, and life went on as usual. No one made a fuss unless there was blood pumping out of an artery. The patients did not receive secondary gain for engaging in self mutilation. They would figure out pretty quickly that their activities weren’t going to ruffle our feathers, so their self-destructive behaviors would stop.
Now, it’s a whole new ballgame on psychiatric units, and the borderline patients know the rules. Patients are now placed on suicide watch if they so much as scratch themselves while they are in the hospital. Borderlines crave attention, and their behavior escalates as they receive more attention for their inappropriate behavior. What really burns my butt is that nurses are getting into trouble if these patients shed one drop of blood while they are in the hospital. That’s why Border Nurse is leaving the country. She’s had it! Her decision has nothing to do with the guy in the brown suit. Doctor Dream Boat is out of luck because the object of his affection is tired of being held responsible for all the crap that happens on her unit. Patients are rewarded for acting out while their nurses get the boot.
I just received a phone call from work while I was writing this post. My boss asked me to come back into work. Fat chance! I’m going to sleep like a log for a few more hours. Good night!